Adapting to sleep challenges is one of the toughest parts of parenting that can lead to frustration, desperation, and resentment in many parents in our culture.There are also a ton of opinions on baby sleep and what is considered normal.Becoming empowered and knowledgable about WHY your child is waking at night will allow you to be more loving, more present and more compassionate for their needs. Beyond hunger, thirst, and comfort, developmentally normal causes of sleep disturbances in babies include:
- Teething: cutting new teeth is a long process that can start as early as 3 months of age and continue in stages until approximately the age of 2+. The inflammation and pain from teething is often more noticeable and painful in the evening, causing babies to wake.
- Sleep cycle changes: as your baby’s brain develops rapidly, their brain wave patterns evolve and their sleep cycle changes. This can lead to developmentally normal night waking that will self-resolve as they grow.
- Milestones, developmental leaps, & growth spurts: your little one is changing minute of everyday and their brain is growing by leaps and bounds – especially in the first 2 years of life. Approaching, learning, and practicing new developmental milestones — cognitive, language and motor — will often lead to sleep disturbances. This is VERY valid for them, as they are integrating so many new neural connections and it is all very exciting.
- Vacations & changes in routines: this one speaks for itself, but especially if you have travelled through time-zones.
- Stress and family challenges: emotional stress is a pretty unavoidable element of life for young families today. Relationships, finances, COVID-stuff, siblings, illnesses, schedules, pressure — the list goes on. It is completely understandable why babies will pick up on the stressors around them and it can cause sleepless nights for them, just like it can for you.
There are so many natural ways to help your baby overcome and transition through the above. Gentle pediatric chiropractic adjustments, baby massage, essential oils, & homeopathic remedies are our favorite go-to’s to support babies sleep.Our biggest advice on baby sleep is to not have any firm expectations and to do you best to find your inner mama and daddy strength to be as present and patient and loving as you can amidst the exhaustion and fatigue. Soak up the snuggles, someday you’ll miss it!