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Why Can’t Babies Fall Asleep on Their Own When Tired?

The baby is indeed sleepy, but he just can’t fall asleep quietly on his own and has to be coaxed and cries. What’s going on? Let’s talk about this article.

Why can’t I fall asleep by myself when I’m sleepy?
About self-soothing ability

Relaxing your body and mind and actively isolating stress, worry and anxiety is an ability called self-soothing. This ability has positive significance in different age groups, such as promoting sleep, helping emotional management, establishing good interpersonal relationships, etc.

For infants and young children, self-soothing is actually the ability to relax and calm down on their own without the help of adults. What I particularly want to remind you here is that before babies learn to self-soothe, they first need to truly experience and perceive what a comfortable state of relaxation and peace is like. Only by letting babies experience what it feels like to relax and how to make themselves feel comfortable and peaceful can we help them eventually learn to relax themselves and gain the ability to self-soothe.

Before the baby has the ability to self-soothe, he needs adults to actively comfort, accompany him, and meet his needs in a timely manner.
Therefore, when babies are sleepy and cannot sleep on their own, they have to be coaxed and cry. In the final analysis, babies are still trying to learn the process of self-soothing. Before they acquire this ability, they need help and comfort from adults.
In fact, the ability to self-soothe is an emotional and social ability for babies, not a developmental milestone indicator. In addition, the ability and state of self-soothing also change dynamically. For example, as the child’s age changes, the experience of relaxation and the way of self-soothing will change accordingly.

How to promote infants’ self-soothing abilities?

For babies under one year old, the ability to self-soothe usually manifests itself in falling asleep on their own and waking up in the middle of the night. When a baby can sleep through the night and fall asleep independently, it usually means that the baby has the ability to self-soothe. Most babies learn to self-soothe around 6 months of age.

Different babies finally acquire the ability to self-soothe at different ages, and it is normal to do it sooner or later. This is what I just said, self-soothing ability cannot be treated as an indicator of growth and development milestones. This means that babies will not necessarily acquire the ability to self-soothe at a certain age.

On the contrary, acquiring the ability to self-soothe is a process of continuous effort and practice between baby and parents. Therefore, some babies learn to self-soothe at the age of 6 months and can fall asleep on their own without the need for coaxing; but some babies may not learn to self-soothe until later, which is normal.

To promote your baby’s self-soothing ability, you can try:

  1. Meet the baby’s needs in a timely and proactive manner

Meeting the baby’s needs is the core and foundation for letting the baby learn to self-soothe. Only by meeting the baby’s various needs (such as ensuring that the baby is not hungry, hot, cold, or has a dirty diaper, etc.) and making the baby feel cared for and safe can it be possible for the baby to slowly learn to soothe himself. Self-relax and soothe.

  1. Baby under 2 months old can try wrapping

Make your baby feel safe and comfortable through reasonable wrapping. When your baby feels safe, comfortable and relaxed, he will naturally fall asleep slowly.

It should be emphasized here that from the perspective of sleep safety, the package is only suitable for babies of young age, such as those under 3 months old. Once your baby shows signs of rolling over, you need to stop swaddling. At the same time, pay attention to the correct way of packaging.

3 Try to soothe your baby in bed

This is mainly to allow the baby to associate his soothing state and the feeling of slowly falling asleep with the crib where he sleeps. In this way, when they learn to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own in the future, they can relax and fall asleep peacefully in the same environment.

  1. When you are awake, “discharge” more

Some babies cannot calm down before going to bed and cry and get excited. This may be because they are not “discharging” enough when they are awake and have residual energy, so they are sleepy but want to continue interacting. Therefore, when the baby is awake, interact more, play more, and accompany him more, so that the baby can fully “discharge”. This way, he will be in a slightly tired and relaxed state before falling asleep, which will also help him fall asleep in a calm and soothing state.

How to make it easier for your baby to fall asleep?

Even if the baby has the ability to self-soothe, some objective factors may affect the baby’s sleep. The following three points can help your baby fall asleep more easily:

  1. Observe and understand more sleep signals

Pay attention to observing and understanding the baby’s fatigue signals, and try to find some patterns. For example, see which behavior of the baby is the easiest to put to sleep, and then put him to sleep in time every time this specific behavior appears.

Children’s fatigue signals actually change with age, and the state in which each child is most likely to fall asleep is also different, so parents need to adapt to circumstances and take advantage of the situation.

  1. Regular and fixed bedtime routine

Different from excitement and fun, a warm and peaceful time can be specially arranged before the baby goes to bed. The main purpose is to calm and soothe the baby slowly. This specially designed short period of time before going to bed is also the time before going to bed. program. The bedtime routine emphasizes a peaceful, warm, quiet and comfortable atmosphere.

The specific activities in the bedtime program are mainly selected individually based on the baby’s age, preferences, etc. In addition to the common bathing before going to bed, cleaning your mouth, closing the curtains, dimming the lights, wearing a sleeping bag, etc., you can also try playing soothing music and telling bedtime stories.

For babies under one year old, it is generally enough to reserve 30 minutes for the bedtime routine. For children after one year old, it may take longer, such as 45 minutes.

  1. Coax you to sleep as needed and maintain a regular schedule

Keeping a regular schedule and sleeping on demand can make the process of falling asleep easier.

Parents can try to explore the baby’s sleep schedule early, such as carefully observing when the baby wakes up, takes a nap, and falls asleep at night, etc., so as to find the baby’s own sleep schedule.

On the premise of needs, parents can also consciously guide the baby to form a regular schedule in a timely manner. For example, during infancy, the child’s daily schedule and activities can be arranged in the following ways:
The baby wakes up → feeds → changes diapers → parent-child interaction, and pay attention to whether the baby is tired or sleepy → once the baby shows signs of being sleepy or tired, arrange a nap in time.

For children after one year old, the same emphasis is placed on a regular schedule. For example, try to ensure that the time to go to bed and wake up is about the same every day, take naps as needed to avoid excessive fatigue, and avoid getting up too late from nap or sleeping for too long, so as to reduce crying before going to bed at night. turmoil and resistance.