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When parents encounter their baby crying for hours before sleep, most of them are clueless about what needs to be done. You might be exhausted from taking care of your child the entire day and ready to fall asleep at a moment’s notice, but your little one does not seem to be on the same page as you in this regard. Babies have spent all their time in your womb, where everything was made automatically comfortable for the child. Therefore, it takes a little more effort at our end to ensure that a safe and comfortable environment for the child is created out here as well.
Why Do Infants Cry Before Sleeping?
While babies can break into a fit of crying due to a variety of reasons, there are a few major ones that seem to trouble a baby, especially when he attempts to fall asleep.
1. The Inability to Fall Asleep at Night
For many babies, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with them. However, they will invariably cry every time when they sleep at night. This is usually frequent in children who younger than 3 months. The crying is simply a reaction of their body getting used to the sleep cycles since that seems out of the ordinary for them right at the beginning. A variety of bodily processes and organs, right from the heart to the bladder and the digestive system, all need to fall in line with the sleep system of the body. After 3 months have been completed, the body gradually starts adapting to it.
2. Presence of Any Physical Discomfort
Crying is pretty much the only way of communication that babies have, which is why they tend to cry every time they need to convey something. And most of the times, it is something that is getting them irritated or making them uncomfortable that elicits a cry. This can happen during bedtime as well if the environment is not conducive enough to make them fall asleep. Babies suffering from cold or being present in a hot room can feel likewise. The emergence of teeth tends to be stronger around night time, which further makes the pain stronger. Having pooped in his pants or wearing tight underwear could irritate him, too.
3. Attempt to Establish Social Contact
Another reason why a baby might start crying right around sleeping time has more to do with his behaviour than anything else. His need for attention and a possibility of wanting social contact might cause him to communicate with you by crying loudly. Some babies tend to know that sleeping time would mean that they wouldn’t see their mother, and this could make them cry as well. Babies who are exhausted after a long day or have faced a lot of stimulation can find the silence of the night unnerving. Any presence of illness or hunger can keep him awake or simply the need to play for a while before sleeping could make him ask out for your presence.
Tips for Soothing a Crying Baby
Getting a little baby to calm down, especially around sleeping time can be quite demanding for parents. Here are a few tips that work most of the time on all sorts of babies.
1. Creation of a Conducive Environment
For a baby to fall asleep easily, the temperature in their room needs to be at its optimum. This can be very well tested by checking your child’s temperature around his stomach or his back. Choose to clothe based on the weather and layer them accordingly. Avoid wrapping him up intensely in blankets even in winter, since a lot of those can lead him to suffocate and cause a sudden infant death. Try using heat during winters and use a gentle fan in summers to keep the air flowing.
2. Swaddle Your Baby Properly Before Putting Him to Sleep
Even in sleep, your baby needs to feel safe and secure, similar to how he is cuddled and held by the mother. This is usually achieved by wrapping up your child in a light blanket. This also helps keep random limb movement in check, which can erroneously wake him up from sleep. Go for muslin cloths that are light and wrap him in such a way that his chin, ears and head is uncovered. Choosing to go with a sleeping bag meant for a baby can also be a good option.
3. Choosing the Right Clothes for Sleeping
Babies are ultra-sensitive to the smallest choices regarding them. Even the slightest disturbances in those can make it difficult for the little one to fall asleep. His clothes play a vital role in that regard and choosing them appropriately cannot be any less important. While you may opt for fitting clothes in the day, it is best to choose a loose-fitting option for your baby when he sleeps at night. Pick ones that are thick enough to keep him comfortably warm even if loose. Don’t use head covers unless he’s ill since they can be quite uncomfortable or shift around in his sleep. Stay away from any clothes that have laces or strings that can enter your baby’s mouth.
Knowing why babies cry before sleep at night can help put your mind at ease and make you stop worrying about your child. Most children come to terms with sleeping at night by the time they are 4 to 6 months old. If the crying continues uncontrollably, you might have to take him to a doctor.