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Why Is My Baby Fighting Sleep All Of A Sudden

Are you struggling with your baby’s sleep pattern?

Is your little one suddenly fighting sleep and keeping you up all night?

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then you’re in the right place!

We understand how difficult it can be to deal with a baby who won’t sleep, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll help you understand the reasons behind your baby fighting sleep and provide you with some practical tips to help your little one get the rest they need.

Developmental Changes

Parents often wonder why their baby who used to sleep peacefully through the night is now suddenly fighting sleep. One of the reasons for this could be due to developmental changes that babies go through. These changes can have an impact on their sleep patterns and cause them to resist sleep.

Physical Development

Physical development can have a significant impact on a baby’s sleeping habits. As babies grow and develop, they become more active and curious about their surroundings. This can make it harder for them to settle down and fall asleep. Additionally, teething and growth spurts can also cause discomfort and pain, making it difficult for babies to fall and stay asleep.

Cognitive Development

Cognitive development is another factor that can affect a baby’s sleep patterns. As babies grow and develop, they become more aware of their surroundings and start to understand cause and effect. This newfound knowledge can cause babies to want to stay awake and explore their environment rather than sleep. Additionally, separation anxiety and fear of missing out on something exciting can also cause babies to resist sleep.

Social Development

Social development can also impact a baby’s sleeping habits. As babies grow and develop, they become more attached to their caregivers and may experience separation anxiety when it’s time to sleep. Additionally, changes in their routine, such as starting daycare or having a new caregiver, can also disrupt their sleep patterns.

It’s worth mentioning that each baby is unique, and the developmental changes that impact their sleep patterns may vary. Keep in mind that these changes are a natural part of a baby’s growth and development, and they will eventually outgrow them. On the other hand, it’s essential to establish a consistent bedtime routine and sleep environment to help babies adjust to these changes.

Environmental Factors

When it comes to babies and sleep disturbances, environmental factors can play a significant role. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Temperature: A baby’s sleep environment should be neither too hot nor too cold. The ideal temperature for a baby’s room is between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. An overheated room can lead to discomfort and restlessness, while a too-cold room can lead to shivers and wakefulness.
  • Noise: Babies are sensitive to noise, and sudden or loud noises can startle them awake. While it’s not necessary to keep the house completely silent, it’s worth mentioning that creating a quiet and calm sleep environment can help your baby to sleep more soundly. Consider using white noise machines or soundproofing your baby’s room if noise is an issue.
  • Lighting: Light can also play a role in your baby’s sleep patterns. Exposing your baby to bright light during the day and dimming the lights in the evening can help to regulate their circadian rhythm. Keep in mind that some babies may be more sensitive to light than others, so it’s worth experimenting with lighting to see what works best for your little one.
  • Bedding: The type of bedding your baby is using can also impact their sleep. Make sure your baby’s bedding is comfortable and appropriate for their age. For example, it’s recommended that babies under 12 months not use a pillow or loose blankets in their crib, as they can increase the risk of suffocation. Consider using a wearable blanket or sleep sack instead.

By paying attention to these environmental factors, you can create a sleep-friendly environment for your baby that will help them sleep better and longer.

Sleep Associations

When a baby who has previously been sleeping well suddenly starts fighting sleep, there can be a number of reasons for the change in behavior. One common cause is sleep associations, which are the things that a baby associates with being able to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Pacifiers: One sleep association that many babies develop is the use of a pacifier. While pacifiers can be helpful in soothing a fussy baby, they can also become a crutch that a baby relies on to fall asleep. If the pacifier falls out of the baby’s mouth during the night, they may wake up and cry until it is replaced.

Feeding: Another common sleep association is feeding. Many babies associate being fed with falling asleep, and may become used to being fed every time they wake up during the night. This can lead to frequent night waking and difficulty falling back asleep without being fed.

Rocking or Swinging: Some babies may also become accustomed to being rocked or swung to sleep. While this can be a soothing way to help a baby fall asleep, it can also lead to difficulty falling back asleep if the baby wakes up in the middle of the night and is no longer being rocked or swung.

Sleeping Arrangements: Finally, a baby’s sleeping arrangements can also become a sleep association. If a baby is used to sleeping in a certain location, such as in their parents’ bed or in a swing, they may have difficulty falling asleep in a different location.

It is worth mentioning that while sleep associations can be helpful in getting a baby to sleep, they can also become problematic if the baby becomes reliant on them. Keep in mind that it is normal for babies to wake up during the night, but they should be able to fall back asleep without needing to rely on a sleep association. Unfortunately, if a baby becomes too reliant on a sleep association, it can lead to frequent night waking and difficulty falling back asleep.

Remember that every baby is different, and what works for one baby may not work for another. On the other hand, there are some general tips that can be helpful in breaking sleep associations and helping a baby learn to fall asleep on their own. These tips can include gradually reducing the use of a pacifier, slowly weaning a baby off nighttime feedings, and gradually transitioning a baby to sleeping in their own crib or bed.

Tip Description
Avoid Overfeeding Overfeeding can lead to discomfort and make it difficult for a baby to fall asleep.
Establish a Bedtime Routine A consistent bedtime routine can help signal to a baby that it is time to sleep.
Use White Noise White noise can be helpful in drowning out other sounds and creating a soothing environment for sleep.
Keep the Room Dark and Quiet A dark and quiet room can help create a calm environment for sleep.

It is important to be patient when trying to break sleep associations, as it can take time for a baby to adjust to a new routine. If a baby continues to have difficulty falling and staying asleep, it may be helpful to consult with a pediatrician or a sleep specialist.

For more information on sleep associations and tips for helping your baby sleep, visit

Sleep Disorders

It is worth mentioning that sleep disorders are a common cause of babies fighting sleep all of a sudden. These disorders can be caused by a variety of factors, including medical conditions and environmental factors.

Apnea: Apnea is a condition in which a baby’s breathing stops for a short period of time during sleep. This can cause the baby to wake up frequently and experience difficulty falling back asleep.

Reflux: Reflux is a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. This can cause discomfort and pain, making it difficult for babies to fall and stay asleep.

Colic: Colic is a condition characterized by excessive crying and fussiness in babies. It often occurs in the late afternoon or evening and can make it difficult for babies to fall asleep.

Ear Infections: Ear infections can cause pain and discomfort in babies, making it difficult for them to fall and stay asleep.

It is important to note that if a baby’s sleep problems are caused by a medical condition, it is important to seek medical attention. On the other hand, if the sleep issues are caused by environmental factors, there are steps that can be taken to improve the baby’s sleep.

Sleep Training Techniques

When a baby starts fighting sleep, it can be a stressful and tiring experience for the parents. Fortunately, there are several sleep training techniques that can help both the baby and the parents get the rest they need.

  • Gradual Extinction: This technique involves leaving the baby to cry for gradually increasing periods of time before going in to comfort them. The idea is to teach the baby how to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own.
  • Fading: This technique involves slowly reducing the amount of parental intervention during the baby’s bedtime routine. Over time, the baby learns to fall asleep without needing as much help from the parents.
  • Pick-up-Put-Down: This technique involves picking up the baby when they cry and putting them back down when they’re calm. The goal is to teach the baby that they can fall asleep on their own without needing to be held.
  • Bedtime Routine: Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can also help the baby learn when it’s time to sleep. This routine can include activities like a bath, reading a story, and singing a lullaby.

It is worth mentioning that each baby is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Additionally, sleep training can take time and patience, so it’s important to stick with a technique for a few weeks before deciding if it’s not working.

Another important aspect of sleep training is to ensure that the baby is getting enough sleep overall. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, newborns need 14-17 hours of sleep per day, infants need 12-16 hours of sleep per day, and toddlers need 11-14 hours of sleep per day. Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines, and some babies may need more or less sleep.

Technique Pros Cons
Gradual Extinction Can be effective for teaching the baby how to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own. Can be difficult for parents to listen to the baby cry for extended periods of time.
Fading Allows the baby to gradually learn how to fall asleep on their own without needing as much parental intervention. May take longer to see results compared to other techniques.
Pick-up-Put-Down Can be effective for teaching the baby that they can fall asleep on their own without needing to be held. Can be physically tiring for the parents to pick up and put down the baby multiple times.

Remember, it’s important to consult with a pediatrician before starting any sleep training techniques. Additionally, it’s important to approach sleep training with a positive and patient mindset, as it can be a challenging process for both the baby and the parents.

For more information on baby sleep and sleep training, The American Academy of Pediatrics is a great resource.


We hope this article has helped you identify the reasons why your baby is fighting sleep and given you some practical solutions to help them sleep better.

Remember, every baby is different, and it may take some trial and error to find what works best for your little one.

Be patient, consistent, and don’t forget to take care of yourself too. A well-rested parent is better equipped to handle the challenges of parenthood.

Good luck, and sweet dreams to you and your little one!

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