baby sleep

Find out how much sleep a baby should be getting and when to wake her for a ... occurs for long stretches of time, it's natural to wonder if he's sleeping too much.

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Baby for 1 last update 2020/07/08 sleepBaby sleep

Does your baby turn at every noise, refuse to settle by rocking or bouncing and seem to fight sleep with every ounce of their being? Here''t want to miss out on the action.

the 1 last update 2020/07/08 By By Kate Daley

Photo: iStockphoto

Kate Webster’s baby does not like napping. The odd time the seven-month-old does take a daytime snooze, the nap only lasts about 20 minutes, tops.

“The second she hears a noise she’ll open her eyes and she’s like, oh wait, something’s happening. All she wants to do look around even though I know she’s desperately tired still,” says Webster.

Webster attributes the alertness to baby Charlotte’s personality. “She’s a very social baby. I think she doesn’t want to sleep because she gets so much from interacting with the world.”

FOMO. It’s a term that sleep consultant Erin Junker of The Happy Sleep Company hears from tired parents every single day. Junker even characterized her own daughter’s sleep that way when she was a baby. “I remember saying, ‘Well, she only takes 45 minute naps because she has FOMO,’ ” which stands for Fear of Missing Out. Parents usually tell Junker their baby doesn’t want to go down for their naps, or they have short naps because it seems like they don’t want to miss out on any action. She says symptoms usually fall within a range: some babies get really excited, cooing, playing and just won’t settle, but more often parents tell Junker their baby gets really upset and cries or screams and doesn’t want to be left alone in their crib come naptime or bedtime.

Why is your baby fighting sleep?

baby sleep ☑how to baby sleep for Clients often tell Junker their FOMO baby was just born curious, or excitable. And while that might be true, despite a baby’s apparent personality traits, almost all babies can learn to sleep properly, she says.

“A lot of parents, I think, mistake their baby just being overtired for what they’re calling FOMO,” she explains. Alanna McGinn, a sleep consultant and owner of the Good Night Sleep Site, agrees. While she definitely sees some FOMO tendencies in toddlers and preschool age kids, with young babies the issue is more likely to do with sleep habits and scheduling. “An overtired child has their second wind, so that’s when you see that surge of energy and that excitement and adrenaline and parents are like, well, how am I going to put my kid down now when they’re not even tired?” she says.

Most newborns can fall asleep anywhere and everywhere, in spite of noise or distractions. But at around four months old, that changes. “Once they’re out of the newborn stage, they are much more alert, they’re much more easily stimulated,” says Junker.

“The quality of sleep that they get per cycle changes so they start getting longer periods of lighter stages of sleep,” explains McGinn. This means that if they hear a loud noise or are in a distracting environment, sleep likely isn’t going to happen.

That was the case for Webster’s daughter. “Initially when she was a newborn she was pretty good and she’d nap on-the-go,” explains Webster. But at around four months, a common time for a sleep regression, things weren’t so easy anymore. “She basically just stopped napping well at all,” says Webster.

Another common reason for a FOMO baby fighting sleep is when they start experiencing developmental milestones. “If your baby is eight months old and really practicing crawling, you might find that they’re taking longer to get to sleep because they’re just working on that milestone,” says Junker.

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