My baby sleeps badly – what can I do?


Every baby has a very individual sleeping behaviour, which is determined by numerous factors, such as the room temperature and the general state of health. However, it is generally said that a baby sleeps approximately 18 hours per day during the first weeks of life. Often, however, the baby does not sleep through this, but divides these 18 hours into 4-hour periods.

How can I tell if my baby is sleeping badly?

Knowing if the baby is sleeping badly can sometimes be difficult. If the baby is extremely tired during the day and often falls asleep, it is likely that he or she did not get enough sleep at night. However, it is also normal for babies to take naps during the day.

This is where a gut feeling is needed to judge whether the baby is excessively tired or whether this tiredness is within the norm. In addition to too little sleep, too much sleep time throughout the day also leads to baby fatigue. If the baby takes too long midday naps during the day, he or she will not be tired at night and will report back.

This means that the baby is sleeping poorly because he or she has slept too much overall. Sometimes it can be helpful to keep a log of how many hours the baby sleeps in total per day. This will help you estimate how long the nap should be and how early you can wake your baby.

Often, parents interpret the baby’s increased waking up time as a sleep disorder. However, this is only partly true. It is quite normal that the baby wakes up more often at night.

Especially at an age of six months to one year it is normal that the baby wakes up more often. This is because babies become more and more active and learn and experience an enormous amount during the day. At night everything has to be processed, which can also lead to restless sleep. However, if the baby wakes up more often than average (e.g. every hour) and calls for its parents, it is possible to consider whether there is a sleep disorder and what the reason might be.

What can I do to make my baby sleep better?

If it happens that the baby sleeps badly, it is possible to intervene acutely and in the long term. – If the baby wakes up and cries, you can talk to him or her in a calming way or touch the baby gently. Often the baby falls asleep again afterwards.

  • In the long term, you should try to create a constant daily routine. Meals and sleeping times should be as regular as possible. Activities such as walking or bathing also have a calming effect if they are carried out in a recurring order.

This allows a certain rhythm to develop over time. – You should also make sure that the temperature in the baby’s room is not too high or too low. – A high noise level should also be avoided.

If there are noises during the lighter sleep phases, the baby can wake up easily and frequently. – It is also important not to let the baby sleep too long during the day so that he or she is tired in the evening. The right temperature is very important for a baby’s sleeping behaviour.

Especially because the baby is not yet able to express itself. In addition, the body of a newborn baby is not yet able to regulate the body temperature. It is said that the perfect room temperature is about 18 to 20 degrees.

When in doubt, you can feel in the baby’s neck or belly whether it is too hot or too cold. In case of overheating you can feel damp hair or general sweating. Heat spots or rapid breathing also indicate that the temperature is too high.

If the baby is too cold, you can often observe that the baby moves a lot at night. Sometimes the baby also presses itself against one side of the bed where it is warmer. If the baby is already turning on its stomach at the age of a few weeks or months, it is also likely that the temperature is too low.

The normal age for sleeping on the stomach is about 5 to 6 months. In addition, a hypothermic baby often wakes up very early in the morning and calls for its parents. It is often coldest at this time of day.

How thickly the baby is dressed depends very much on how warm it is in the room where the baby sleeps. The sleeping bag or blanket that the baby is covered with also plays an important role. Sleeping bags are often classified by manufacturers into TOG units according to their warmth effect.

If you want to be absolutely sure, you can use tables that include the room temperature and TOG strength of the sleeping bag. From these tables you can read a recommendation on how thick the baby should be dressed. In principle, it is sufficient to put on a diaper, underwear and pyjamas.

However, you can always check how warm the baby is on the baby’s stomach, neck or chest. It is generally said that it is best for a baby to be exposed to as few stimuli as possible when falling asleep. If there are too many toys hanging over the crib or it is too bright in the room, the baby tends to watch longer and not fall asleep.

For this reason, the room should be as dark as possible. At the age of babies, there is no fear of darkness, so a night light is rather unnecessary. The same principle applies to sounds as to brightness.

The less external influences disturb the baby, the better it can sleep. For this reason, the baby should also be put to sleep in a place that is as quiet as possible. However, there are also babies who can sleep well at a low noise level. Here the individual noise perception of the baby should be compared with the spatial possibilities