Babies who have difficulty sleeping and crying are always a matter of parents’ concerns. The poor quality of sleep will adversely affect the child’s development, especially in the early stages of life. So what are the reasons why babies have difficulty sleeping and fussy? Mother and doctor find out right away.
1. The importance of sleep for a newborn
Sleep plays a very important role not only for babies but for all of us in general. Time for brain development is when the body falls asleep. Growth in a newborn is carried out while sleeping through growth hormones.
During the first 3 years of life, up to 80% of brain cells are produced. The production of these cells is closely related to a child’s sleep quality and length of sleep. Not only helps children develop physically, sleep also plays a role in intellectual development, because the information they receive during the day will be processed by the brain during sleep.
Sleep is so important, but not all babies get a good night’s sleep from birth. Many children encounter sleep disorders such as difficulty sleeping, sleep not deeply, or crying, easily startled, … This situation will gradually decrease learning capacity, memory loss, even is leading to emotional disorders, behavioral disorders when children grow up.
Therefore, except for force majeure cases, parents should create all conditions for children to always get enough sleep and have good sleep. On the advice of experts, babies should sleep 18-20 hours on average per day. Each child will have a different time of sleep, can be from 30 – 180 minutes or up to 5 – 10 hours.
2. What are the reasons that babies have difficulty sleeping?
Sleep disorders in a newborn can have a variety of causes, such as physiological causes, medical causes, or related causes.
2.1. Physiological causes
The human sleep is divided into two phases, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and Non-REM (Non Rapid Eye Movement). Normally in adults, 75% of sleep time is Non-REM and the remaining 25% is REM sleep. Meanwhile, in young children, the REM stage accounts for 50% of the sleep time.
In the REM stage, the child’s breathing and heart rate are usually faster because the brain and respiratory organs are now more active even though the baby is sleeping. Therefore, babies often have difficulty sleeping and are very startled, awake when influenced by outside.
Infants have trouble sleeping sometimes because they are too full or not full enough. As children get older, daytime activity increases because they can crawl, walk, … also make it difficult for them to fall asleep.
2.2. Pathological cause
A baby that has trouble sleeping can be a sign of a number of conditions, such as:
Lack of calcium, rickets
This is considered one of the leading reasons why babies have trouble sleeping. The lack of micronutrients such as zinc, magnesium or iron causes children to experience sleep disorders. In particular, the restless leg syndrome is often found in children with iron deficiency, making them tired and often sleeping during the day, making it difficult to sleep deeply at night.
Respiratory tract or nasopharyngeal infections
Tonsillitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, rhinitis, pneumonia, … Children with one of these diseases often have difficulty opening and must breathe through their mouth, snoring makes it difficult for them to sleep.
Children’s sleep can be affected by medical conditions such as otitis media, gastroesophageal reflux disease or mental illness, …
It is characteristic of this condition that children often have nightmares and may wake up, walk, and talk while still sleeping. This type of sleep disorder makes children cranky, fussy and sleepless.
The airway muscle group in these children is often enlarged, making it difficult for the child to breathe or swallow. Therefore, children often have to breathe through their mouth so it is very difficult to fall asleep.
2.3. The reason is related to the living regime
In addition to the two groups of reasons mentioned above, inadequate living regimes can also make it difficult for babies to sleep or cry, especially at night.
Babies are used to being held by their parents while sleeping. Therefore, if there is no support device such as a crib or if not carried, the baby will not be able to sleep.
– The child’s sleep time is not reasonable during the day, if the child’s sleep is too long, it will make it difficult for babies to sleep at night.
– Baby’s bedroom is too noisy or too bright is also the reason why babies have difficulty sleeping and wake up easily.
– Due to unsanitary sanitary conditions such as wet diapers, bedding, and unclean clothes, children feel uncomfortable and itchy.
3. How to overcome the problem of a newborn having difficulty sleeping?
To overcome the difficulty of sleeping in a newborn, parents can refer to the following ways:
– Form a reasonable circadian rhythm for children by maintaining regular sleeping and waking times every day.
– Practice good habits before going to bed, such as clean personal hygiene, and wear loose, cool clothes.