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Why Won't Your Baby Sleep During the Day?

By Bryan Berg ; Updated June 13, 2017

For many parents, the issue of sleeping through the night is a critical one. However, sleeping during the day is another important issue for many parents. Your baby may find it difficult to nap consistently during daytime hours, which can cause her to get very fussy and cause you stress.

Night vs. Day

One of your baby's first tasks is to figure out the difference between night and day. This takes a while for him to understand. It might lead to him being awake all night and sleeping all day, or vice versa. As he begins to grasp the concept of sleeping mostly at night and staying awake during the day, he may be less inclined to sleep as much during the day, even when a nap is just what he needs.

He May Be Undertired

When your baby is young, you're bound to worry if she's getting enough sleep. This may lead you to put her down when she's not tired, just to make sure she's getting her rest. Unfortunately, your baby won't sleep just because you tell her to. Instead of putting her down because it's been a certain amount of time since her last nap, look for the cues that she's tired. If she's rubbing her eyes or acting very irritable, it's time to lay her down for a nap.

She May Be Overtired

The opposite of undertired, overtiredness will result if you miss the signs that he needs sleep. She can get herself so wound up from being tired that she is unable to fall asleep. This is a big reason why it's so hard to get your baby to sleep during the day. When she gets overtired, all you can do is put him down and wait for her to fall asleep. Also, keep in mind the times when she gets overtired, and to look for signs that she's tired around these times.

Lack of Consistency

It's hard to get young babies to sleep during the day because their schedules are so inconsistent. You're pretty much at the mercy of your baby's fatigue level, so planning is virtually impossible. Give her rest when she needs rest, but be careful not to put her down for a nap too close to her bedtime. After a few months, you'll start to see when she likes to sleep and how much sleep she needs in the average day.

Because He's Self-Soothing

If your baby constantly wakes up shortly after you put him in the crib, try putting him in while he's drowsy, but still awake. By doing this, you're teaching him how to self-soothe, which can unlock the door to better sleep habits. If he wakes up while he's napping and he can settle himself down again, he'll be on his way to consistent daytime sleep, and you'll know he's getting sufficient rest.

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