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Why Do Babies Cry In Their Sleep? Important Facts That Will Tell You What’s Going On

Tired of having to deal with your baby’s constant crying at night?

A lot of us parents personally take care of our own child. Before bedtime, our little ones get washed, clothed, fed, and burped. In most cases, this allows our babies to have a long, quiet, and comfortable sleep.

Unfortunately, there are babies who instead of sleeping soundly, will fuss and cry a lot at night. What’s more, it is not just happening once or twice. It is actually happening more than once per night, and it is happening almost every night. Understandably, this scenario can be very alarming for us parents.

So, Why Do Babies Cry In Their Sleep?



Babies Cry At Night Because They Need Something

Parents need to understand that when babies are hungry, when their diapers need to be changed, and when they need to be held, the only way for them to let you know all about it is through their crying. There are times when it can be very easy for parents to find out why their little ones are crying.

Unfortunately, there are also times when babies cry for no apparent reason, or they cry just because they want to. Sometimes the reason behind their crying is not so obvious. They might not be feeling well, insects might have bitten them somewhere, or maybe they just want your attention.

Crying is a form of communication for babies. And it is up to us parents to identify what they need or want from us. Although there probably is no reason for us to get stressed, we still have to check our babies whenever they cry just to make sure that our babies are indeed alright.

If your baby does continue to cry at night, experts suggest that you take your baby to the doctor. This will allow you to know if your baby is going through an infection or if he or she is going through medical or developmental problems.

Newborn baby crying on the bed

If the doctor says that your baby is fine, yet your child still continues to cry at night, it might be best for you to teach your child how to self-soothe. You can also give your child an extra feeding if necessary, and you can also let your child cry it out as this will actually help your baby learn how to sleep better.

Parents should also know that night-waking, or crying at night can actually be beneficial for the health and development of babies. This is because instead of going into long hours of deep sleep, they can now as their parents through crying, to have their basic needs fulfilled at the right intervals during the night.


Understanding The Baby’s Sleeping Patterns

Why do babies cry in their sleep? It can be because parents fail to understand their baby’s sleep patterns. Babies have shorter sleep cycles, and parents who do not know this will often fail to develop a working nighttime strategy that will help their babies sleep soundly during bedtime.

Smiling baby  on a bed sleeping

Many parents wonder why after spending a lot of time rocking or nursing their babies, their little ones close their eyes as if they are already deep in sleep only to cry out and be wide awake just when they are about to put them on the crib. This is actually because their babies aren’t fully asleep yet.

If your baby is still breathing irregularly, if his or her eyelids are still fluttering, and if the baby is giving you sleep grins, chances are, your little one is still in the state of light sleep. And of course, while your baby is still in this state, any external, uncomfortable stimuli will make the baby cry.

mother and her baby sleeping in bed

Since babies have shorter sleep cycles, our little ones have to be parented to sleep and not just put to sleep each night. This means that parents have to nurse and rock their babies until they reach the state of deep sleep.

Deep sleep in babies are characterized by regular breathing, the lack of eye fluttering, and the “limp limb”. Though some experts recommend that you hold your baby until he or she reaches deep sleep. Some say that you should train your child to have both light and deep sleep cycles in the crib.


Finding Out If Your Child Is A Night signaler Or A Night Crier

Why do babies cry in their sleep? It can also be because they have been unknowingly trained to cry and look for attention, or because they have trouble sleeping.

parents sleepless nights

Night criers are babies that cry a lot during the night even when most babies their age have already stopped doing so. Night criers are babies that look for attention and will only go back to sleep as soon as they are rocked, nursed, or held.

Night criers are not able to sleep back on their own if they get disturbed by dreams or by any stimuli. This may be because they are used to having their parents help them sleep. Babies who fall asleep away from the crib, or those who know that they can get attention from crying can become night criers.

Although it typically manifests as nighttime crying, night signalers on the other hand, are actually children who have sleeping problems. Unlike night signalers, most babies who are three months old are able to sleep for longer hours at night and they can easily fall back to sleep on their own.

The reason behind this is not currently known, but according to experts, night signalers do not develop any health or developmental problems. As a matter of fact, aside from their constant nighttime crying, they are able to grow and develop normally.

little baby crying on bed

Experts also say that babies who are breastfed can continue signaling until an older age than those who are given formula milk possibly because breast milk is much easier to digest, making it easier for the baby to go hungry.

Evidence also suggests that the parent’s methods when it comes to their baby’s sleeping will affect whether or not their baby will turn into a night signaler.


Conclusion

Under normal circumstances, your baby will cry at night during the first four months because his or her brain and neurological systems are still developing. This may be what is causing your child to go through phases of semi-consciousness at night.

It may also be because your child has basic needs that you have to meet. As soon as the baby reaches 4 months, he or she may go through crying sleep because of external stimuli caused by an erupting tooth, colds, or because he or she is “practicing” his or her developmental milestones during sleep.

​Another way for us parents to help our babies sleep soundly at is to resist the urge to cuddle or snuggle each time the baby cries at night. You can check on the baby if he or she cries, but you should avoid turning on the lights. You can only touch your baby once on the tummy before leaving the room.

Although this will require a lot of patience from us parents, over time, this will help train your baby sleep better and longer at night. Just make sure that you are feeding your baby correctly, and that your baby does not have any underlying medical conditions before you teach your baby how to self soothe.


Does your child constantly cry at night? Let us know about your questions, your experience or about how you were able to overcome this problem at the comments section below!

Sandra Azar
 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Jessica Marques - September 18, 2016

Newborns cry during their sleep due to tummy related issues (most of them) and the best home remedy to soothe them is Babies magic tea. I have been giving the tea to my little one twice in the night who used to cry all over the night but now he’s STTN.

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Jessica Marques - September 28, 2016

It’s very common in newborns and infants that they get caught by tummy related issues like gas, reflux and colic and they won’t sleep properly and often cry during their sleep. I am a mom of three kids and they all suffered from these issues less or more, but with my second baby, I found a great remedy which was really good. It was Babies magic tea, a natural herbal tea blend without preservatives, sugar and caffeine.

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