Baby Fighting Sleep: Why They Do That All The Time

A sleeping baby is angelic to look at, but rocking your kid to sleep will take you a hell of a time. Face it. Sleep is the most important thing a baby needs next to food. However, parents often wrestle with their little one so that they can send him off to dreamland. It’s really exhausting to have a baby fighting sleep all the time. Why do they do that?

Isn’t it ironic that when everybody is young, they all wanted to stay awake and play? Trust us, when you reach older, you will totally ask for more time to sleep. Babies, being babies, won’t get that, until they grow older. Funny, but, true. This article will show you a baby’s sleep cycle, the problems your child encounter, and how to solve them.


How Long And How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Need?


To understand your child’s sleeping patterns, know the basics of how much and how long do babies sleep in a day depending on their growth and developmental stage. Each kid’s sleeping clock is different, but here are the necessities of your child’s snooze time.

Birth To Two Months

Infants take about as much as 14 hours to sleep to 20 hours. Your newborn often falls into a nap between four to eight times per day with a duration that ranges from 15 minutes to four hours. At night, your little peanut takes a nap around 10 to 14 hours and wakes up now and then to chug your milk.

Three To Six Months

Your baby will have fewer nap times, bringing down to about half when he was an infant. They take catnaps about three to four times which last to a maximum of two hours. His sleeping time will be much lesser though – kids at this stage snoozes at nine to 12 hours a day. All in all, children at this age sleep for 11 to 15 hours per day.

Six To 12 Months

The little munchkin is having his hour and a half nap twice to thrice a day, while still needing a deep sleep of nine to 12 hours. A total of yet another 12 to 14 hours a day in Slumberland will get him good blinks after he wakes up. Don’t get surprised to see your baby fighting sleep at this early stage of his life.

One To Three Years Old

Your child starts sleeping within 10 to 14 hours per day while taking naps of an hour or two at some points in the afternoon. Children at this are little explorers themselves and would rather play all day than being tucked in their beds.

​If you think your child doesn’t go to sleep beyond the required amount of blink per night, don’t see this as an act of his young, rebellious ways. A baby fighting sleep encompasses not only those children who want to stay up late because of their imaginations and curiosities but those, too, who have trouble finding a good sleep because of some issues like overheat and overtiredness.

Below, you’ll find the many reasons why a child has difficulty in being asleep.

Reasons Why Babies Fight Sleep


Ever wonder why do babies fight sleep most of the time when a parent tries tucking him in bed? You’re not alone. The explanation for your child’s restlessness is certainly quite uncanny, but science can claim those reasons. Here’s why babies fight sleep:

Babies are super tired

This is the most common cause for a child to fight sleep. Usually, when we are exhausted, we go to bed directly. However, it proved to be the opposite for children. If babies get tired, they put up a tantrum, get angry and bawl out all night. Now that they’ve become too hyper, it causes the baby fighting sleep by delaying his bedtime.

The child wants to play


The baby fights sleep when he’s tired, and he also does that when he’s not tired at all. Funny. Typically, children wanted to explore more of their surroundings. They want to play, discover and feel all the enjoyment his home can give to. His over simulation will make him fight sleep because “there’s too much to learn.”

Your kid takes milk snacks rather than full feedings

You know what they say when a person eats fully, they become sleepy. The same is with your child. Most mothers feed their child before bedtime to encourage sleep. However, by doing so, the baby will not be able to drink his milk fully because he will become tired and likely drop his bottle. However, because he didn’t finish drinking his milk, he would wake up again and ask for it.

Automatic jerky movements

All babies have those startle reflex where they fidget and jerk themselves up. This will continue until they’re five months of age. So, sometimes, children hit themselves and would wake up from their own nuisances.

Babies have separation anxiety

Common at the age of six to 12 months, you’ll see your baby fighting sleep because he doesn’t feel secure or safe enough. He would cry and fidget until he gets to sleep with you. That’s why most parents wanted to room share or use a co-sleeper so that their child can snuggly sleep himself all night long.

Ever experienced any of the above? That’s okay. It’s pretty typical for parents to see why their child doesn’t want to go to sleep. But mostly, it is often the parents’ unconscious doing that led their children not to sleep. Try observing how you handle your child, and try these tips to see change.

Tips To Have Your Child Sleep Well


It’s entirely understandable why do babies fight sleep night after night. If you find it difficult to have your child get the sleep he needs, we’ve listed some ways on how you can encourage your child to doze off and improve his sleeping habits.

  • Watch out for the “sleep window.” A sleep window is when you get a glimpse of a baby in need of sleep! This can be in the form of a yawn or an eye rub. When you see your child like this, don’t engage in any strenuous activity that may overtire him. He’ll get cranky later on!
  • Overstimulated baby? Try looking for alternative activities like watching people pass by, listening to music, or play some handy toy like a rattle. The key is to keep your baby’s attention to one thing
  • Know the activity pattern of “eat, play, and sleep.” When your child is awake from his sleep, feed him, rest, then play, until he becomes sleepy. Repeat. It’s best to feed a baby after he has woken up rather than before going to sleep because he’ll have the energy to finish a full feeding
  • If your child’s jerky movements bother his sleep, you can try swaddling him until he’s in his fourth month. You can discontinue that so he can move his arms and exert control over his limbs and muscles
  • If your child has separation anxiety, you can try room sharing or co-sleeping with him. Gradually train your child to get used to his own bed
  • Try nursing your child in a quiet environment, or somewhere dim bit with low noises.

The tips above will get you started on encouraging your child to sleep well. Sometimes, parents even consider on visiting a doctor to help them with their baby’s sleep.

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A Sleepy Baby Is A Happy Mommy

Getting your child to sleep is the most joyful thing mothers or both parents see in their lives! A baby fighting sleep is a normal part of a kid’s life. But parents and children alike should be trained about the proper sleep time and how to prepare for it. That way, both parties can have good night’s sleep.

What about you? How did you get your little one to bed?

Sarah Clark

Hi, I'm Sarah Clark. I like to write about mommies and their babies. Sometimes, even if I don’t, I like to hear stories from other mothers. I may not be an expert mommy by any means, but I am happy to share what works for mothers out there. I, for once, would like to build a community for mothers. And that's here in Giant Mommy.

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