Why Do Babies Fight Sleep?

Why Do Babies Fight Sleep?

If you’re a new parent, you may be wondering why your baby seems to fight sleep. After all, babies can seem to go from wide awake to sound asleep in seconds. So, why do babies fight sleep? 

There are several reasons for a baby fighting sleep issues. We’ll explain each of these causes and how parents can help their little ones get the rest they need. 

The Many Reasons Why Baby Fight Sleep 

why do babies fight sleep

The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) 

Most adults are familiar with the concept of FOMO – the fear of missing out on what is going on in life. While this usually applies to adults, it can also affect infants and toddlers who don’t want to miss out on any fun or exciting experiences they may be having during the day. 

This could include playing with toys, spending time with siblings or even just being around their parents. When bedtime rolls around, FOMO kicks in and they don’t want to miss out on anything else that may happen throughout the night. This fear can lead them to resist going to sleep or waking up frequently during the night. 

Separation Anxiety 

Another common reason why babies fight sleep is separation anxiety. This is a normal development stage for all babies as they learn to adjust from being in mommy and daddy’s arms all day long to sleeping alone in their bed or crib at night. 

The sudden change can cause them to feel scared and insecure without their parent's presence which could lead them to cry more often during bedtime routines or even wake up several times throughout the night due to nightmares or fears about being alone.  

Read More: How To Clean A Baby's Ears


Overtired babies may fight sleep because their bodies simply don’t have enough energy left for sleeping. If your baby isn’t getting enough daytime naps or is missing out on nighttime sleep due to frequent waking, they may become so exhausted that they actually find it difficult to fall asleep when it’s time for rest. 

Establishing an age-appropriate schedule of naps during the day and setting consistent bedtimes at night can help ensure your little one gets enough rest throughout the day and night. 

Overstimulation & Overwhelming Sensory Input

During the day, infants are exposed to an array of different sights, sounds, smells, and textures which can cause sensory overload if they become too much for them to handle at once.

This can happen if they spend too much time indoors with no break from stimulation or if they are taken out into a busy environment such as a park or shopping center where there is lots of activity happening all around them at once.

When it comes time for bedtime, these over-stimulated senses may still be working overtime which could make it more difficult for them to fall asleep quickly as well as stay asleep throughout the night without waking up multiple times due to sensory input they cannot control yet manage independently as older children and adults do more effectively.

why do babies fight sleep


Teething can be an uncomfortable experience for any baby—and discomfort makes it tough to fall and stay asleep.

While teething may cause occasional wakefulness during the night, it usually doesn't interfere with the daytime nap routine. Signs that your baby is teething include fussiness, drooling more than usual, and gum sensitivity.

If you suspect your baby is teething, you can try giving them a cool teether or a clean washcloth to chew on for relief from discomfort. 

Read More: How Long Is Breast Milk Good For After Warming?

Hitting a Milestone

Every major milestone in a baby’s development can affect their sleep patterns in both positive and negative ways.

For example, when learning how to and roll over or crawl, many babies have difficulty settling down for naps or overnight sleep because they are too excited or engaged in mastering these new skills.

It's important that you give your baby time and space to practice new skills while still providing structure and consistency around their sleep schedule whenever possible so they can master these skills without sacrificing their overall wellness and wellbeing.  


Traveling with a baby can be an exciting adventure! However, it also disrupts regular routines including meals, naps, bedtimes—and all those disruptions can make it difficult for your little one to settle down at night (or even during the day).

If you’re traveling with children try to stick as closely as possible to your regular routine; if that's not possible due to travel times or other scheduling conflicts then build flexibility into your plans where necessary so your child has every opportunity for restful sleep throughout the trip. 

Discomfort or Illness

Discomfort from things like gas pains or congestion from allergies/colds/flu are very common culprits behind why babies fight sleep—especially overnight sleeping patterns.

If you notice any changes in your little one’s behavior like whining more than usual or appearing irritable then make sure to check with your pediatrician for ways to alleviate those discomforts so they don't interfere with good quality restful nights of sleep. 

Read More: How To Dress Baby With Fever At Night?

why do babies fight sleep

How Do I Get My Baby To Stop Fighting Sleep?

Sleep deprivation can cause irritability and difficulty settling down. There are some things you can do as a parent that will help your baby fall asleep and settle into better sleeping habits without too much effort on your part!

Creating a calming environment before bedtime is key – this includes keeping the room dark and setting up white noise machines which will help drown out any ambient noise that could wake your baby up during naps or bedtime routine!

Routines are also critical if your baby is fighting sleep – try setting up an evening routine that includes activities like bath time followed by story time before putting them down for the night so that they know what comes next after each step!

Finally, having consistent feedings throughout the day will help keep hunger pangs at bay and prevent any early waking due to hunger pains!  


It can be challenging for parents when their baby fights sleep but understanding why this occurs and taking steps towards creating a calm environment for bedtime should help set your little one up for successful nights (and days!) of restful slumber!

Establishing routines and sticking with them is key in helping babies learn how/when it is appropriate for them to fall asleep – plus this helps create consistency which is beneficial both mentally and physically for growing children who are learning about their ever-changing world around them! Good luck parents - you got this!

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