Why do babies fight sleep?

+49 votes
asked Feb 10, 2015 in Pregnancy & Parenting by Rachelle (930 points)
As a new parent with zero experience raising babies, one of the most perplexing questions is why babies fight sleep. You know for a fact that your baby is tired and yet they are doing whatever they can to keep their eyes open. So what is the reason so babies fight so hard to stay awake?

2 Answers

+16 votes
answered Feb 15, 2015 by Rahsan (710 points)
edited Jul 28, 2015 by Tina.G
Having a baby is a lot like playing a game of chance. Hour to hour you never know what you’re going to get. They are crying one minute and cooing the next. You would think that when a baby gets tired they would simply sleep. However, that never seems to be the case and most often babies fight sleep.

From a parenting perspective this is one of the most difficult things to do with. A baby will stay up and cry for hours upon hours for no other reason other than they need to go to sleep. They will go from being almost asleep to wide awake a few seconds later, almost as though they don’t want to miss something. Did you know that babies have six different states that they move in and out of? From crying, irritable, alert, drowsy, active sleep, to quiet sleep, a baby never really knows what state they will be in next. As they get older, fighting sleep doesn’t become as much of an issue because they learn to control these type of functions.
+1 vote
answered Feb 17, 2015 by Kimberley (1,180 points)
edited Aug 23, 2015 by Kris
So why do babies fight sleep? As a new parent, one of the most frustrating things that you will encounter is your baby fighting sleep for hours upon hours. You know that they are tired because all of the signs are there; yawning, rubbing their eyes, crying. So why is your baby fighting sleep? The answer is actually a bit easier to understand than you may think. When you were carrying your baby, they were used to following whatever schedule you were following. If you were up for long hours, more than likely your baby was too. If you worked a night shift, your baby has gotten used to being up at night instead of during the day time. With the confusion in their schedule, a baby will have trouble adjusting when they are first born to a routine.

Don’t fret! This doesn’t last forever and as your baby gets older, they will eventually learn to regulate their sleep patters and not fight so hard to stay away even when they are extremely tired. During infancy you will notice your baby fighting sleep, but as they age this won’t be so difficult for either of you.
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