Newborn Fighting Sleep: Reasons and What to Do

There are many reasons why newborn fighting sleep. The solution to that problem depends on what causes your newborn to fight sleep in the first place. Here, we discuss the possible reasons and what you can do to put your newborn to sleep.

Do you find that your newborn is fighting sleep, even after a full night’s rest? 

Many parents are surprised to see their new baby fight sleep so much. When you have struggled with sleepless nights for months, it can be hard to understand why the baby who once slept through the night seems to have suddenly started waking frequently.

One of the top reasons new babies fight sleep is because they are hungry. 

If your baby seems to be hungry all the time, there’s a good chance that you’re not producing enough milk and it would be beneficial for you to speak with a lactation consultant about increasing your milk production. 

Another reason babies might start waking up is because of gastrointestinal discomfort. 

If your baby isn’t sleeping well, one of the first things to try is eliminating foods that could be upsetting your baby’s stomach.

Whether it’s hunger or gas pain, newborns often can’t communicate what they’re experiencing and end up crying instead. 

There are plenty of methods for soothing your fussy baby, but you’ll likely find that the most effective solution is to pick him or her up and hold or wear them. 

Some parents don’t like wearing their children because they feel it hinders their ability to do things around the house.

Is It Normal if Your Newborn Does Not Want to Sleep?

It’s normal for newborns not to want to sleep. The world around them is so new and exciting. 

Your baby may be trying to take in everything their senses come into contact with. 

Since they can’t communicate, all you can do is try and help ease your baby’s discomfort if possible, and let their bodywork on regulating itself naturally.

Read Also: Baby Arching Back and Crying

Newborns will typically sleep for about four hours at a time. You need to make sure you feed your baby before they go to bed, and then again if they wake back up during the night. 

This is important because newborns eat frequently at first and their stomach can’t hold much in it at any one time. 

If you have a newborn who is fighting sleep, their body may be going through some changes. If you have questions about your baby’s schedule, talk to the pediatrician as soon as possible.

Reasons Why Your Baby Fight Sleep

why is newborn fighting sleep
newborn fighting sleep during day

Sleepless nights as a new parent can be exhausting. Newborns need a lot of sleep, and it’s common for them to fight sleep because of one or a combination of these reasons:

#1) Hunger

In most cases, a baby who is fighting sleep will settle down as soon as they are fed or have something to soothe their stomach. 

You should also be sure that your baby’s room is comfortable for them.

#2) Gastrointestinal discomfort

If your baby is having issues with gas, you can try using a warm compress on their belly. 

You could also change the position of your baby’s body slightly, which may help to ease some discomfort.

#3) Too much excitement!

Sometimes babies fight sleep because they are overstimulated and there’s too much going on for them to rest. 

If this is the case, try to help your baby relax by putting them in a dark room with no noise. 

The womb will feel like a safe place for them and you should see that they start to calm down.

#4) Environmental factors

Be sure to keep the temperature at a level that wouldn’t make you uncomfortable, and make sure there is nothing in the room that could startle them. 

Of course, all babies are different and some will not settle down as easily as others.

#5) Newborn temperament

Whatever the cause, newborns have difficulty communicating what they’re feeling. Parents often report that their children are crying because they’re hungry when it’s really something else. 

Sometimes, babies may not even be able to tell you what they’re feeling. It’s important that you try to work with your child’s body to regulate itself naturally, only checking in if it is absolutely necessary.

#5) Something’s wrong

If your baby is fighting sleep more than usual, it could be because there’s something wrong. Always talk to a doctor if your baby is having trouble sleeping through the night.

What You Can Do to Overcome Newborn Fighting Sleep

If possible, go through each of these reasons one by one to see if there might be an underlying cause for the sleep disturbance. 

You can also talk with your doctor if it has been longer than four hours since the last feeding.

It’s likely that you’ll be able to figure out what is causing your newborn to fight sleep. If there are still unanswered questions, checking in with your pediatrician about how to proceed would be beneficial. 

Many parents find that their babies will start sleeping better after they’ve adjusted to life outside of the womb.

If you have trouble getting your baby to sleep, try swaddling them or using a white noise machine so that excessive stimuli are reduced. 

You can also use a pacifier for more help soothing your little one while they’re trying to get some shut-eye. 

When it comes to fighting sleep, sometimes finding out what works for your baby takes a little time and experimentation, but eventually you’ll find what is going to work best.

The method you use to help your baby get back to sleep will depend on why they’re up in the first place. 

If they are hungry, feed them or give them something that will help their stomach calm down. Try swaddling your baby securely and putting them in a comfortable position. 

If your baby’s room is too bright, darken it to help with relaxation.

What to Do When Your Newborn Fights Sleeping

newborn fighting sleep for hours
newborn fighting sleep for hours

You’re probably pretty familiar with the old adage “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” It isn’t always that easy, especially if your baby is fighting sleep or there’s a problem to be addressed. When it comes to newborns, here are some suggestions on how you can help them rest:

#1) Be patient

Newborns have a lot to adjust to so you can’t expect them to sleep for eight hours right away. 

It’s perfectly normal for newborns to sleep in spurts several times throughout the day and night. 

It can take time before they’re fully adjusted and able to rest as much as they need, but as long as your baby is still getting enough to eat then they are probably fine.

#2) Make your baby comfortable

When you’re trying to help a newborn get some sleep, it’s important that you make them feel as safe and secure as possible. 

This means swaddling them securely, making sure the room is at the temperature they want it to be, and finding out what will help their stomach feel more comfortable. 

If they’re having a problem with gas, try putting them over your shoulder and rubbing their back gently until you see them starting to calm down.

#3) Use a routine

Creating a regular routine for your newborn is the best way to get them used to go to sleep at certain times of the day. 

You can also try setting up a regular feeding schedule or try having them go to sleep while you put on a different type of white noise in the background, such as running water.

#4) Be consistent

If your baby isn’t sleeping because they’re accustomed to being entertained all day long, make sure to only do things with them a few times a day. 

You can even try putting them in a safe place while you take a short break so that they aren’t getting over-stimulated. 

If your baby is comfortable and knows how to relax, it will be easier for them to get the sleep they need.

#5) Use other methods

There are many other things you can try when it comes to helping your baby sleep. 

You can make sure they are in an area where the temperature is not too hot or too cold. 

Try giving them a pacifier, putting on calming music, or making sure there isn’t any light in their room that will cause them to wake up.

Newborns need a lot of sleep for proper growth and development, so it’s important to make sure they get the rest they need. 

If you’re doing all that you can and your baby is still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to check in with your pediatrician to see if there’s something else going on that needs to be addressed.


There are many ways for newborns to get extra rest. If you’re patient, make them comfortable, use a routine, be consistent with what you do, and try out other methods on the list.

It will be much easier for your baby to sleep well. 

Remember that their first few months of life are an adjustment period so even if they seem to be newborn fighting sleep, it doesn’t mean they won’t eventually get used to sleeping.

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