Skip to main navigation Skip to content
Please enter a search term

My baby is not getting enough sleep

My baby is not getting enough sleep

I’m worried my baby is not getting enough sleep, or proper awake time. Night time sleep is going ok. Not so much in daylight hours though. We spend hours trying to go to sleep, then have to get up for the next feed without having slept at all. He doesn’t really cry when put in bed, mostly grizzles. I try patting, rocking, white noise, dim lights, wrapping. Then he gets over tired and sometimes frustrated. Help!

Over the last while we have had many parents expressing similar concerns as yours which should help put your mind at ease somewhat...establishing routines in terms of sleep, and especially with infants, is not uncommon, nor is it an exact science and as such it requires experimentation, time and patience. I realise that patience can wear thin and you can become frustrated when you yourself might be sleep deprived but hang in there, and remain calm...children have a unique capacity for sensing parental stress and becoming stressed themselves.  Moreover, if your child is sleeping well at night, then that is a good sign and if not so much during the day then it may be that your child does not need to sleep during daylight hours. Not all children are the same and as such the amount of sleep they need during the day varies. Importantly, children generally have no trouble falling asleep if they are tired regardless of time of day. It might be worthwhile just moving through the day as usual and during what used to be naptime just relax in a quiet environment with your son...if he is tired he will fall off to sleep and if not then at least you have both had some time to relax and as noted earlier if he is sleeping well through the night then he will be fine overall.

Dr Michael Nagel

Dr Michael Nagel

Associate Professor, School of Education, University of the Sunshine Coast

See more

Other questions about this topic

Learning to follow directions

I have a 3.5-year-old who won’t listen to anything. We both just end up getting upset. I'm concerned that she will face problems in preschool if she won’t start following directions.

Help! My child is biting other children

I’m so embarrassed but my child care provider called me in to say my two-year-old has been biting other children. I hate to think what the other parents must be thinking. What do I do?

4-yr-old throwing tantrums

I have a four year old daughter, and the tantrums are worse now than they were in the ‘terrible twos’. She seems to fluctuate from happiness to meltdown so quickly and sometimes it seems that no amount of effort from us helps. Is this normal? I thought she’d be growing out of this by now.

Fear of the dark

My four year old is scared of the dark and needs us to stay with him while he goes to sleep and then comes into our room (and bed) when he wakes at night. It is legitimate fear and need for comfort but on the down side noone is getting any sleep! What should we do?

4-yr-old afraid to be alone

My lil 4yr old is suddenly scared to go anywhere like his room, the toilet, the bathroom, without someone coming with him. We go every time as we think its just a phase and he will grow out of it. He isn't scared of monsters. He did say there were 7 scary men in his room making faces but that's not the case at all (wondering if it was a dream) we reassure him there isn't any scary things there, take him and tell him he is safe and we will protect him. Any advice?