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Baby Can’t Sleep: Reasons Why Your Baby Keeps Crying at Bedtime

Baby Can’t Sleep Keeps Crying


Watching your baby struggle to fall asleep can be a challenging and exhausting experience for both parents and the baby. Many parents find themselves wondering, “Why can’t my baby sleep? Why does my baby keep crying at bedtime?” In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind a baby’s difficulty in sleeping and provide helpful tips to soothe and support your little one’s bedtime routine.

Understanding the Challenges

Developmental Milestones

Babies go through various developmental milestones, such as rolling over, crawling, or teething, which can disrupt their sleep patterns. These milestones can cause discomfort, restlessness, and even pain, leading to increased fussiness and difficulty falling asleep.

Hunger and Discomfort

Hunger and discomfort are common reasons why babies struggle to sleep peacefully. It’s important to ensure that your baby’s basic needs are met before bedtime, including a full tummy, a clean diaper, and a comfortable sleep environment.

Sleep Associations

Sleep associations are objects or actions that babies associate with falling asleep, such as rocking, pacifiers, or being held. When babies wake up during the night, they may cry because they haven’t learned how to fall back asleep without these sleep associations.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a normal phase of development that typically occurs around 8 to 12 months of age. During this stage, babies become more aware of their surroundings and develop a strong attachment to their caregivers. When separated from their parents or primary caregivers, they may become anxious and cry, making it challenging for them to fall asleep.

Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Better

Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine

A consistent bedtime routine is key to helping your baby relax and prepare for sleep. Establish a soothing routine that includes activities like a warm bath, gentle massage, bedtime story, or lullaby. Consistency and predictability will signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.

Create a Calm and Comfortable Sleep Environment

Ensure that your baby’s sleep environment is conducive to a good night’s rest. Keep the room dimly lit, maintain a comfortable temperature, and use white noise or soft music to create a soothing atmosphere. Consider using a swaddle or sleep sack to provide a sense of security and warmth.

Encourage Self-Soothing Techniques

Teaching your baby to self-soothe is an important skill for promoting better sleep. Gradually introduce self-soothing techniques, such as placing your baby in the crib while drowsy but still awake. This allows them to learn how to fall asleep independently without relying on external sleep associations.

Offer Comfort and Reassurance

When your baby wakes up crying, provide comfort and reassurance without immediately picking them up or offering a feed. Try gentle patting, shushing sounds, or placing a hand on their back to let them know you’re there. Gradually increase the time between comforting interventions to encourage self-soothing.

Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule helps regulate your baby’s internal clock and promotes better sleep. Aim for regular nap times and a consistent bedtime, even on weekends. This will help establish a sleep routine and improve your baby’s overall sleep quality.


  1. Q: Why does my baby cry when it’s time to sleep? A: Babies may cry at bedtime due to developmental milestones, hunger, discomfort, sleep associations, or separation anxiety.
  2. Q: Howcan I soothe my baby when they can’t sleep? A: You can soothe your baby by establishing a consistent bedtime routine, creating a calm sleep environment, encouraging self-soothing techniques, and offering comfort and reassurance when needed.
  3. Q: Should I let my baby cry it out to sleep? A: The “cry it out” method is a personal decision for parents. It’s important to consider your baby’s age, temperament, and individual needs. There are alternative sleep training methods that involve gradual withdrawal or responsive comforting if the cry it out method doesn’t align with your parenting style.
  4. Q: How long does it take for a baby to learn to self-soothe? A: Every baby is different, and the time it takes for a baby to learn to self-soothe can vary. It’s a gradual process that may take several weeks or even months of consistent practice and patience.
  5. Q: When should I seek professional help for my baby’s sleep troubles? A: If your baby’s sleep difficulties persist despite your best efforts, it’s a good idea to consult with your pediatrician or a pediatric sleep specialist. They can provide guidance, assess any underlying issues, and offer tailored strategies to help your baby sleep better.


When your baby can’t sleep and keeps crying at bedtime, it can be overwhelming. However, by understanding the challenges they face, establishing a consistent bedtime routine, creating a soothing sleep environment, and supporting their self-soothing abilities, you can help your baby develop healthier sleep habits. Remember, each baby is unique, so it may take time and experimentation to find what works best for your little one. With patience, love, and consistency, you can help your baby sleep better, bringing peace and rest to the entire family.

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