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Friday, August 20, 2004

Getting Used to Baby’s Inconsistent Sleep

One of the basic truths when it comes to babies is that they want to do things their way, and on their own schedule. You struggle with your baby’s sleep patterns, for example. Once you think you’ve got her figured out, she switches things all around. Often, it isn’t so much that your baby has just decided to make a change as it is the fact that there’s something else going on in your baby’s life that is causing this change.

One thing that can create inconsistent sleep for your baby is a change in his eating habits. When you introduce solid foods to his diet for the first time, for example, it will most definitely affect the way that he sleeps. The same is true if your baby happens to develop a food allergy of some sort or another; it’s just likely to mess with his sleep.

A cold is another common reason that your baby might have inconsistent sleep. She might get sick and not feel well at all, but it can be two, three, or even more days before she starts to show any symptoms that you can see. She just doesn’t feel good.

Obviously, addressing the root cause of your baby’s inconsistent sleep is the key to getting things back to normal. If your baby’s sleep patterns have changed because he’s started to eat solid foods, that means you’re just going to have to wait it out. If it’s because she’s ill, it means you need to treat the symptoms of her illness so that she will feel better.

What makes matters especially frustrating in this regard is that your baby, through the first couple of years of life, is still trying to establish sleep patterns. Something like a cold or a change in feeding habits can change that schedule, and make it harder for your baby to establish those patterns.

The best thing you can do when your baby has inconsistent sleep issues is to recognize what’s at the root cause. Try to be patient with your baby, and do what you can to resolve the underlying issue.

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