Every parent has experienced it from time to time - their little one fighting sleep and doing everything they can to prevent themselves from dropping off. So why do babies do this, and what can you do to help baby sleep when they are trying their hardest not to?
It may puzzle us as adults when babies fight sleep instead of giving in to their natural urges, so we need to understand the reasons why this is happening to prevent the situations from arising.
One of the major reasons your little one is fighting sleep is because he is way too tired to drop off. If you have accidentally missed your baby's sleep window, (which is the time in which baby is drowsy enough to drift off on their own) and put him down in his crib after this key moment, he is likely to try to resist the urge to sleep. It may sound counter-intuitive but in fact if your little one is too tired, they cannot easily go to sleep. You can avoid this happening by looking out for the signs that they are ready for a nap. Yawning, gazing off into space and rubbing their eyes are all good indicators that you should put your baby down for sleep before they start crying.
Although this is less likely in younger babies, lack of tiredness is fairly common in toddlers who are capable of staying alert for much longer periods of time. If your toddler is fighting sleep, think about how long they have actually been awake and how much activity they have had. If necessary, you may need to delay their nap time until they really are exhausted.
This is not usually a problem for younger infants, but once your little one reaches the age of around 9 months, separation anxiety can become an issue. Being away from their parent causes your child to cry and fight sleep as they just want to you to come back in to soothe them. You can resolve this problem by gradually lengthening the time between return visits to soothe your child.
Some babies are naturally more sociable than others and just love being around people. They don't want to go to their own bedroom for a nap when they can be around their parents. You may be able to resolve this by setting up a basket or crib in your family room for your little one's nap time.