Why Do Babies Cry In Their Sleep?

by Sumdima Rai
You've tried everything, from cradling your baby in your arms and singing to her, to checking if she needs a diaper change or burping, but all these efforts have been in vain and you’re still not sure why your baby cries while she’s asleep. Learn more about the sleeping pattern of babies, the concept of night terrors (yep, babies get these too) and the tips and tricks to ensure a good night’s sleep for your baby (and you, too).

Sleep Patterns Of A Baby
Babies, especially newborns, spend half of their sleeping hours in the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage, also known as the active sleep stage. You will notice your baby’s arms or legs jerking or twitching, her eyes moving side to side beneath the closed eyelids and her breathing becoming irregular. It might even stop completely for five to 10 seconds. Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep or deep sleep stage, on the other hand, is characterized by deep, regular breathing and no movement.

Babies may start developing night terrors around eight to 12 months of age.

What Are Night Terrors?
Babycenter.com explains that night terrors are sleep disturbances in which babies may suddenly start crying without being fully awake. Night terrors take place during the NREM phase. Your baby will not know she is creating such a commotion and will even forget the occurrence of it the next day. The exact cause of night terrors is not known yet but some attribute it to sleep deprivation, extreme tiredness, stress, fever, sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings, lights or noise or an overfull bladder.

6 Ways To Help Your Baby Get A Peaceful Sleep
1. Maintain A Calm Atmosphere
Make sure that there is a relaxed environment in your home and that there are no disturbances when your baby sleeps.

2. Fix A Routine
Fix a bedtime routine and stick to it. Putting opaque shades to block the light out will darken the room and help your baby sleep. A warm bath just before snuggling into bed or playing your kid’s favorite lullabies could lull her into a peaceful sleep.

3. Maintain Your Baby’s Health
Since fever can activate night terrors, it’s best to take safety precautions. For example, in the first three months, your baby will start getting teething problems which might create discomfort for your little one. You can consult with your doctor and help your baby get relief accordingly.

4. Avoid Stressing The Baby
Make sure your little one is not exposed to loud noises or any factors that could create stress for her. Avoid spending nights away from home.

5. Do Not Wake The Baby
According to Ahaparenting.com, never force your baby to wake up from a night terror. It could result in temporary amnesia.

6. Go Through A Basic Checklist
Read this piece which shares helpful tips to understand the most common reasons babies cry and how you can help them. Tick the items off this list to ensure that your baby is not in any sort of discomfort while sleeping.


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