There can be a lot of reasons for baby crying in sleep. They may genuinely cry or fuss, although this does not indicate that the baby is awake. It is an indication of baby’s transitioning from REM sleep into a deeper version of sleep. Waking up the baby at this stage may cause them to act irritably throughout the rest of the day. There may be various reasons for babies crying in sleep.
Babies make various sounds when they are deeply asleep like gurgling, cooing, grunting, crying and even fussing. There can even be some throat rattling or nose whistling during the sleep cycle.
Why is your baby crying in sleep?
If the baby is crying in sleep outright, there might be a brief couple of bursts of unhappy fussing or crying. In case the baby does not settle down within around 5 minutes, then they are awake.
The primary cause for babies crying in sleep is as a result of their unhappy sleep schedule. Around half of their sleep time between 16 and 20 hours is limited to REM sleep which is characterized with rapid eye movement.
Even adults and older children make sounds during their REM sleep cycles.
After the initial months, babies gain the ability to sleep deeper and this eliminates much of the baby crying in sleep which is characteristic of infants. Some of the other causes of crying in sleep may be hunger, discomfort or colic. A lot of parents have the wrong notion that when a baby makes a sound, it is an indication of their being awake, and that they are prepared to wake up, eat and play.
However, this might not be the reason for babies crying in sleep. Babies often tend to fuss for 5 minutes during sleep before carrying on to deeper sleep.
You need to have an eye on the infant during the crying period to ensure that the child is not awake. If you note the baby crying in sleep for over 5 minutes, they are awake and in need of your attention. There are not many ways through which you can prevent babies crying in sleep. Fussing and sleep crying are natural processes which will gradually go away. However, you can make the process of slumbering easier for baby by making them as comfortable as you can. Make sure that the baby is asleep only after they are full.
You can prevent instances of baby crying in sleep by clothing them in clean attire and diaper. You should avoid spicy foods during the breastfeeding stage to prevent colic from burping the baby. It is important for you to differentiate between sleep crying and real crying. Babies crying in sleep often cry in a different manner which is featured with light or cracking sound and is broken or muted.
As for real crying, there is high pitched wailing which does not quickly stop. Always attend to your baby immediately when they are awake to prevent any kind of discomfort.