My Baby is a Poor Sleeper

By Sister Fadila
Posted: 2 Rajab 1424, 30 August 2003


Q.) I have a problem in my life for which I have been praying to Allah but due to some maslehat of His I have not got what I want.

The problem is that my baby is a very bad sleeper at night and I sleep an average of 5 hours every day with only 2-3 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Even though 8 months have passed this has persisted. I find myself forgetting things, having dull headaches, fatigue and irritability. Please guide me to do some amal by which Allah may forgive me and grant my wish. May Allah reward you in this life and the hereafter.

A.) May Allah Ta'ala ease the present difficulty you are experiencing with your beloved little one, ameen. Sister, please do not feel guilty because your baby does not sleep for long periods of time. It is not your fault nor are you being punished by Allah Ta'ala. Some babies are just that way and they settle down eventually. Remember, your stages in Jannah are being raised with all the sabr and care you have for your child. Your night has been turned into day and perhaps your days have been turned into night as your sleep pattern has been disrupted. Think about why it is that Nabi(salallaahu alayhi wassallam) mentioned that a mother has preference of honor before a father. All your sacrifices are being noted by Allah Ta'ala and you are a very special woman indeed.

Have you spoken to your doctor or local well baby clinic nurse about your baby's sleep pattern? Seeing that the baby is 8 months old, are you giving him/her solids now? Have you tried giving the baby a warm bath at night instead of during the day? A good rub down at night with olive oil over the body with soothing words and gentle exercise of each limb may also help just before the warm bath. Another idea is to keep the baby in a bright part of the house during the day and turn out or dim the lights in her/his room early in the evening. The biological clock responds to light and darkness. Do give this a try too. Have you tried to turn on a qirat (Qur'anic recitation tape) night next to baby's bed at night on a low volume so that baby can hear it? Has your doctor checked baby for a medical problem? If you think it will help, give me more details about the baby's sleep pattern and what measures you have already tried.

The loss of sleep and a constantly crying baby who requires your attention all the time can drain your energy and leave you feeling guilty and helpless. I suggest you take care of yourself by doing some light exercises to refresh you and to get your circulation flowing. Do try to have nourishing well balanced meals with lots of vitamins, e.g.. fruit and vegetable. Ask a family member or friend to keep an eye on the baby for a few hours during the day so that you can have some sleep for about three hours during the day. Take the baby out for walks in the stroller everyday so that he/she is stimulated in broad daylight.

I would like to reassure that baby will settle down soon, insha'allah. When the baby has grown up, this time will just be a memory. Let me give you an example from my family. My sister's second baby was a "15 second sleeper" as we called her. The slightest sound, even a sneeze or the creaking of her basket woke her up. She was like that till about age three. Alhamdulillah, she is the funniest, the most lovable and helpful girl now.

Please do continue with your duas, Salat and zikr. May Allah Ta'ala reward you in this world and the aagirah for the sacrifices you are making for your child, ameen.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best