FOMO. Is that acronym new to you? Up until about a year ago, it was new to me, too. I’d never heard of FOMO (or Fear Of Missing Out) until a friend told me that she was afflicted with it. She was constantly on social media, checking in with her friends and catching up on the latest news. But here’s something interesting – did you know your baby can have FOMO, too? It’s true! Some babies just can’t seem to settle in and fall asleep, for fear that they’ll miss out on all the action!
Now, by this point in the article, your eyes may be widening as it dawns on you: “OMG, MY baby has FOMO!” And you may be right. If your baby shows most of the common FOMO symptoms, then you’ve got a FOMO baby on your hands, baby! 😉
6 Signs Your Baby Has FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
- FOMO babies don’t find soothing activities very soothing. Other babies may be soothed by nursing, rocking, or patting – but not a FOMO baby!
- FOMO babies flip over new places and people. If you think your FOMO baby’s sleep is bad, try taking her to her grandparents’ house. I guarantee it’ll get worse! A new location means tons of new things for your baby to observe and take in, and that means shortened (or non-existent) sleep.
- FOMO babies eat actively. Hoping to nurse your baby in public, under a cover? Forget about it! Your FOMO baby won’t allow that for a minute. Trying to get your baby to hold still and focus on drinking her whole bottle? Nope! Your baby is too busy observing the world/people around her.
- FOMO babies aren’t great at the whole “drowsy” thing. We talk a lot about “drowsy, but awake” on this blog, and in our one-on-one work with families. That’s because it’s a great way to gradually teach your baby how to fall asleep without your help. But FOMO babies don’t exactly do drowsy. In fact, FOMO babies often don’t show any tired signs until they’re already overtired – and then the sign is usually screaming.
- FOMO babies tend to resist bedtime and naptime routines. Bedtime routines and nap time routines signal to your baby that it’s time to relax and fall asleep. Your FOMO baby gets that. The trouble is, she doesn’t want to relax and fall asleep. So she’ll fight even your best efforts at a relaxing, soothing routine.
- A FOMO baby’s sleep is elusive – and it doesn’t last long. Many parents have told us it takes hours to put their FOMO babies to bed, and that even after sleep finally comes, it’s light.
How To Help Your FOMO Baby Sleep
That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? How do you help your FOMO baby sleep? Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet that’ll fix this problem for you. Remember, this is part of your baby’s temperament. There’s no changing it! (Take comfort, though, in the fact that the really tough effects of FOMO will lessen as your baby grows.) Simply accept that your baby won’t be one of those “easy” sleepers who just falls asleep effortlessly and slides right into a perfect eating and sleeping schedule, and you’ll save yourself a lot of wasted effort and frustration.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to live with a sleepless, overtired child in your home. There ARE steps you can take to help your FOMO child lengthen his naps and sleep longer at night:
- Be consistent and persistent. FOMO children thrive with consistency (as do so many others!), so be sure to keep sleep and feeding schedules as consistent as you can. Even if your baby isn’t ready for a clock-based schedule, you can still work towards consistent sleep/feeding cycles. Additionally, you’ll need to be persistent with your child’s sleep. FOMO children are themselves very persistent when it comes to resisting sleep, so you’ll have to “out-persistent” your persistent child in this arena.
- Make your child’s sleeping area as boring as possible. Many parents of FOMO babies and toddlers report that it’s only when their children are confined to bed, with nothing to see, hear or do, that they will finally fall asleep. You can achieve this kind of boring, sleep-inducing ambiance with black-out blinds and a white noise machine.
- Sleep coach, but be ready for it to take a while (and for some fussing to be involved). If your baby’s sleep-fighting has reached the point that you’re both exhausted, take action and sleep coach. Sleep coaching is a great way to help your baby learn healthy sleep habits! Just be advised that sleep coaching may take longer if your baby suffers from FOMO. What takes other parents two weeks may take you four (or maybe even six). Additionally, keep in mind that your FOMO baby’s persistent nature means that there will likely be at least a little bit of fussing involved with sleep coaching.