Are you struggling with day and night confusion in newborns? Here are four tips that will help you fix the problem.
Day and night confusion in newborns is nothing uncommon.
In the first few weeks, babies live in a world of light and dark that is completely opposite from what they were used to.
This can cause them to get confused about when it’s time for sleep or playtime, which can lead to crankiness or lack of sleep on the parents’ part.
But don’t worry – I’ve got some great tips for dealing with day and night confusion in newborns. And they work like magic!
Let’s dive in!
What is day and night confusion in newborns?
Day and night confusion in newborns is when a newborn has days and nights mixed up.
Your baby’s circadian rhythm is imbalanced and still not yet fully developed. As a result, your baby may sleep for long hours during the day and have difficulties staying asleep at night.
It’s completely normal for newborns to get day-night confused in the first few weeks, and this is a problem that can be fixed!
4 first-hand tips that work
Include some stimulation during the day.
One of the best strategies to deal with day and night confusion in newborns is stimulation.
In short, this means keeping your baby engaged in different activities that stimulate her sense of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
During the day, keep her stimulated with different activities, including:
- Play some soothing music and gently sway your baby to the tune.
- Play a song or lullaby and sing it to your little one.
- Take her outside for a nice stroll in the sunshine.
- Let her play with her favorite toy.
- Let your child spend some awake time on her tummy.
- Talk and read to your baby.
- Place her in a swing for a gentle motion.
Your baby should see that daytime is when all the fun stuff happens.
Tip: Keep in mind that overstimulation can be just as bad for your child–so avoid doing anything that might make her tired or irritable.
Be careful with the daytime naps.
Day naps may help babies with their physical and mental development, but longer naps late in the day can negatively impact your baby’s nighttime sleep.
Not only that, she’ll have difficulty differentiating between day and night as her day naps will look like her nighttime naps.
I’m not saying that you should keep her up all day. Simply don’t let her take day naps that are too long or too close to bedtime.
Your goal should be to remind her that her day naps should be shorter than her nighttime sleep.
To wake her up from a day nap, unswaddle her, and feed her. After that, you can talk to her, play with her, and sing to her, whatever works to let her know it’s still daytime.
Keep nights boring and dark.
Your baby’s nights should be entirely different from her days. If the days were loud and stimulating, the nights should be dark and quiet.
With that said, make sure the room she sleeps in is dark and quiet. A good way to make sure it stays dark even in those early morning hours is by getting blackout curtains.
White noise machines, on the other hand, are a great trick to encourage good sleep patterns in your newborn. These machines do two things right: they soothe babies to go to sleep, and they also drown out annoying sounds that might prevent your infant from getting high-quality sleep.
Tip: If your baby wakes up at night, don’t turn on the light when you go into her room. A night lamp may be a better alternative. Also, try to soothe her with reassuring words to get her to go back to sleep, but don’t overstimulate her.
Have a bedtime routine.
As soon as you get home from the hospital, set up a routine for feeding, changing, burping, or rocking your little one to sleep. All babies respond well to a soothing nighttime routine.
A soothing bedtime routine can help soothe and calm your child, so she’s ready for sleep. What’s more, it can also help teach your baby good sleep habits that will stick for a long time.
The best bedtime routine for your child depends on what she prefers. You can start by giving her a warm bath before laying her down.
Sometimes a nice, relaxing massage works, too. Simply place your baby on her back and begin by slowly rubbing each tiny body part.
Tip: Follow the same bedtime routine every night, and eventually, your little one will understand that a warm bath and a massage means that it’s time for nighttime sleep.
These tips for day and night confusion in newborns will help you keep your baby happy and healthy as she adjusts to the world around her. I hope this helps!
Feel free to ask us any questions about what you’ve read or if there’s any other topic you would like to see explored on our site.
And if the process of establishing healthy sleep habits in your child seems challenging, consider hiring a sleep trainer.
As an expert in this field and someone who’s had great success using these techniques myself, I recommend sleep training to all parents struggling with their child’s sleeping habits. Sleep training has been proven to help babies learn how to self-soothe on their own after a few weeks of consistent instruction from the parent.