One of the most common newborn questions we get asked is “what do I do when my baby has their days and nights confused?”
Well, first and foremost, I want you to know you are not alone! This is a common occurrence that a lot of new parents or parents with a new baby struggle with. It can be tiring, frustrating, and another thing to adjust to when you’re already adjusting to so much new territory.
Luckily, The Cradle Coach is here to help with some quick tips and tricks for getting baby adjusted to days and nights! Below you will find a simple approach, allowing you to slowly make small changes throughout your day for ultimate success.
How do you know if your baby has any day/night confusion? Well, if your newborn is waking more often or awake for longer stretches of time at night, that might be a sign! Or, if their longest stretches of sleep happen during the day, they may have their days and nights confused.
Wake your newborn during the day for feedings! Take this time to make sure they are awake and alert by changing their diaper or doing skin to skin. Making sure that they are awake and engaged during those feedings, even if they just fell asleep, will help them adjust to that day/night routine.
I want to stress here that you will be following feeding times based off of your pediatrician’s recommended feeding times. Typically what is recommended for newborns is eating every 2-3 hours! If your pediatrician has not given you the green light to feed on demand at night, then you will still want to wake your baby based on that recommended time. Just be sure you’re keeping that environment peaceful and as non-stimulating as possible.
When working to switch your little one’s days and nights, you can place them in a brightly-lit room during day. This can be for sleep and feedings! When they are in a brightly-lit room, they are not falling into the deep longer stretches of sleep. Daylight is your friend when you’re trying to reverse those days and nights! At night, make sure your environment is as dark as possible. Use your swaddle and sound machine to help create that perfect sleep space.
Consider not swaddling for days and only at night until they are adjusted. Once you have succeeded in getting your baby’s nights and days switched, then you can start using a swaddle/sleep sack consistently for all sleep! You can also then have them consistently in a dark room with a sound machine for all sleep.
I hope you found these steps helpful. The newborn phase can be a stressful one, but remember to enjoy it because they are grown in a flash! Also remember that you are the BEST mama for your baby, and your gut is usually right.
Certified Baby & Toddler Sleep Consultant