My one-month-old son seems to have his days and nights mixed up. He sleeps wonderfully, for 3-4 hours at a time.
He is awake for a little bit during the day but seems to fall asleep much better during the day. At night, after his change and feeding, he is wide awake. I do not think he’s still hungry or in general uncomfortable, because as soon as I snuggle him up to me while laying down, he goes to sleep. The second I lay him back in his bed, he wakes up.
How do I get him to go to sleep easier at night without having to be held as well as keep him up for longer periods of time during the day without upsetting him?Baby Helpline:
How To Help A Baby With Days And Nights Mixed Up
Young babies, especially newborns, often have their days and nights mixed up. Many babies tend to be awake at night while in the womb, while they sleep comfortably during the day when mom walks around. It can take a little while for the baby to get used to being awake during day time instead.
There are several things you can do to help your baby sleep better at night:
- Make sure he gets as much daylight as possible during the day. Go outside with him in the stroller or baby carrier (avoid direct sunlight, though) or be close to the windows as much as you can when indoors.
For example, make it a habit to sit close to a window when feeding him. You can even put his bed close to a window as long as it isn’t draughty or direct sunlight. Don’t ever draw the curtains at daytime when your baby is asleep.
- You can also play with him and stimulate him as much as possible the little time he is awake. During the next few weeks to come, he is likely to start staying awake for longer periods. Talk to him, show him stuffed animals with black and white stripes, sing to him and so on. For a few tips on how to play with a 1-month old, click here.
- At night, don’t change diapers unless you really have to (=poop!). If you have to change diapers, keep the lights as dim as possible, don’t talk and be fast. Use a pajama or sleep bag that enables diapering without undressing your baby completely.
If you do all this, your baby will learn to separate day from night.
Secondly, your baby doesn’t want to sleep without you. He’s been very close to you for nine months, so no wonder close to you is where he feels really safe. Safe co-sleeping is a great way to maximize the sleep quality and amount both for baby and mom.
To help your baby sleep better in his crib, try these tips
- Make the crib smaller. Put rolled blankets in a circle, to make his sleeping place as small as possible. Newborn babies want to have something soft close to their heads. Just make sure you don’t put anything in the bed that can fall over his face.
- Roll one of your used tops and put it close to his head as part of the small bed you’re making for him.
- Before putting him back in his bed, make sure it is not too cold. You can either put a warm (not hot) water bottle (or something similar) in the bed for a while or even better, use a sleep bag (like this one at Amazon) for your baby. With a sleeping bag, your baby will enjoy more or less the same temperature all the time, helping him to stay comfortable. If you use a water bottle or bean bag, make sure the bed doesn’t become too warm and take the bottle or bag out before putting your baby in the crib.
- If nothing works, consider co-sleeping. Many babies sleep a lot better together with their mom during their first months of living. However, if you or your husband smoke, if the bed is very soft or if any of you have consumed alcohol, co-sleeping can be very dangerous for your baby. You’ll find more tips on safe co-sleeping here.
Also, remember that many babies do wake up very easily during the first few months. It is part of their natural sleep pattern. You can learn a bit more about babies’ sleep patterns here.
I hope these tips will help you out,
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