Does your newborn baby have her days and nights confused? If so, then you have come to the right place. In this post, you will not only find out why your newborn is wide awake at night, but also, the steps you can take to teach your baby that sleeping happens at night.
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Why Is My Newborn Wide Awake At Night?
Newborn babies sleep a lot! But, they also sleep in varying lengths of time. Reasonable baby sleep schedule expectations, for newborns, would be some naps lasting 30 minutes, with others lasting over 2 hours.
Newborns have small stomachs and they can only eat a small amount of milk at a once. Because they need to eat often, they end up sleeping in short increments because they wake up when they are hungry.
Besides needing to eat about every 2 hours, newborns do not typically understand the difference between night and day, at first. Needing to eat often and not understanding the difference between day and night, can lead to having a wide awake newborn at night.
So, what can you do to change this and get some more sleep?
How To Keep Newborn Awake During The Day
Although, your newborn being awake at night is completely normal and no cause for concern. It’s super inconvenient for parents. I will also say that trying to understand my baby’s sleep schedule, especially during the newborn years was stressful.
Now, with that said, there are some things you can do to slowly transition your newborn towards a more regular sleep pattern. The most important thing I did with all three of my children was wake them up from naps.
I know the old saying goes to never wake a sleeping baby, but if a nap is lasting too long, it’s okay to wake your newborn up. Plus, there’s a good chance your baby might be hungry anyway.
So, the first thing you can do to help teach your newborn the difference between night and day is wake him or her up from a nap that has lasted 2 – 2.5 hours. Most of the time naps will not be this long, but if they are, it’s okay to go ahead and wake your newborn up.
If you let your baby sleep longer than this during the day, then it’s less likely much sleep will be needed at nighttime. I do want to point out that waking your newborn up, only applies to daytime sleep. There is no need to interfere with your newborn’s sleep at night, unless you have been instructed to do so by the pediatrician.
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How To Change Baby Sleep Pattern From Day To Night
What are some other things you can do to prevent your newborn from being wide awake at night?
The biggest thing you will want to do during the newborn phase is start teaching your baby that daytime is loud and busy in your house, while nighttime is quiet and calm.
Here is a list of things to do to teach your newborn the difference between night and day. Keep in mind, many newborns can sleep through noise with no problem.
- Continue your day to day activities and chores around the house, while your newborn naps. This includes running the vacuum and having the TV or music on.
- Have your newborn nap close to where these activities are taking place.
- Have your newborn nap in a room that is bright, with a lot of daylight.
- Keep your house calm and dark in the evening, starting around the time you would like bedtime to eventually be.
- Make sure your newborn is getting enough naps during the day. Surprisingly, overtired babies do not sleep well, even though they desperately need sleep.
- Start a simple baby bedtime routine.
Ending Newborn Day And Night Reversal
Now you know some easy tricks you can use to prevent your newborn from being wide awake at night. Although, these tips will not magically fix your newborn’s day and night reversal overnight. The key is consistency.
Continue with keeping the house loud and bustling during the day and quieter at night. The reality is this will probably happen somewhat naturally anyway.
And, don’t forget to wake up your newborn from naps that last longer than 2 – 2.5 hours, during the day only.
What To Do When Your Newborn Is NOT Awake At Night Anymore
Finally, as your baby gets older, and starts sleeping through the night because he or she has figured out the difference between day and night, you will not need or want to do the things on the list above anymore.
Once your baby sleeps through the night, this is when naps can move to the nursery or a quieter setting. At this point, your baby might start being more sensitive to sound when sleeping. This is one reason it’s a good idea to get a sound machine for the nursery.
With my kids, I typically noticed a change with their 3 month old sleep schedule. They started sleeping in longer stretches at night, and their nap schedule also shifted.
I hope this post has provided you with some simple tips on preventing your newborn from being wide awake at night. Just remember to hang in there, be consistent, and eventually you will be getting more sleep at night.