It’s not unusual for newborns to have a weird sleep schedule. They to want to sleep during the day, and stay awake at night.
Everything was dark to them before they were born, so night and day mean nothing to a baby. You’ll have to train her when to sleep. Here are some ways to get your baby on a better sleep schedule.
Don’t keep quiet during the day while your baby is sleeping.
Leave the door open when she naps during the day. Go about your normal daily routine. Keep the TV on at a reasonable volume, and continue talking like you normally would.
She’ll learn to sleep even through noise, which is important, since your baby will be taking naps during the day for four or five years. (Nap time is my favorite activity!)
And she will get the idea that the daytime is for napping and not long periods of sleep.
If your baby naps too long, wake her up.
I know, I know, “never wake a sleeping baby.” Babies should nap during the day, but more than three hours is not a nap.
To gently wake your baby, try holding her upright and tickling her feet. If that doesn’t work, take off her shirt. The slight chill will wake her up. Don’t leave her uncovered for long, though.
Once she wakes up, sing or talk to her to keep her up for a while. This is a great time to give her some tummy time or feed her.
Getting your baby to sleep longer at night
The second half of this problem that your baby is staying awake at night. Changing your baby’s sleep schedule is going to take some time. Babies usually make some significant adjustments within three weeks or so.
You’ll still have to get up for night feedings for the first few months. Most babies under 6 months won’t sleep all night.
What you can do to make her more likely to sleep longer at night:
Put her in bassinet or cradle for the first few weeks. A crib can seem HUGE to a newborn. So you might find that she sleeps much better in the coziness of a smaller space. We used the napper part of our Pack n Play until she was 12 weeks old.
Give her some soothing sounds. Not only will this act as a sort of “white noise” to block out other sounds, it will also be soothing to her. Soft, classical music works, but so can the constant hum of a fan. Here are other toys that will put your baby to sleep.
Keep the room at a comfortable temperature. If she’s too cold or too warm, she won’t sleep as well. I can’t sleep when I’m hot or cold. Neither can a newborn. You can swaddle with receiving blankets if she’s cold. We have a digital clock with a thermometer that we put above her bassinet so we knew exactly what the temperature was.
Establish a routine. Your child will sleep better if she has an established sleep schedule for day and night. Put her down for naps at the same time every day. And put her down for bed at the same time each night. Create some bedtime habits that will signal to the baby that bedtime is coming. A bath or a story can be a nice way to calm down and get her ready to go to bed. You can also try a method I call soundtracking!
Get some sleep!
Sleeping habits are a challenge for most new moms, mainly because you’re so tired yourself.
But definitely don’t try to make baby sleep at night by not allowing her to nap during the day. It will backfire. Babies need lots of sleep, and naps are an important part of this. Just don’t let her sleep for too long at a stretch during the day.
Give it some time, and take some naps yourself. Before you know it, everyone will be sleeping soundly through the night. Toot now sleeps 12 hours a night!
Does your baby have a weird sleep schedule?
Let me know in the comments below!
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