Does your new baby seem to have their days and nights mixed-up? Truth is, they may be a vampire! Okay, obviously your baby is NOT a vampire, but your precious newborn and vampires do share something in common: they both sleep during the day and are up all night!
Unfortunately, your little one is born lacking the ability to differentiate between day and night. They’re confused! They think day time is sleep time and night time is party time. As a creature of the night, your baby preys on their poor parental victims who are on a completely opposite sleep schedule, and it sucks! (Pun intended!)
Lucky for you, there are simple steps you can take to help a baby who has their days and nights mixed-up!
But first, why does it seem like your baby is on a crusade to tire the ish out of you?
Well, think about your normal routine. Typically, your pregnant self was active during the day. In that time, your baby was lulled to sleep due to constant movement. At night, you were sleeping (hopefully). This lack of activity woke your baby up. Normally, this is when soon to be moms felt the most action inside their tummy.
So how can you help your Transylvanian bat bundle fix this baby day and night reversal to become a real-life person?
The good news is, the things that worked for me are easy to accommodate into your own schedule, and may just take a couple weeks or less to become routine!
Here are some simple actions you can take to assist with switching your baby’s day and night sleep confusion:
1. In the morning, show baby the day light the first chance you get.
This may sound terrible, but my newborn’s face being shocked by the sunlight was almost like my payback to him for keeping me up most of the night. I know, now I sound like the evil one, but it’s important that your newborn see the daylight.
If the weather isn’t too bad, try taking them outside in the morning. Don’t worry, they won’t turn into ash, and it will show them that light equals wake up time, which will help teach your baby the difference between day and night.
2. During the day, be normal!
I didn’t try to tiptoe around my baby. When I wanted him to be awake, I had the windows open and TV on. When I wanted him to be asleep, I made the atmosphere a much darker and quieter place, respecting a proper sleep environment. Maintaining a somewhat normal schedule will start to fix this baby day and night reversal issue.
Do your best to show your newborn the appropriate schedule, but understand they will need to nap during the day too. Your newborn will need to sleep a lot, so check out baby wake times for an idea of how often they should be napping in the day time!
3. At night, make it boring.
Try quieting down the house when the evening comes around to help your baby reverse this day and night mix-up. We turned off all the lights in the house around 5:30 PM. We talked quietly and no longer engaged our baby as much. That means no more toys, songs, or books…. It’s quiet time, people! These actions will show your baby that at night time is a time we start to simmer down and assist with learning the difference between day and night.
4. Become lame, non-animated parents.
Although this tip goes along with being boring, it’s important to note that baby’s suffer from major FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Therefore, you don’t want your newborn to think they’re being left out of all the fun! If their a vampire, you are a zombie. Dull, mindless, and, unfortunately you probably kind of look like one too. Once again, night time is when everyone settles down, and that baby needs to understand that!
5. No more eye contact past naptime and bedtime.
Eye contact at night is not a good idea. You should treat your baby like they are the Medusa. If you make eye contact them, you will be turned to stone. It’s really tempting to look them in the eyes, especially when you think they have finally dozed off, but this contact can re engage their brains. As a result, they will quickly snap them out of a tired state.
6. Do yourself a favor, and get black out curtains… good ones.
Black out curtains will make it much easier to show your baby the difference between night and day, especially after a nap. Even though my baby is much older, I still open up his curtains when he wakes up from a nap, so he knows it’s day time! When it’s time to wake up, curtains are open. When it’s time to sleep, the curtains are closed. It’s as easy as that! This small action can help to reverse that day and night sleep confusion. If you haven’t started your search, check out the Eclipse brand sold on Amazon, Target, and Kohls. These curtains work well and come in a variety of colors and patterns depending on your room decor. The price is also hard to beat!
Conquering Day and Night Mix Up
Although helping that little milksucker who has their days and nights mixed-up takes work, if you’re dedicated, they will catch on quick! Use any and all of the tips explained above to help them learn how day and night works among the living!
It’s also important to note that just because your baby learns the difference between daytime and nighttime, it does not mean they are going to magically start sleeping more, BUT this is the first step to both of you getting better rest in your house.
If you are curious about how to get your baby to sleep more, check out my post about the six tricks I use that work. Until then, keep the garlic and cross close by!