Day-Night Confusion: How to teach your newborn baby the difference between day and night

How do you to teach your baby the difference between day and night?Newborn babies do not know when it’s daytime and nighttime because they’ve spent the last 9 months in the womb.   As a result, their biological clock is not developed yet.  So if you happen to have a baby who is up all night long and sleeps all day, unfortunately this is somewhat normal!

The good news is that this phase usually comes to an end by 6-8 weeks of age.  I know this might seem like an eternity if you have a 2 week-old infant at home though!  Try to be patient, as exhausting as it is.

The other piece of good news is that there are steps you can take to help speed this process along:

  1. Expose your baby to as much light as possible during the daytime.  Open up the blinds and keep the lights on during the daytime.  This will help teach your baby’s body the difference between daytime and nighttime.
  2. Limit the length of your baby’s naps during the daytime.  If your baby is napping 3-5 hours at a time during the day, this might be his longest stretch of sleep he’ll give you over the next 24 hour period.  And it goes without saying that you want your baby giving you his longest stretch of sleep when YOU are sleeping!  So for this reason, I’d suggest waking your baby up if he’s been napping for longer than 2-2.5 hours at one time so that you can preserve that longer stretch of sleep for nighttime.  Ultimately, your goal is for this “long” stretch of nighttime sleep to lengthen over time!

Don’t worry about waking your sleeping baby.  There are MANY circumstances where waking your sleeping baby is the best step to take.  And tackling a day-night confusion problem is one of them!

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