Have you ever wondered why your baby sleeps all day and is wide awake at night? This is termed day-night reversal and is quite common in newborns. The good news is that it is possible to reset the sleeping schedule of a baby so that they spend the better part of their evenings and nights asleep.
Reasons for day-night reversal
While in the womb babies develop a sort of sense of time. It begins with them falling asleep with a movement of any kind taking place as they then like to snooze. When there is a lack of movement i.e., the mother is lying down or sitting is when they awaken. Thus, when the baby is delivered, they may already have the habit of being active at the night and drowsy in the mornings or noon.
Replicate the womb at night: Recreating the sleep cues that a baby was accustomed to in the womb-like motion, with whooshing sounds and snug surroundings can make a difference. For this use of white noise, swaddle them tightly and regular motion at night could signal the baby to fall asleep.
Move outdoors in the day: Letting the baby enjoy a regular dose of sunlight will help to set their circadian rhythm. Studies have shown that babies exposed to sunlight in the daylight hours sleep well at night. Just ensure the baby is protected adequately from direct sunlight with a rimmed bodysuit.
Get a baby carrier: Use a baby swing, sling, or baby carrier during the day to carry the infant around to make them experience it as a fun time. it has been found to reduce crying by almost half.
Keep a relaxed schedule in the day for the baby: Once the baby is around a month old plan their schedule in a way that do they not get overtired in the afternoon so that they can sleep restfully at night.
Do not consume chocolate or caffeine drinks: Breastfeeding mothers need to reduce their intake of caffeine drinks and chocolate as much as possible as it can disrupt their sleep patterns. Since caffeine remains in the body as a stimulant for around 12 hours limit your intake of coffee to just an early morning cup to avoid it from disrupting the baby’s sleep due to breastfeeding.
Encourage daytime pooping: Babies tend to poop after they eat. If they eat too much in the evening or at night, it is likely they will poop at night. Instead, feed the baby more frequently in the daytime. Massage the belly gently with a bit of knee-to-tummy exercises to encourage the infant to poop during the daytime. This will help to lessen the frequency of them getting up at night due to pooping.
Do not interact too much at night: Whenever the baby wakes up at night, limit your interactions. Keep the surroundings dark, speak softly and try to keep the place as quiet as possible. Minimize eye contact and play with the infant as they will be entertained and remain awake for longer stretches. Make the daytime exciting and full of entertainment and the evenings and nights quiet and boring.