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Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My newborn has a schedule where she sleeps all day and is up all night. Just awake, not too fussy -- she just wants someone to hold her.
I want to establish a normal sleep schedule so that I can quit taking turns staying up with my husband. How should we start?

Re: My newborn has a schedule where she sleeps all day and is up all night. Just awake, not too fussy -- she just wants someone to hold her.
I want to establish a normal sleep schedule so that I can quit taking turns staying up with my husband. How should we start?

The Bump Expert

All parents have ideals about what life will be like after their baby arrives. In reality, every baby is perfect in some ways and challenging in others. We personally had the "rarely gassy, but addicted to a pacifier" baby and the "very smiley, but with chronic acid reflux" baby. It sounds like you may have the "very patient, but nocturnal" baby. These imperfections can be very stressful during early parenthood. However, they are a normal part of the development process and most babies outgrow them sometime during their first year of life.

If you have a hard time surrendering to your child's short term sleep habits, there are a few things you can do to try and communicate that daytime is for fun and nighttime is for sleep. First, take baby out of the house for at least an hour each day. New experiences and fresh air are stimulating. Sunlight also helps reset babies' sleep clocks. Second, make sure nighttime is extremely boring for your child. Do nothing to make this time remotely interesting or stimulating. That means only darkness and no playing, singing or even talking to your baby.

Remember, it may still take several weeks or months before your newborn figures out that she has her days and nights confused. Until then, our best advice is to relax and sleep whenever you can. Enjoy your sweet quiet moments together at night and remember that it won't be like this again. Well... at least until she turns 16 and starts pushing her curfew.

watch: more tips for dealing with baby's day and night confusion

sleep experts conner herman and kira ryan Conner Herman and Kira Ryan, cofounders of Dream Team Baby

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My son is 20 days old today and this is exactly what we are going through. Last night he was up at 2 am and we were up until 6:30 this morning he is not really fussy just wants to be up and held. Cooing away. Once he went to sleep he was not up again until 12:30 pm and has been sleepy all day. I hope we can readjust his schedule soon

teresanadamc |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My baby is now 7 weeks old. Every night since she was born, she has been extremely fussy. Last night we put her in her car seat, and then put that in the crib. She slept from 8:30pm to 1:30am without a peep, and then from 2am to 6am. One of my friends told me about that, and she did it for the first 6 months of her kids life. Good luck!

laraElissa |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

Our daughter was in the NICU for a while and came out with her nights and days mixed up. Our doctor suggested putting her by a window in your house that gets the most sunlight in the morning hours. The first day we tried it worked like a charm!

Our_Little_Miracle |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

Although all babies are different, I came up with something simple for my newborn to get to know day and night. It's normal for them to be up day or night the first few weeks. The moment your child increases their awareness, try keeping them up. If they sleep all day you have to keep them up longer each day so that your shifting their hours to the correct mode. Keeping them up will help them sleep later and longer until it's just right. You have to be patient but you'll get there

rllena |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

Wow! I must say that I am envious of some of these responses. Our Dr. has us on a feeding schedule of every 2 hours. So, I never sleep. I am either changing a diaper, feeding or pumping. I am lucky to catch a solid hour of sleep in between. Isn't this normal???

singleton13 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

To Singleton13: We were on a 3 hr schedule for the first month. INow our dr, wants him on 3-4 hrs during the day and let him sleep through the night (if possible). We did have the nocturnal child for at least a week or so. Lately, he's been down at least 4 hrs straight during the night (knock on wood). Last night being an exception. I still feel like I am always changing a diaper, feeding or pumping too. I think it's normal for newborns.

JackieZ116 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

try shifting some of the stuff you would try doing to put her to sleep at day during the night and space out the naps she takes in the day so she will be tired at night

chadhayes |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My baby girl just turned a month. She didn't have her night and day patterns confused, however I'm not sure what changed but on the third week she got on this really odd sleeping pattern where she would stay up all night wanting to be held as well and she would sleep all day (she would still try to fight sleep during the day). I told my mom about this and she explained the whole day and night confusion and also said that being born is a traumatic experience for babies because of the drastic change they go through (from womb to outside). My mom told me to try bathing my newborn at night and giving her full body massages on a regular basis to help her relax and relieve stress. I tried it and it worked like a charm. i bathe her at 10 at night and she usually doesn't wake up until 5 am to feed and goes right back to sleep.

Maithai |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My son is two months now and he does this too. I am up every night like clockwork at 1 or 2 and we are up anywhere from an hour to four hours. He gets very fussy at this time because he is tired but just doesnt want to give up and go to sleep. I am really hoping that it changes soon.

mealcala81 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My son is 6 weeks old today and I have had this problem for the first month. I had tried the keeping him up during the day for longer periods of time, bathing at night, but it would only work temporarily and he still would only sleep for maybe 3 hours.(which was better than the 1 hour of sleep). Then a colleague told me about "the miracle blanket". This blanket helps the baby STAY swaddled. My son was always able to kick himself out of being swaddled with the regular receiving blankets. It is a little pricey($30.00), but totally worth the 5-6 hours of sleep I am now getting each night!!! I feel like I am a better mom because I am not dragging throughout the day now.

JAG1 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My son is 7 mo. old and still wakes up twice every night and wants to eat! We tried giving him less formula and tried giving him water... nothing was working. He eats plenty throughout the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and bottles in between). When I finally get him to sleep and put him in his crib he only sleeps for about 2 hours and wants me to hold him and no matter what I do he won't go in his crib the rest of the night... what can I do??!!

kkotzen |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

my baby girl got her days and nights mixed up too. i fixed this by making sure to have lots of noise going on during the day and making sure there was a lot of light in whatever room she was in. and then at night i quieted things down and dimmed the lights. i also started giving her baths at night because they are very relaxing and she will sleep for much longer periods of time.

amberguarasci |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

my newborn is the same way we have started trying to keep her awake more in the keeping her in the living room or some where with light and noise and at night in her crib with the lights low it seems like it is starting to work... Good Luck.

agrady42 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

try swaddling at night and not swaddling during the day...this will get your lo used to certain things and realize that is night time...it has worked like a charm for me

eburk83 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My baby is 10 weeks old and we went through that briefly. She was awake for almost 24 hours once. Sometimes it just takes awhile for their body clocks to get on track. I know this is going to sound mean but I start keeping her awake during the day by playing with her. She would get crabby near the end of the day, but her sleep schedule is on track and she is sleeping through the night now, with sporadic 20 minute naps during the day.

slshaw27 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

In response to kkotzen | October 12 , 2010 11:25 AM: "We tried giving him less formula and tried giving him water... nothing was working." PLEASE be careful in giving any baby water! DO NOT give water unless the baby's doctor has specifically approved it. Babies can develop electrolyte imbalances if given plain water to drink--this can cause severe problems and even death if unrecognized. Hungry babies (less than 1 year) should drink breastmilk or formula unless MD states otherwise. Meeting the food requirements of your baby will help him/her sleep better.

sloft24601 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My newborn had a sleeping issue and we found that during the day she loves to sleep in the boppy. We tried it at night in the bassinet and it worked wonders. Even though we are dealing with gas issues she is now sleeping 6hrs then four hours. She then wants to feed more frequently in the morning, but I'll take that trade any day!

spelockc |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My baby is 5 weeks old and she use to be able to fall asleep by herself once in a while and it was nice we use to put her to lie down by herself and watch tv and she would just go to sleep. But now from she turned 4 weeks I am not sure if its a phase they go through but she refuses to sleep by herself no matter what time it is. Once you have her in your hand she will fall asleep but if you were to put her down within 10 minutes she starts crying for someone to pick her back up. I've tried making sure she is full and burped and her diaper is changed so there is no reason why she would want to cry, but she still needs to be in someones hands. Is this just a phase, or how can I get her to sleep normal. Ive tried putting her in the dark but she always cries as if shes scared of the dark.

aparsard |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

my daughter is 10 weeks old. she sleeps from 11ish to around 4, feeds for an hour then back to sleep till around 8, feeds again then a quick nap till about 10 am. Then I try to keep her awake for at least 3 hours. I will feed her, change her, bathe her, play with her. Then she will nap for about 3-4 hours. I will wake her to feed her every 2-3 hours till around 8 pm. My doctor said the more she feeds during the day, the longer she will sleep at night. It works! Some nights she even gives us close to 6 hours! Good luck!

iluvujenny |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

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1busymommy2 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My baby is now 3 months and 3 days and he is getting started to sleep the whole night. Before that we had the same issue, he used to sleep a lot during the day and almost nothing during the night, but I read that you can create and enviroment so the baby can associate it with the bedtime. His sleep routine for the night included a bath, a massage and then the bottle. I do this in his room and I do not speak to him or play, I just sing a very low lullaby. I have mantained this routine since he was born and has worked like a charm. Hope this helps.

norinagomez |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My newborn is 2wks 1d and he has his days and nights confused as well. im trying to get him on a schedule early before i go back to work. nothing works! he feeds more in the day n sleeps wonders. i tried bathing him at night cuz he usually sleeps good after a bath that didnt work i dont know what to do. i try and keep him up during the day an that doesnt work either. i am so lost he cries mostly at night even after i feed and change him. he just recently became constipated cause of the formulas iron so he cranky mostly. i dont know what to do.

MALACHIETHAN |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

my son is three weeks old. not too much time to set in a good sleep schedule, but my husband and i have the same problems nonetheless. he is quiet and sleepy all day long, and he's great until about two in the morning at which point he just wants to stay awake forever! he screams and screams and doesn't go back to sleep until six or seven in morning. we have found that the body massages work fairly well though as far as tiring them out though. hopefully this little guy learns that sleep is AWESOME!!! :)

brittaneylenehan |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

my son is 5 month already and when he had that problem i wish i knew about Dr. Richard Ferber's book "How to solve your child's sleep problem", read it early to prevent mistakes. In a week or 2 you will be rested and sleeping again. It applies to 2-3 month old and older to start the course.

oyuna |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

my personal experience: I think all babies are this way at first for a while. But I think it's key to lay them down at night, in their crib (when you go to sleep), in the dark, in the quiet. She will probably fuss a little. You can get up to meet needs like feeding, and changing. But immediately put her back in the dark and quiet crib. After a couple weeks of it, she will get the hint. The other thing we do is try to be active with her during the day. Play alot, and talk to her..try to keep her up.

HeidiJanora |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My daughter will be 6 weeks old in two days and in the past two weeks had developed this weird pattern also. She wakes up around 12am and won't go to sleep until 3-almost 6 am! She hates being swaddled and fights her way out of it. The only thing that makes this harder is that her feeding tends to get off track also. She wants to eat hour-hour and a half between this time she is awake. I try the pacifier but it doesn't work, she literally is hungry! But come morning time she will be knocked out all day long. I'm knocked out with her trying to catch up on all that lost sleep, but i feel like such a bad and unproductive mother. I have no clue on how to try to regulate her sleeping schedule. I'm just glad to know i'm not alone.

pinkmoe88 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

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carlino |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

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kaydenh |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

Babies have their days and nights confused for the first few weeks of their lives. It's important that during your baby's awake period he/she is in a well lit room so your baby can adjust quicker. I know someone suggested to put your baby in a car seat and this does help but will create some issues in the long run since babies get used to motion sleep and then they will expected every time as they get older. Check out my blog about some simple rules you can follow with regard to newborn sleep. http://houston-synergy.com/2011/07/healthy-infant-sleep-habits/

ErikaSimon |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

I too had this issue with our little girl. The first night home was the worst, she was up ALL night. She is 4 wks old now and is just now starting to sleep about 5 hrs then feed for an hour then will go back down for 4-5 hrs. at night. I feed her whenever she is hungry during the day, which can be every hour sometimes. If she naps for longer than 3 hrs more than once during the day, I wake her up to get her going so she will be more tired at night. It has worked wonders so far. Hope this helps!

wishfulthinking101 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

in three weeks, my baby seems to have run the full gamut of weird sleeping patterns. in the hospital, she woke up every hour or so to eat. then she started with every two hours at home, which i could totally handle. lately, she's gone to staying up till 2 am and then sleeping for 4 hours...which really makes me sad. she is also constantly wanting to nurse, but that makes her fall asleep...i'm storing all the extra milk, which should pay off later during growth spurts, but seriously??? i took her out today for a walk, and she's been awake more than asleep, but now she won't stay asleep once she's down.

timluvr1984 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

dont let her sleep all day wake her up

quashay |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

its the same thing with my lil cousin she will sleep in the mornin and she will be up all night,what my aunt do she will sing to her feed her talk with her because babys love that and mostly my lil cousin loves to talk at night when she is ready sao basically your baby wants more attention its wants to be feed but im not sayiin u dont do thoes types of things because u know your baby best then any body but you should try some of theses steps.

Annessa Lovely Knight |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My baby girl is 3 weeks old n i cant get her to sleep unless she is held. She was sleeping great in her glider the first 2 weeks. But ever since day light savings i cant get her to sleep at night now. The only way i can get her to sleep is if she is being held. I dont understand it. And ive already established that my baby is a tummy sleeper but we all know i cant so that at night. Plus when we try to swaddle her at night her legs are so strong that she is always kicking out of it n screaming her head off til she does. Any pointers?

FutureMrsALovell |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My son will be a month tomorrow, for the first 2 weeks he slept great in his crib at night but now be sleeps all day && cries almost all night. He cried from 12:30 ta 3:30 then slept for a hlf hour then cried the rest of the morning, he's been doin this for a week now. I'm getting so stressed idk wat to do, && I hate letting him cry it out. He only sleeps if I put him on my chest.

dionsmommy23 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

Our daughter was in the NICU for a while and came out with her nights and days mixed up. Our doctor suggested putting her by a window in your house that gets the most sunlight in the morning hours. The first day we tried it worked like a charm! Asset Finance

nathanhang |

newborn-has-day-and-night-confusion

Our daughter started getting her days & nights confused about a week after she got home even with minimal stimulation at night. We recently started keeping her from taking late day naps and feeding her slightly more before bed time and its working like a charm so far. She's been asleep by 1030 instead of keeping us up until 3 or 4.

rslhmg |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My daughter is 2 months and she is relatively calm during the day, taking many naps; however, when the evening hits, she is wide awake. I thought my schedule of bathtime at 8pm, massage and feeding would do the trick but she plays possum and as soon as I lay her in the bed, her eyes pop open.

tpeake1 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

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troy55 |

Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

My daughter is 3 weeks old and I have tried everything to keep her awake during the day and nothing works she can sleep through anything in the daytime but at night she just wants to be held and wakes up and cries if we put her down. Me and my fiancee end up having to let her cry because if we hold her we would fall asleep with her. She sleeps all day.

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Q&A: Newborn has day and night confusion?

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