How do I help my newborn baby recognise the difference between sleep during the day and at night?
My name is Chantal Cohen, I am a mum of three girls and a certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant, helping to bring back sleep andpeace to exhausted and struggling parents everywhere. I love what I do; giving mums, dads, carers and children the gift of sleep is such a rewarding vocation! You can contact me and find out more about the
sleep services I offer at
Many new parents contact me asking me how they can teach their new baby to sleep longer overnight; often their newbie is sleeping all day and then partying all night. This is a really common issue because for nine months babies have been rocked to sleep gently all during the day while being carried in their mums tummy; and then when the mum goes to sleep at night and stops moving then usually the baby is wide awake. This is the time when a lot of movement can be felt! Here are five easy sleep solutions I offer to my new parents:
Taking your new baby out in the gentle sun of the morning ensures that their little circadian rhythms (the natural rhythm we all have that tells our body when it is a long time to sleep or not) start to recognise the day and the night.
Making night settles quiet and non interactive; during the day you can be more engaging when settling for the first month or so.
Keeping blinds open and allowing a slightly more noisy environment for the first month can really help babies start to understand that long quieter sleep stretches are for night, and during the day there is light and sound. After this newborn period you may find your baby 'wakes up' and needs a quiet and dark environment to prevent catnapping. It is only used to show the difference between night and day if it is an issue for your newborn baby.
I know it is a terrible thing to wake a sleeping baby! However if you allow your newbie to sleep for longer than 2 or so hours during the day, you may find that during the night they wake frequently, and that is truly exhausting! I recommend unwrapping and turning off any white noise; leaving the door wide open to help wake them up gently during their day naps.
Putting in place a bedtime routine; giving baby a bath, a clean suit and wrap, using a quiet voice, dim lighting, reading a short book, lovely cuddles and a song before bedtime each night can really help teach your baby to sleep longer stretches at night.
My biggest piece of advice is that whatever you choose to do; beconsistent and don't send mixed messages to your baby or child. Hoping that these tips help you get some more sleep in your life!
All the best and be kind to yourselves.