Published: Monday 21 September 2020

"Is it day or night? My baby's got them all mixed up!"

Sound familiar?

Help your baby work out the difference between night and day: babies do not differentiate between them straight away.

You may have been able to work out in pregnancy whether your baby would be a night owl. If your baby was active at night in your uterus (womb), she will probably be the same after she's born. If your baby was very active during the day throughout your pregnancy, she will probably be active in the daytime after she's born. This isn't true for all babies, of course, but can be an indicator.

Babies' internal body clock do not really get going until around 8-12 weeks old, which is why prior to this time your baby may have no idea if it's night or day.

So what can you do about this? Unfortunately, in the new-born stage, there's not that much you can do. You just have to go with it and sleep when your baby sleeps. You may have to become a night owl yourself for the first few weeks if your baby is.

From around 8 weeks as the internal clock begins to develop here are a few tips.

  • Have a regular get up time (even if you have just gone to bed!)
  • Play with them as much as possible during the day.
  • Don’t play at night.
  • Keep daytime naps in dimmed daylight, with some daytime noise and don’t tiptoe around.
  • Get outside in the afternoon so your baby sees the natural difference between night and day.
  • At night-time keep it calm, dark and quiet.
  • Have a simple bedtime routine from around 8-10 weeks. This may not mean your baby will stay in bed but it does help to signify that something has changed and it is night time.

Adhering to each of these will help your baby’s natural rhythm develop. Good luck! If you find you'd like or need more support in helping your baby or toddler to sleep well, take a look at our sleep support packages. We can give advice over the phone, Skype/Facetime/Zoom, email or even face-to-face. Take back your night-times!

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