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How can I reverse the day/night mixup?

My one week old son seems to think he should sleep all day and stay up all nite. We have tried everything. We try to keep him active and awake for a good portion of the day, but its really hard to entertain a newborn. He sleeps for like 2-3 hrs at a time during the day ,wakes up to eat and stays awake maybe 30minutes at a time, not counting diaper chnanges. At nite we put him in his bassinet around 9;30 and he sleeps til about 11;30 or midnite. He wakes up to eat and then he is restless all nite until about 6 am. He cries when I lay him down in his bassinet. He isnt hungry or needing a diaper change or needng to be burped. I cant get him to sleep unless I take him to the living room and put him in the swing, and even then he sleeps for like an hour or so and then is up crying again. I dont know what to do. I feel like I should be able to console him, but I cant, short of holding him all night long. Any advice?

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Asked by virginiabelle at 12:06 PM on Jul. 27, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 3 (18 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • My son is 3 weeks old... He's still not sleeping through the night but he only gets up once to eat and diaper change. I keep the lights off at night when I do that and I keep the house pretty loud and active during the day with my other 3 kids, music and vacuum cleaner, he stays awake longer in the day....

    Answer by SWEETPEAS3MOM at 12:14 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • That's normal. Keep him up as long as possible during the day. Especially towards the evening. That will make him more tired during by the time bedtime rolls around.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 12:23 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • Try to make nights boring. No lights. No diaper changes unless there is poop or rash. Have skin to skin contact while nursing, get the baby down to just a diaper. Play calming music. The baby can be conditioned to fall asleep to music. The baby may like falling asleep on your chest. A week isn't very long, it can take time.

    Don't use a seat type swing with a young baby. Their head can drop just a little and reduce or cut off their breathing. It's also not good for their internal organs. One of those kind that the baby lays down in might be ok if its the only thing that works. Of course you need to stay awake and watch him if he is in the swing for safety reasons.



    Answer by Gailll at 12:29 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • Be patient. You can't reverse cycle in a week. Keep days active and light, and as said, nights dark and boring. It will take time. And don't forget that proximity, touch and comfort and snuggles are as ESSENTIAL to a baby as food.

    Night parenting is something you will have to get used to, but it does get better once you and baby settle into a pattern. the VAST majority of babies wake at night. You don't have to entertain baby or keep them awake (you will jsut cause a worse problem of overtiredness) their pattern does change. Wear your baby safetly in a sling/wrap and go about your daily activities with noise and light. Don't put baby to sleep in a quiet room during the day. Whereever you are that's where baby sleeps. I agree with not using a swing to accomplish this.

    Answer by amileegirl at 12:46 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • Listen to the mamas above! Every parent I know has gone through this. Excitement during the day and darkness, quiet, and being generally boring at night are the tried-and-true methods of signaling to an infant that "now is the time when we sleep." Don't expect night waking to end for a long time, but in a while, the waking period associated with the night feedings will shrink and the waking periods during the day will extend.

    Answer by SWasson at 4:02 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • I dont mind him waking at night..i just cant get him back to sleep. I am not sure the best way to get him back to sleep. He lays in the bassinet and whines. He will quiet down if I hold him, but am I supposed to hold him all nite? we did have one nite where he woke up many times, but would go right back to sleep. I am not doing anything differently. Any tips on how to get him back to sleep? I am sure the nite wakings will be happening for a long while, I just want to be able to get him back to sleep when he does wake up.

    Comment by virginiabelle (original poster) at 6:47 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

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