Infant Sleep Schedule is Backwards

Does your baby have his days and nights mixed up? If so, this is quite common in infants who are content to sleep anytime they want despite their parents’ need for sleep during the night. When babies are brand new they have no concept of time or a schedule and will sleep when they are tired and wake up when they are hungry. It’s difficult in the first few weeks when baby sleeps more during the day than at night, but in time this works out and baby will get on a schedule.

Of course, if your baby is truly sleeping more during the day than at night you need to reverse his schedule by creating a “day” mood and a “night” mood. The day mood should signal activity and fun while the night mood should be calm, quiet, and more suitable for sleeping. For example, during the day you may want to open the curtains and turn all of the lights on to signal it is time to be awake. You may want to turn on some music and engage your baby so they know this is the time to be awake. When night rolls around you should make the house quiet, dark, and don’t excite baby at this time.

Another tip to help your baby get his days and nights on track is to wake him up if he sleeps too long during the day. By stimulating your baby during the day he will save his longest stretch of sleep for night, which means both mom and dad can get some much needed rest, too.

Once you have baby back on a proper schedule begin scheduling mealtimes at the same time each day. Doing this will help your baby get on a good schedule of eating and sleeping. By the time your baby is three months old his sleeping and eating pattern should be fairly predictable and parents should be able to get enough sleep, too. Keep baby alert with music, reading, and play during the day and always settle down quietly at night. This will help keep baby on the schedule that works best for the family. Keep in mind, though, if baby gets sick the schedule will go out the window!