One of my friends, Nancy, is a new mother. Recently, she has been plagued by her baby’s “night owl” schedule of sleep. It makes her exhausted. Because she needs to work during the day and always is woken up by her baby several times at night. Does she want to know why babies fight to sleep at night? How to keep a newborn awake during the day?
Have you encountered the same problem? Don’t worry, and today we will talk about it in detail and figure it out.
Because there is no day and night when the baby is in his mother's womb, after birth, your baby may need the time to orient himself to the day and night. Parents should be patient and give their babies some time to adapt to it and use some skills. Having a good sleep habit not only helps babies to develop regular sleep but also allows parents to have a sweet dream.
1. What are the effects of sleeping during the day and being awake at night?
Some babies always sleep a lot during the day. But once they need to get to sleep at night, they don't sleep at all. This usually gives parents a headache. The reversal of day and night not only makes parents rest poorly but also affects the baby's growth. In addition to genetic, nutritional, and exercise factors, the baby's height also has an important relationship with the secretion of growth hormone. If the secretion of growth hormone is not enough, it is easy to cause your baby to be underweight and stunting. Because the peak secretion period of growth hormone generally is at midnight. If your baby sleeps too late or doesn’t sleep at night, it is likely to affect the growth of your growing baby.
2. Why is the baby active at night and sleeps by day?
There are several reasons, The main points are summed up as the following:
2.1 Babies can not distinguish day from night
Babies are too small to distinguish day from night. They don't know when to sleep or when to be awake. The external environment will confuse them.
Usually, a heavy meal can make babies feel sleepy. On the contrary, eating too little will make them feel hungry, and wake them up in the night.
2.3 Feel uncomfortable
Anything that can make babies feel uncomfortable will detract from their sleep quality. For example, if you don’t change diapers for your baby in time, the baby will feel uncomfortable because irritants in the urine and feces can easily cause discomfort to your baby's buttocks. If your baby’s diaper gets wet or dirty in the middle of the night, he will cry and get upset.
2.4 Feel insecure
Babies are unfamiliar with their surroundings. Facing a strange environment makes them feel so insecure. Especially when they can not find their parents.
2.5 Overexcited before going to bed
If you have done some active activities with your baby at bedtime will get him/her overexcited. Babies will be hard to calm down and fall asleep.
2.6 sleep too much during the day
Some babies sleep much during the day and naturally cannot sleep at night.
2.7 body unwell
Colicky babies will have abdominal pain. But they can not speak. They can only cry to express their feeling of discomfort. The main reason for colic is the irregular intestinal peristalsis. When the baby is suddenly attacked, parents can give him a massage to soothe the discomfort. If it is really serious, you can take your little one to see a doctor and ask for some prescribed drugs that can help soothe.
Common causes of baby flatulence include the inappropriate size of pacifiers, poor feeding techniques, and incorrect burping methods...... If a baby has flatulence, he will constantly cry because of an uncomfortable tummy. I recommend that parents can use their palms to massage the baby's abdomen gently to soothe the discomfort caused by flatulence.
3. How to deal with it?
After analyzing the causes, the next step is to take some appropriate actions to improve matters.
3.1 help your baby distinguish day from night
The first step, you need to help your baby to distinguish day from night. For example, you can let babies feel the sunlight during the day. Try to keep babies awake except for napping time.
3.2 stay with babies at night
Babies all need a sense of security, especially at night. You can set a crib next to your bed in the same bedroom. And put your baby in it. In this way, you can take care of him/her at any time. Babies always need parents around them.
3.3 create a good sleep environment
A good sleep needs a good sleep environment.
1) comfortable sleepwear
The best sleepwear for babies is the sleep sack. Sleeps sacks are versatile. It can make babies feel snugged and secure. Mothers used to cover their babies with quilts before. Babies may kick the quilt when they sleep, so they get cold easily. A perfect sleep sack that keeps babies warm can always help them sleep well at night.
And all sleep sacks need to be made of 100% natural, eco-friendly fabrics, like organic cotton, bamboo fiber, etc. Because babies’ have very sensitive and delicate skins. Clothes with chemicals easily give them allergic reactions. It not just makes babies feel uncomfortable but also damages their health. Organic cotton is a 100% sustainable fabric that can provide the baby with safety and comfort. Bamboo fiber is lighter and more breathable, which can help babies feel cooler in summer.
Newborns’ sleep sacks also need to have a function of anti-startle reaction. Because newborn babies love to be swaddled. Swaddling sleep sacks can give them enough sense of security. On the other hand, parents also can use a blanket to swaddle their babies. If you don’t know how to swaddle a baby, please kindly check our definite guide: How to swaddle a baby?
Toddlers usually have different needs. They also like free feelings. So the sleep sack is better to have a relaxed design that can help the toddlers to feel free. There are two main types of sleep sacks for toddlers: one-piece sleep sacks and walker sleep sacks. Babies can hide their feet in the one-piece sleep sacks to get enough warmth and freedom. If your baby is over one year old, he can start to learn how to walk. You can buy him a walker sleep sack that is convenient for walking.
2) suitable room temperature
The room temperatures vary seasonally and from day to night. Parents need to control the room temperature at any time by adjusting the air-conditioner.
3) make the bedroom darker
Babies can have a long and restful sleep if you make the bedroom darker because bright light signals the biological clock that it's time to wake up. Dimming or turning off the lights at night can increase the amount of melatonin produced. Melatonin can help promote sleep.
4) play some calming music, white noise
White noise, natural sounds, and soothing music all can help babies fall and stay asleep better.
5) improve the air quality
Avoid your baby’s contact with secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke will affect their development and cause serious health problems.
3.4 control the sleep time of your baby during the day reasonably
You can try to limit your baby's sleep time during the day. Different aged babies have different needs for sleep and naps. For more details, you can please check the below sleep chart of a baby.
3.5 feeding regularly
Another important reason for the baby's reversal of day and night is the irregularity of breastfeeding. Some babies eat less during the day but frequent at night. It affects their sleep quality at night. The baby's mother needs to develop a certain regularity in breastfeeding, try to reduce the number of night feeds, and develop a routine that can help improve the situation of your baby’s day and night disruption.
3.6 parents can set an example for their babies
If parents have an irregular sleep schedule, like somebody often stays up late at night and is sleepy during the day, etc. After a long time, bad sleep habits will also affect the baby.
So if you want to improve your baby's sleep quality, not only try to help them distinguish between day and night but also need yourself to set an example for your baby. From the beginning of pregnancy, you should start to develop a regular routine, play with fewer cell phones every day, rest on time, and have enough sleep time to be more energetic with the baby. In this way, the baby can also have a more healthy growth.