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Day Night Confusion in Babies


   The following situation sooner or later occurs to pretty much every family: the baby is healthy and happy, smiles and plays, eats and sleeps well ... during the day time.

   But not at night. When the adult members of the family go to bed daydreaming to have several hours of well deserved sleep, the baby just does not want to join them. Moreover, he or she is playful and active, has got so much to do and learn, so many things to taste and touch. She or he does not get off the parents' arms, requiring communication and gets irritated and even cries if she or he doesn't get enough of it. It is called Day Night Confusion in Babies.

day night confusion in babies

The Diagnosis

  The diagnosis in the described situation, as a rule, sounds like: "The baby has confused day and night." It is obvious that having enough sleep during the day and not sleeping at night is not as harmful for the baby as for his or her parents. After all, day and night for them, the parents, has a completely different meaning.

  In the world of adults, the day time is for work or study, and the night time is for sleep. A person who does not follow this regime quickly becomes exhausted. If your daily routine supposes active day time and night sllep, then you might want your baby to follow the same schedule. Is it even doable?

 

How to fix day night confusion in baby?

   Sleep deprivation in new parents cannot last long. More than that, hardly can you feel happy if you have not enought sleep. Therefore, day-night cofusion in babies cannot be tolerated and all the family is interested in emergent treatment.

    So, how to correct day night confusion? Here are some recommendations that have already helped millions of families.

 

1. Make sure that the baby does not get too much sleep during the day time ... and especially in the late afternoon ... and especially in the evening.

     Everybody needs to sleep. Your baby has her physiological need for certain ammount of sleep hours a day /see the American Academy of Pediatrics Sleep Hours Recommendations Including Naps in the chart below/. She shouldn't get less than necessary, neither can she sleep more than she needs, right?

the time table shows american assosiation of pediatrics recommendations on how many hours a day sleep baby needs

     Consequently, if your baby sleeps most of her hours during the day time, she will only be able to sleep the remaining couple of hours at night.

      What to do: Think of how many hours you'd like your baby to sleep at night. Take a close look at how many hours your baby naps during the day time. Actively entertain her by singing, playing games, talking, switching on the brighter lights and making some noise, if you see she is sleepy but it's too early to go to bed.

   Example: Your baby demonstrates a desire to sleep at 8 pm. You know, if you let her sleep now, she will wake up at 9 pm and happily play till 1am. Help her stay awake till the time you think is good for going to bed for the whole night sleep, say 9.30 pm.

    Use the methods mentioned above or take her outside. Meeting new people can also be of use. Yes, your baby might be a bit noughty, be patient and understanding with her. You are doing it for your common good sake.

TIP. Try to never let them have a nap longer than two hours during the day time.

 

2. Maximize energy usage in your baby during the day time.

 Let your baby play and have fun as much as possible during the day so they get tired and sleep better at night

   The more energy your baby spends during the day time, the more hungry and tired they get at night. The tired and hungry babies eat well and sleep deeper and longer.

    Remember yourself after a beach day or a gym. Don't you eat and sleep better in comarison to when you only spend your day time on a coach?

What to do: Walks, active games, gymnastics and baby sport... Do not forget that a child spends a lot of energy on maintaining body temperature: keep them cool and in no case overheat (do not abuse clothes and heaters).

3. Maintain the ideal conditions for sleep are 63-70°F (18-20°C), and humidity - 50-70%. 

best conditions for sleep are 65-70°F (18-20°C), and humidity - 50-70%.

     Too hot or too dry air also leads to short and superficial naps and having hard time falling to sleep. Try to keep your nursery cool and fresh. But remember, the air conditioners as like as electric heaters do dry the air up. Consider using the air humidifier if needed to keep up with the recommended level of humidity.

 

4. Adjust the feeding schedule. 

Full babies sleep deeper and longer.

    In many babies heavier meals not long before going to bed results into longer night sleep. If solids are introduced, the last feeding should be carried out with what is most 'heavy meal', i.e., milk-cereal porridge. Try not to give your baby much food several hours before the last meal, so they are hungry enough to have a big heavy meal before before going to bed.

Adjust the feeding schedule. Full babies sleep deeper and longer.

   Example: You'd like your baby to fall asleep at 11 pm. Try not to give them much food between 7 pm and 10 pm.

   For toddlers this interval might be between 6pm and 10 pm.

   For exclusively breasfed newborns this interval might be between 8pm and 10pm.

   Then feed your hungry little one pretty well at 10.30 pm and try to put them to sleep. This heavy last meal will keep them full for longer time. Remember, full babies sleep deeper and longer.

TIP. An hour or so before bedtime, try not give your baby too much liquid since full bladder can also wake him or her up at night. 

 

5. Evening Bath

    Evening bathing (before the last meal) - in a large bath, in cool water, preceeded by massage and gymnastics - is a great opportunity to spend energy and work up an appetite, and communicate with parents before going to bed. 

 good bath with cool water can help your baby do some sport and get tired so they will sleep deeper and longer

 

6. Make up your own bedtime routine

Bedtime routine should be calm, without fuss and loud sounds. It is advisable to make up your own rituals of going to bed: entering the bedroom, putting on a clean diaper, swaddling if you and baby love it, combing your baby hair, brushing his or her teeth, telling bedtime stories, and singing a lullaby.

make up your own rituals of going to bed: entering the bedroom, putting on a clean diaper, combing your baby hair, brushing his or her teeth, telling bedtime stories, and singing a lullaby. 

Difficulties and results of the fight against day night confusion

   The main difficulty of the described treatment of day and night confusion is that within a day or 2 parents have to perform actions that contradict generally accepted ideas about how to love children.

    Right. Didn't you feel like 'Hwat?!' when you read our recommendations to 'underfeed', 'keep them awake', 'bever let to nap for more than 2 hours' and  so on? Yep, these ideas do contradict with our instincts. Nevertheless, this is the way out from the day and night confusion in babies. There is no magic pill. Neither is there any use in tolerating the sleep deprivation in Momma and Dad. 

    More than anything on Earth, your little one needs happy Momma and Dad. 

If you follow all the recommendations, then in two-three weeks baby will overgo the day night confusion.

   If you follow all these recommendations for 3-5 days, the day-night schedule will normalize. A baby who previously slept 15 hours a day and did not sleep at night will gradually begin to sleep 8-9 hours at night and take 2-3 day naps.

   Do not to give up and continue to carry out the treatment of day night confusion until the baby's night and day time schedule is normalized.

  You can do it. Two days of your conscious effort are better than sleepless nights for months or years. If you follow all the recommendations, then in two-three weeks baby will overgo the day night confusion.

 

And for a short sum-up of our recommendation, here is the checklist for you:

  1. Make sure that the baby does not get too much sleep during the day
  2. During the day, maximize energy usage in baby
  3. Create ideal conditions for sleep - 65-70°F (18-20°C), and humidity - 50-70%. 
  4. Adjust the feeding schedule. An hour before bedtime, do not give the baby to drink too much liquid.
  5. Bathe your baby in a big cool bath.
  6. Make up your own bedtime rituals.

 

Be sure to say "G'd night!" to the baby and give her or him a kiss before leaving the room. Good luck!


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