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Day Night Confusion in Babies

The situation is standard and occurs more or less frequently to each family with kids: the child is healthy, smiles, eats well, sleeps well - in general, an angel.

The only problem is that he is “quiet, peaceful, cheerful, sleeps well and is not naughty” - this is him during the day, and at night, when the adult members of the family go to sleep, the child does not want to sleep, moreover, he sobs loudly, does not get off their hands and requires communication.


The diagnosis

The diagnosis in the described situation, as a rule, is established by grandmothers, and it sounds like this: "The child has mixed day and night up." It is obvious that sleeping during the day and not sleeping at night is not harmful for a child. It's bad for his parents. After all, day and night for them has a completely different meaning.

The day is for work or study, and the night is for sleep. A person who does not follow this regime quickly becomes exhausted. If you are accustomed to a day-night schedule, then you need to try to put the baby on the same schedule.


What to do?

Therefore, this situation cannot be tolerated, the family is interested in emergency treatment, and the main recommendations are as follows: Make sure that the baby does not get enough sleep during the day. If the child demonstrates a desire to sleep, actively entertain (sing, play, talk, etc.), delaying the time when he falls asleep as much as possible. Never let him sleep for more than two hours.

When the baby is awake, create maximum light and noise. If the day the baby sleeps a lot and at night, he is very active - try to put him to bed earlier. So, you can "reset" his day-night schedule.

During the day, maximize energy consumption. Walks, active games, gymnastics. Do not forget that a child spends a lot of energy on maintaining body temperature: in no case overheat (do not abuse clothes and heaters).

When you're ready to put your baby to bed, clean the bedroom first. Well ventilate, vacuum, wash the floor. Remember that the ideal conditions for sleep are 65-70°F (18-20°C), humidity - 50-70%. The bed should be comfortable, without extraneous sounds and light.

Adjust the feeding schedule. Make sure that food is present in the interval between 11 pm – 12 am. If solids are introduced, the last feeding should be carried out with what is most satisfying, i.e., milk-cereal porridge. Try to underfeed in the interval between 6 pm – 8 pm, so that you can eat better and with a great appetite before going to bed.

Do not forget that a full bladder can also keep a person awake at night. Therefore, an hour before bedtime, do not give the baby to drink too much fluid.

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

Bedtime should be calm, without fuss and shouting. It is advisable to carry out the ritual of going to bed: put on a clean diaper, comb your hair, brush your teeth, say a few kind words and sing a lullaby.


Difficulties and results

The main difficulty of the described “treatment” is that parents are forced to perform actions within 1–2 days that contradict generally accepted ideas about how to love children. Yes, how is it possible, dear child! Underfeed... Do not put them to bed... Wake him up... Do not let him sleep... And so on. Nevertheless, in practice, everything has been repeatedly checked: this is the only way to help in this situation.

If you follow all these recommendations for 3-5 days, the day-night schedule will be normalized. 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. The main thing is not to give up and continue to carry out the "treatment" until the baby's day-night schedule is normalized.

You can do it. And it is necessary. Two days of restrictions are better than sleepless nights for years. If you follow all the recommendations, then in two-three weeks the day-night regime will be restored in the baby.


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

  1. make sure that the baby does not get enough sleep during the day
  2. when the baby is awake, create maximum light and noise
  3. during the day, maximize energy consumption
  4. when you're ready to put your baby to bed, clean the bedroom first
  5. adjust the feeding schedule
  6. an hour before bedtime, do not give the baby to drink too much fluid
  7. bedtime should be calm, without fuss and shouting


Be sure to say "Good night!" To the baby and give him a kiss before leaving the room. Good luck!