2/28/12

Tips to change newborns sleep habits from day to night.


Most likely your first order of business as a new parent is to get your baby to change the night owl tendencies. My doctor explained to me that while I was pregnant I was rocking my little fetus to sleep moving around all day, and at night while I slept he was doing some moving and shaking of his own. This created his sleep pattern of sleep all day and party all night. Unfortunately it continues even after birth.

My son wants to throw a rowdy disco party in his crib every night. His legs flail, he cries out, arms swinging. Seriously if I turned on some Phat Beats he would pump his appendages right along. I’m now four weeks into trying to switch my little night owl over to my schedule, and no luck yet.

Needless to say, I have done the research, talked to the “been there done that” moms and tried a few tricks of my own to stop the madness at night. First of all, the one thing everyone agrees on is that it will take some time, most likely an average of 6 weeks to fully get the job done. So, my top tip is patience, then try the following things…

  1. Have your new one nap in a well-lit room during the day and DO NOT tip toe around or turn the TV down. Carry on as you normally would.
  2. At night turn the TV down, limit loud noises and do not stimulate your baby at all! For example do not do the things my husband does… for starters if the baby is asleep don’t go in there and rub his back and ask, yes ask the newborn, "are you an ok little guy,” or “ was that a massive fart or did you shit in your nappy?” followed by, “Do you need mummy to change it?” PLEASE do not do that or you will be sorry. Or DO NOT go into the nursery EVERY FREAKING TIME YOU HEAR THE BABY MAKE A PEEP! DON’T BLOODY DO IT! Sorry little animosity there… and last DO NOT pick the baby up every time he makes a grumble and then insist you need to hold him until he goes back to sleep… because again it is night he has NO DESIRE to go back to sleep!
  3. Start working towards the ever-popular "routine" by turning the lights low at the first night time feeding, possibly right after a nightly bath, feed, rock baby to sleep and then gently place baby in the crib and sneak away. I’ve been told to start early at the nighttime routine, even if it is just a fleeting idea in your own head.
  4. Remember, nothing is going to be a magical over night fix. I have just now given up expecting the sleep fairy to come and sort my son out. Trust me She is not coming, so stick to patience and perseverance.
  5. This Too Shall Pass… your baby will not be having an all night party in the crib forever. I can already see some changes, it’s just working one night to the next. Plus, they only sleep for a few hours at a time anyway at this point, so regardless you will be up all night for the first couple of months anyways.

Bottom line, everyone agrees with the nap in daylight with noise and then all quiet and dark at night. I am trying to be diligent, my husband now with his life threatened if he picks up the baby for fun at night, is being diligent too. I will report back as soon as Oliver stops throwing the parties and better yet, makes it through the night without waking! Holy Crap the thought brings a tear to my eye!


Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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