Newborn Sleep: Night & Day Confusion

For the first 2 months or so, your baby's sleep will be very unorganized. Their circadian rhythms, or 24 hour daily cycle, (sometimes called "body clock" or "internal clock") are not yet developed. This means that young babies' sleep schedules will not follow an awake-during-the-day-and-asleep-at-night pattern like the rest of us do.

So what should you focus on to get through this? First and foremost, don't try to create schedules and habits too early. It simply cannot biologically happen yet and trying will just exhaust you and your baby even more. The goal during this time is to keep your baby, and yourself, well rested. Use these first weeks of life to create a parent/child bond and recover from childbirth.

If your baby seems to be more wakeful during the night than the daytime, please do not try to keep them awake during the day. Remember, even at this age sleep begets sleep. Depriving your baby of daytime sleep in hopes that they will be extra tired during the night is simply a recipe for disaster. Instead, focus on shaping the environment to be conducive to appropriate awake and sleep times. At night, keep the lights off, noises quiet, and make sure feedings are quick and efficient without too much engagement. During the day, keep the room bright and play as much as your baby desires want.

Remember, this too shall pass. If your infant is experience day and night confusion, you can expect it to end by the 8 week mark. (Note: this is 8 weeks from baby's due date; not necessarily from birth). Make sure you are keeping yourself well rested even if it means sleeping the day away while your baby does.