How to Switch Your Newborn's Days and Nights

If your newborn is wide awake at 3 am and having trouble staying awake during the day, your baby may have their nights and days mixed up. It can be frustrating as a mom because as much as you want to love on your baby, sleep is essential for you to be the best parent you can be. 

Usually, this is a very brief stage and can be fixed within a few days and a few simple steps that helped immensely with my four babies. These five steps make all the difference in helping your baby sleep at night!

Create a simple bedtime routine. Start with bedtime. It doesn’t have to be too complicated, but things like reading books and singing a song before bed will help cue your baby that it’s nighttime and encourage them to sleep longer stretches. 

Bedtime routine example: 

-Bath

-Lotion

-Pajamas

-Bottle or Nurse 

-Song

-Bedtime 

Fill the day with light. Get outside, open your windows, turn on all the lights during the day. Exposing your baby to plenty of natural light throughout daytime hours will reset your baby’s internal clock and help them to sleep longer stretches at night. 

Minimize stimulus at night. When your baby wakes up in the night to feed, try to keep your environment dark. A very soft and low light like a phone or a nursing night light can be a great way to keep the light low. Change your baby’s diaper before or midway through the feeding if they have a hard time staying awake.

Gently smile and comfort your baby, but try to avoid making the middle of the night bonus playtime with mom or dad. Your baby loves you more than anything in the world and talking, cooing sounds, and playing will stimulate your baby and make it harder for them to go right back to sleep. 

Start your day at the same time each morning. Start your morning at the same time each day to help establish a more consistent daytime routine. Working to create a regular bedtime can also help your baby to wake around the same time each morning. 

Keep your baby awake after daytime feedings. Especially in that newborn stage, your baby will have a hard time staying awake for full feedings. Tickling their feet, keeping them cool, and switching up positions are great ways to keep your baby awake for feedings. As you burp your newborn, try to help them stay awake for a short wake window before letting them fall asleep. 

The newborn stage is hard, and each week gets better. These simple steps helped all of my babies switch their nights and days. As you keep working on establishing good sleep habits every day, your little one will become a fantastic little sleeper.