How To Keep Newborn Up During The Day

Feed Play Sleep During Day

How To Keep A Newborn Awake During The Day

The best way to establish day night rituals is to be consistent. During the day youll want to make sure your baby is awake to feed, then purposefully try to avoid fully feeding them to sleep.

This is a major sleep prop and you may find in a few months baby will only sleep this way.

Work it while it works, but know itll be a tough transition for baby .

So a newborn is barely awake at all, lets be honest, but you can open windows, sing, change diaper, feed unswaddled, and then as you are going to put your baby to sleep swaddle again.

You can even feed a bit more to get baby drowsy, then put the baby in his crib while still at least partially wake. Theyll learn to go to sleep on their own this way.

Read: Sleep Props and Sleep Associations

Should I Wake My Baby To Preserve A Schedule

Your child is sleeping so soundly! Maybe too soundly?? Anxiety starts to kick in, should you wake your baby if sheâs sleeping too long? Should I wake my baby to preserve a schedule?

Itâs that feeling of uncertainty that feels terrible!

Let me share with you how I coach a client on these types of scenarios.

Here are three questions to ponder when you are jittery with angst and unsure what to do about this long nap or morning âsleep inâ.

1. How old is your baby? Are you in those first few weeks of life and concerned about weight gain? Or is this a toddler who took forever to fall asleep and now is having a late nap? The answer is different for both.

2. Do you have proof that letting them sleep will be detrimental to your schedule? For example, will letting the last nap run late interfere with bedtiming?

3. Do you have actually have a fixed schedule?

Understand How A Baby Sleeps

The more your baby sleeps, the more they will sleep.

Its backwards but true!

If your newborn wont sleep, theres a very good chance, hes way overtired.

Keeping a baby awake in hopes of tiring him out will actually result in over-stimulation, and he will experience both difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. It is very likely an overtired baby will sleep shorter, not longer.

Note: Sometimes this tip confuses readers. And its no wonder. First I said limit naps during the day, and now I said an overtired baby will sleep shorter, not longer.

Let me be more clear:

  • Limiting the length of naps is important to support night time sleep. You want the baby to get in as many feedings as possible during the daytime. Think: More daytime feeds = less nighttime feeds.
  • You dont want to keep the baby awake for long stretches. Your baby will get over-tired, fussy and have difficulty falling back asleep.
  • Bottom line: Encourage lots of naps AND feedings during the day following the eat, wake, sleep cycle.

Recommended Reading: How To Co Sleep With Newborn Safely

Teach Your Baby To Self

When your baby wakes in the middle of the night and cries for you, its always okay to go check on them. However, try and limit your time in there with them. Make it clear that its still time to sleep, not play or eat. Place your hand on their chest for a few moments to calm them, then leave the room . The Zen Swaddle and Zen Sack are gently weighted on the chest and sides, which make your baby feel like youre still there. This can help ease separation anxiety, break the sleep association to be held to fall back asleep, and help your baby learn to self-soothe.

Not Sleeping When Baby Sleeps

Helpful Tips How To Keep A Baby Occupied All Day

After a few weeks youll probably notice that there are general times of day when your baby is more likely to sleep in larger chunks. One of the first good chunks to develop is when they go to bed at night . So if you arent going to bed when your baby does, youre missing out on the biggest window of uninterrupted sleep youre likely to get all day. I know the house is a mess, you havent showered in a week, and the grass in your yard is so high that your neighbors 5 year old got lost in there. Forgetaboutit. Go to bed.

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Keep Your Baby Awake During The Day For Better Sleep At Night

It may be a while before your little one can sleep through the night and to get there you must endure for the short term before you can get to the long-term relief. So, teach your baby to sleep through the night from early on and try different techniques if the ones mentioned above dont seem to be working. Sleeping is a learned skill. Yes, it is natural, but it requires some probing to get there. So, teach your baby to stay awake during the day. Teach them healthy sleeping habits for your own sanity and say goodbye to that sleep deprivation.

Newborn Sleep: What To Expect

All babies are different, and their sleep patterns can vary a lot. For these first few weeks, its a good idea just to let them nap when theyre tired, and to feed on demand when theyre hungry.

Newborns sleep a lot around 16 out of every 24hours and they need eight to 12 feeds a day so they get enough food for growth and development. This means when theyre awake, theyre usually feeding, and after feeding, theyll probably want to go back to sleep. This seemingly never-ending feed-sleep cycle starts to change after three to four weeks, when your baby starts to take in their surroundings, and be a little more interactive with you. But still, at this age, there isnt much time for play.

Very young babies tend to sleep on and off through the day and the night, and the length of those sleeps can vary.

Keeping newborns awake during the day wont make them sleep more at night. At this stage, let them sleep when theyre tired, and feed them when theyre hungry. Overtired babies often wake more frequently.

Recommended Reading: How Many Oz To Feed Newborn Baby

Check Out Our Sleep Tips

In Baby Sleep Simplified you’ll find sample schedules for every age through the first year, as well as tips on what you should focus on during every sleep stage to help your baby become a good sleeper. You can also check out our 7 Tips and Tricks on How to Get Your Newborn to Sleep or our 7 Highly Effective Sleep Tips.

Safe Sleeping Where Should Your Baby Sleep

How to adjust newborn baby’s day and night confusion / teach your baby to sleep at night

Its up to you where your baby sleeps, but it is recommended that babies sleep in a cot in the same room as an adult for the first 6 to 12 months, since this has been shown to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome .

Always place a baby to sleep on their back with the head and face uncovered every time they sleep, night or day. Keep the room smoke-free.

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How Long Should Baby Be Awake

A tip for expectant parents You know that feeling you get when you look at your first cable bill and see all of the extra charges theyve laid on top of the price you were quoted?

Multiply that by about a billion, and thats the feeling youll get when youre first trying to figure out your new babys sleep patterns.

If you Google How long should infants sleep for, youll get a sweet, succinct answer right at the top of the page.

Baby Not Sleeping Through The Night?

Separate Eating From Sleeping

After the first month, you dont want to let your baby fall asleep while youre feeding or rocking them, because you want them to figure out how to put themselves to sleep.

They may eat a little, doze a little, and eat some more, a couple of times. If they go to sleep and keep sleeping when youre feeding them, stop and put them to bed.


Some parents try to push more formula, breast milk, or baby food to try to make a baby sleep on schedule or sleep longer. This isnt good for your baby. Just like you when youve eaten too much, your overfed baby wont be comfortable enough to rest well.

Note: Never prop a baby bottle in your infant’s mouth when you put them to bed. It can lead to choking, ear infections, and cavities.

Recommended Reading: Is It Normal For Newborns To Cry A Lot

Use A Sling Or Baby Carrier During The Day

Keep in mind, night waking isnt always just about food. Babies have touch reserves that need to be filled too. If youve just returned to work or had a busy and distracting day, your baby may be craving close contact with you and needs to fill up on snuggles.

Carrying your baby will help you stay connected to your baby on those busy days. You can hold your baby close while still getting things done.

Remember to make sure your expectations of yourself are realistic. You need downtime, and stopping for a bit to feed your baby is an excellent reminder to put your feet up and relax.

Let Your Baby Cry It Out

Waketime Length

One crying-it-out type of sleep training is the well-known Ferber Method, also known asProgressive Watching or Graduated Extinction. The goal is to teach your baby how to sleep on their own and put themselves back to sleep if they wake up during the night. Richard Ferber, MD, director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Childrens Hospital Boston, developed this method. He advises parents not to start this training until their baby is at least 5 or 6 months old. Heres an overview of how its done:

  • Put your baby in their crib drowsy, but awake. Once youve finished their bedtime routine, leave the room.
  • If your baby cries, wait a few minutes before you check on them. The amount of time you wait depends on you and your baby. You might start waiting somewhere between 1 and 5 minutes.
  • When you re-enter your babys room, try to console them. But do not pick them up and do not stay for more than 2 or 3 minutes, even if they are still crying when you leave. Seeing your face will be enough to assure your baby that you are close by so they can eventually fall asleep on their own.
  • If they continue crying, gradually increase the amount of time you wait before going in to check on them again. For instance, if you wait 3 minutes the first time, wait 5 minutes the second time, and 10 minutes each time after that.
  • The next night, wait 5 minutes the first time, 10 minutes the second time, and 12 minutes each time after that.

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How I Dealt With My Newborn Not Sleeping

In the detective work that followed, I learnt that a swaddle replicated the snug feeling in the womb and helped babies settle and sleep because it initiates the calming reflex and prevents their own startle reflex from waking them up. I had previously tried to swaddle my turbo-wriggler and she would writhe and scream so I assumed she hated it and gave up. I realised she was already overtired at that point and I sucked at swaddling and thats why she was behaving like that. Babies don’t hate being swaddled. Its their state of preference actually. They DO hate being overtired and fluffed around with and swaddles that arent tight enough and lots of noise and bright lights and too many people holding them and too much eye contact and strong smells and constant entertaining when all they want to do is sleep!

I learnt that in the womb it is super noisy 24/7 with your heart beating away and your blood whooshing around and your tummy rumbling and your digestive system digesting, not to mention the muffled noises from the outside world. And then the baby is born and we tiptoe around them and put them in silent rooms?! The baby would think theyd gone deaf!

Not to mention the fact that our world, compared to their dark damp womb-world, is bright and colourful and stimulating and LIGHT

I had done it all wrong.

And suddenly, it was like I had a new baby.

What Routines Can I Start With My Newborn

It helps to remain flexible with newborns. However, you might choose to start doing simple things with your baby in a similar order when it comes to sleeping, feeding and playing:

  • when your baby wakes from a sleep, offer them a feed
  • in the middle of, or at the end of the feed, change your baby’s nappy
  • have cuddle, talk and play time
  • settle your baby down to sleep

At night you may prefer to skip play time and simply try to settle them back to sleep.

You should do what you feel is best for you and your baby, but seek advice if you are not sure. Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to talk to a maternal child health nurse.

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How To Keep Your Light Sleeper From Waking Up All The Way

1. Dont rush in the moment you think your baby has awakened.

As noted above, babies experience frequent arousals, but that doesnt mean they are doomed to wake up all the way every few minutes. Babies often jerk, sigh, or vocalize during partial arousals. If you avoid stimulating them during these moments, they may go back to sleep on their own.

2. Tank up the baby before you go to sleep.

Whether you breastfeed or bottle-fed, try to give the baby an especially large meal before your own bedtime. This will encourage your baby to sleep longer. To learn more about this approach, see this Parenting Science guide to opens in a new windowDream feeding.

3. If you feed your baby formula, try to find one that includes DHA.

DHA is a fatty acid found in fish oil and other dietary sources. Its important for brain development, and may play a role in shaping sleep patterns as well.

In one study, children who consumed low levels of DHA had reduced amount of slow-wave sleep . In another study, pregnant women with higher blood levels of DHA gave birth to babies who spent more time in quiet sleep .

DHA is found in breast milk, so its plausible that boosting a nursing mothers DHA intake could improve a newborns sleep patterns. If you use formula, it seems like a good idea to find a baby formula that contains DHA.

4. Check out my article on opens in a new windowbaby sleep aids.

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