While it is fairly common knowledge that infants spend quite a significant amount of the day sleeping, it is assumed that the bulk of their sleeping will be during the night. However, many newborn babies can sleep all day and fuss all night which can, understandably, cause new parents concern. It is a relatively common issue, but often parents are unaware of the condition and worry that there is something wrong with their child. Read on to learn about newborn sleep schedule confusion.
Why it Happens
Newborn sleep schedule confusion is most often a result of the sensory deprivation they experience in the womb. When you think about it, a baby in the womb has no definitive way of knowing when it is day or night. While your activities levels are typically lower during the evening, many babies actually prefer to sleep while experiencing the gentle motion of you going about your daily activities. Life in utero helps your child shape a sleep schedule but, unfortunately, that schedule doesn’t always match what is most convenient for you. As a result, once your baby is born, they have to grow into and learn a new sleep schedule that is a bit more conventional.
Effect on Family
The lack of sleeping during the night that results from newborn sleep schedule confusion can wreak havoc on a family. The fussing during throughout the evening can prevent parents from getting sleep, irritate older kids, and agitate pets causing them to be on high alert. All of these disruptions to family life can dramatically increase the level of stress in the home. As a result, it is in your family’s best interest to take positive steps towards correcting the problem.
Methods to Fix It
While there is no set way of fixing newborn sleep schedule confusion, there are some guidelines you can follow to help address the issue. The main idea here is to work to extend your child’s sleep stretches during the night. One of the best things that you can do is try to limit sleep during the day by reducing the length of naps during the daytime to help your baby be more tired at night. It should be cautioned that naps should be shortened over a period of weeks or months to prevent making your baby overtired. No matter what you choose, make sure your infant is getting the recommended amount of sleep for their age.