Thankfully, this is only a temporary condition, and babies tend to fall into a regular night and day schedule within the first couple of months after birth. In the meantime, dealing with this issue will seem like an eternity in H-E- double toothpicks. If you're impatient, okay desperate, and don't want to wait for nature to take its course, there are a few things that you can try to move your baby out of his nocturnal party-boy mode.
First, clearly separate night from day. During the day, don't keep the house ridiculously quiet. Make some noise, talk on the phone, dance the Pata Pata. Then at night, keep things quiet. Put your baby down in a darkened, mellow room that's designated for nighttime sleeping. Don't plop him in the den with in the same exact spot you were playing tickle torture with him just an hour before.
Hopefully, even your brand new baby will grasp this concept, despite the fact that he can't even find his own thumb. Conversely, don't use blackout shades for a noontime snooze. If you've ever woken up in a darkened hotel room at one in the afternoon, thinking it was 7:00 am, and panicked as you feared that you've just slept through the only flight out of town and away from your husband's family, then you know just what I'm talking about.
Keep middle of the nighttime feedings brief and uneventful so that you won't wake up the baby completely. Or, wake yourself up completely either. Don't turn on the light or kiss her delicious tootsies. Just know that if you start any interaction, nighttime is over and playtime has begun -- and then you're in deep and utter despair.
Also, be sure to keep your little lumpkin's bedtime ritual different from her naptime ritual. At night, give her a calming bath, put on her cozy jammies, and sing her a soft lullaby. During the day, just put her down in her red checked cotton jumpsuit, with the adorable matching headband and ruffled anklets. Oh, and just a side note, don't be surprised if you change your baby's outfit ten times a day in order to use all the adorable things you received as shower gifts and can't wait to see her wear. This is perfectly normal behavior.
Still, if all else fails and you're stuck waiting for your little loved one to work out the kinks in her biological clock, don't fret. Some babies refuse to sleep at night and love to sleep all day. (In fact, I know some twenty-year-old babies who act the same way.) And for those of you who have spawned such youths, here is my top ten list of things to do in the middle of the night to put you out of your misery:
- 10. Call a friend in Europe.
9. Pay your bills that have been lying around for two months.
8. Write thank you cards for the wedding presents you received two years ago. Forget the baby gifts. Never gonna happen.
7. Watch some chick flicks that you could never get your husband to see at the theater.
6. Have sex. (Ha! Just kidding.)
5. Talk with your spouse. (Ha! Kidding again.)
4. Take a bath. But don't fall asleep in the tub no matter how tired you are.
3. Watch Comedy Central. If you thought you were in love with Jon Stewart before, wait 'til you have a baby.
2. Go online and buy your mother a belated thank you gift for staying up with you when you were a baby.
And drum roll please...
- 1. If you've made it to number one on this list and your kid still hasn't fallen asleep, raid your refrigerator. Go ahead, spoon out the peanut butter with your finger and make yourself a bread and frosting sandwich. No one's around to see except your baby, and I know he can keep a secret!
Points & Prizes Keyword: WOMBS worth 50 points good through 12/16/07