And Stay Up All Night

Babies come out of the womb sleepy, but sometimes their schedule is the opposite of what you might prefer. Here are some tips for dealing with a newborn with a wonky sleep schedule.

Sleeping baby girl

Resting inside you, your baby was cradled and rocked during the day while you were working or otherwise on the move. She probably spent much of this time comforted to sleep: Safe, secure and warm. And she possibly had come to develop her own little schedule -- sleeping during the day, but awake and kicking at night, while you were laying down and trying to sleep.

Backwards schedule

Lots of babies are like this. Newborns are usually quite sleepy the first week or two, but then they begin to have more periods of wakefulness. Unfortunately for mom, this can happen at night, when you’d like to sleep. I’ll never forget being a new mom to my first baby and watching his wide-open eyes staring back at me as I foolishly tried to put him in his crib.

Sleep when your baby sleeps

Your mom was right -- you will definitely want to sleep when your little one sleeps. Invest in room-darkening shades and take full advantage of your newborn’s daytime slumber. Even though your sleep won’t last more than 2 or 3 hours, it’ll come in handy at 2 a.m. when your baby wants to hang out.

Be noisy

When your baby is a little older, you can try to make it a little less snoozy during the day by going about your normal daytime activities -- meaning, don’t try to keep your household quiet. Don’t hush your kids, don’t quiet the barking dog … your baby will eventually sort out daytime noises from nighttime and hopefully will fix his sleep schedule on his own.

Keep her awake

Another option is to try to keep her awake, or wake her up if she’s sleeping the day away. I have never been a big fan of “waking a sleeping baby,” however -- I figure if the baby needs sleep, she’ll sleep. What I did do, when the baby was a little older, was try to organize our day. For example, morning playtime, afternoon playtime and evening playtime. In between that, nursing like crazy and changing diapers, she’d usually nap.

Don’t despair

It may seem like it’s going to last forever, but it won’t. In a month or two, your baby will settle into a more reasonable schedule -- hopefully!

More on baby sleep

Dangerous baby sleep products: Crib bumpers?
True or false: Formula-fed babies sleep longer
When will your baby sleep through the night?

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