5 Things You Didn’t Know About Newborn Sleep

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5Some Newborns Party All Night And Sleep All Day

Many babies arrive in the world with their days and nights completely reversed, says Charles Shubin, director of pediatrics at Mercy Family Care in Baltimore. These little night owls sleep for longer stretches during the daytime, saving their more alert periods for the moonlit hours.

A baby who wakes every hour at night to kick her legs, eat, and demand an adult’s loving care makes for increasingly exhausted parents. “This can be very challenging for adults, because our bodies are not physiologically oriented to being up all night,” says Shubin. “That’s why shift work is so difficult.”

Try to nap during your baby’s longer stretches of sleep, and remember that the day/night switcheroo is temporary. As your baby’s brain and central nervous system mature, her sleep cycles will get longer and more sleep will occur at night. Most babies adjust to the family timetable in a month or so.

You can assist this process by creating a calm, dark environment at night, while letting the sun shine in during the day. “During daytime feedings, I talk a lot to my baby, while the night feedings are very quiet with as little light as possible,” says one mom. “This is helping her figure it out.”

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