Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Does The Baby Have Her Days and Nights Mixed Up?

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This is usually the third question I get asked when people are introduced to our new baby. The number one question: "Is she a good baby?" I always want to say something like, "No. She's bad. Very bad. We're thinking of taking her back to exchange her for a better one." Instead, I just say, "Are there any other kind?"

The second question I get asked is, "Does she sleep through the night yet?" The answer to that is, "No. She's only 3 weeks old. That will come soon enough."

As for the "getting her days and nights mixed up" I hear lots of stories of babies who sleep peacefully all day and then want to be awake all night. I never have had a problem with this happening with any of my 7 babies, though.

It's not because I am a doctor, or an author, or a child rearing expert either. I just figure that the baby needs a certain number of calories each day and I would prefer that she get those during the daylight hours, so if she has been snoozing for more than a couple of hours, I stop what I am doing and wake her up to nurse her.

If I am busy taking down the Christmas tree, doing laundry, packing for a trip, and taking the kids to the library, and the baby is sleeping for an extended period, then, I know I am going to pay for it later in the night when she needs to make up for the nursing that she missed out on during the day.

It really isn't rocket science and this system has worked out great for me through 7 babies. Don't let your newborn sleep more than 2 or 3 hours during the day if you would like her to sleep longer at night. Eventually, the "longer at night" turns into "through the night" and mother and baby are happy and healthy.

That's what "Works for Me". Check out Rocks in my Dryer for more great tips.


Kristin said...

I agree! I have never had a day/night mix up with any of our five. Congrats on your new blessing, ours was born in the fall of 2007 and she's so much fun!

Rocks In My Dryer said...

I think you should know, Connie! ;) Congratulations on little Emelyn.

DangitAnge said...

I TOTALLY agree with waking them up at least every 3 hours. :) I did that with all three of mine too and we never had nights and days mixed up. :)

CityStreams said...

This is soooo true. Our little one is 3 and a half months old and she started sleeping a lot longer when I started nursing her as much as possible during the day. I didn't know that it would have that effect at the time, though. I was just trying to help her gain the weight that the doctor thought she should have.

Rebecca said...

That's great! Thanks for sharing... congrats on your newest baby... :)

Kysha said...

Don't come to my house to awaken the little Diva. She will not have it! LOL! Your schedule sounds like mine this week although I will be making my library trip Friday and a much needed trip to the hair salon. Happy New Year!

Sheila said...

Excellent advice. All five of mine, thus far, have done very well at night (well, I shed my share of tears getting used to the first baby!). My wise SIL once told me, "A well-rested baby sleeps well at night." So, I also tried not to keep the baby awake for long periods of time during the day, either, in those first weeks especially. Also, I never let my babies snack. Feed on demand? Yes, but it better be a full meal! :)
Looking forward to more pictures...

Nikki said...

Very good tip. I finally figured this out with #4. Of course, he still likes his midnight snack.

And I hate it when they ask, "Is he a good baby?" I mean, "Really?!"

Anonymous said...

You are so smart, Connie. :) What you say about feeding them every 2 hours or so in the day time makes sense to me...and works for me too.

And I really hate those two questions: Is she a good baby? and Is she sleeping thru the night?

Frankly, even if a baby cries all the time, they are not a BAD baby! They are just being! :)


Jen L said...

I've been saying this for years and people look at me like I'm crazy. They don't want to wake a sleeping baby. All 3 of my kids sleep well (6+ hours) after a couple months because they're well-fed and well-rested during the day. Thanks for timely advice - and the reminder for me! I'll be giving birth to baby #4 in June.

Innocent Observer said...

I have never had trouble sleeping after having a baby. We also nurse often during the day (speaking of which...I need to go!) but another trick is to never change a diaper during the night. Unless it's completely necessary, it can wait until the sun comes up. The lights never come on and there is never any "waking" activity during the night.

FWIW, we use cloth diapers and have NEVER had diaper rashes.

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