Why is your newborn not sleeping?

On days when I find some free time, I go with my boyfriend to watch after his one year-old nephew, William. William’s mom always mentioned how blessed she was that her first born was a good sleeper. Whether it was naps or throughout the night, he never had trouble sleeping. This conversation got me wondering how many parents don’t share this blessing with her. I found that many newborns tend to sleep with no problem during the daytime but have trouble staying asleep during the night.

Many newborns come home from the hospital with their days and nights confused, called day-night reversal or day-night confusion. Day-night reversal is when your newborn naps all day but wants to stay up to play all night. They start this confusion before they are born. When a baby is in the womb, a mom’s movements during the day rock the baby to sleep. So while you are busy with your daily routine, your baby is busy resting. During the night, when the mom is not moving, the baby is typically awake.

Don’t worry about day-night reversal. Soon your newborn will get used to the schedule. Just make sure to expose him/her to a lot of light during the daytime.

Even after your newborn is used to the normal day/night schedule, he/she will still most likely not sleep much during the nighttime. According to Stanford Children’s Health, most newborns do not begin to sleep for 6 to 8 hours through the night until at least 3 months of age. Infants under 3 months are small and have small stomachs. Therefore, they typically will wake up every 3 hours to be fed, both daytime and nighttime.

Patience is key while your baby is this young, soon he/she will be able to sleep through the night and hopefully you can get some more rest too!

Looking towards the future, I hope that there will be a method to help moms and their newborns sync up their sleep schedules.

Jocelyn is passionate about all things technology for moms and babies.