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How do you keep your baby awake during the day?

Posts: 313
10/16/06 2:00 P

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JULYBABY - I like your advice about the sunlight. I'm trying it right now!

SONILA - your lucky your babies are on a schedule!

I guess the whole schedule just takes time from what I have read. My little one usually falls asleep by 1-2am so I guess I am lucky he sleeps some during the night!!

Posts: 16825
10/16/06 11:37 A

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MY_DIAH's Photo
Lynns advice is right one (especially knowing that as soon as you have it down, it changes). Sleeping through the night at this stage is only considered 5 hours. But also getting the baby some good sunlight first thing in the morning can help to set their rythm. Holding off on naps can and usually does backfire by making the baby over tired and unable to sleep during the night. HEre is some great info from Dr.Sears that I read almost daily to remind myself it was okay, despite being insanely tired by my lil night creature (my girl was a 2-6 am party girl, all smiles, poots and coos like it was no problem).


5. Nightwaking has survival benefits. In the first few months, babies' needs are the highest, but their ability to communicate their needs is the lowest. Suppose a baby slept deeply most of the night. Some basic needs would go unfulfilled. Tiny babies have tiny tummies, and mother's milk is digested very rapidly. If a baby's stimulus for hunger could not easily arouse her, this would not be good for baby's survival. If baby's nose was stuffed and she could not breathe, or was cold and needed warmth, and her sleep state was so deep that she could not communicate her needs, her survival would be jeopardized.

One thing we have learned during our years in pediatrics is that babies do what they do because they're designed that way. In the case of infant sleep, research suggests that active sleep protects babies. Suppose your baby sleeps like an adult, meaning predominantly deep sleep. Sounds wonderful! For you, perhaps, but not for baby. Suppose baby had a need for warmth, food, or even unobstructed air, but because he was sleeping so deeply he couldn't arouse to recognize and act on these needs. Baby's well being could be threatened. It appears that babies come wired with sleep patterns that enable them to awaken in response to circumstances that threaten their well being. We believe, and research supports, that frequent stages of active (REM) sleep serve the best physiologic interest of babies during the early months, when their well being is most threatened.

Encouraging a baby to sleep too deeply, too soon, may not be in the best survival or developmental interest of the baby. This is why new parents, vulnerable to sleep trainers' claims of getting their baby to sleep through the night, should not feel pressured to get their baby to sleep too long, too deeply, too soon.
6. Nightwaking has developmental benefits. Sleep researchers believe that babies sleep "smarter" than adults do. They theorize that light sleep helps the brain develop because the brain doesn't rest during REM sleep. In fact, blood flow to the brain nearly doubles during REM sleep. (This increased blood flow is particularly evident in the area of the brain that automatically controls breathing.) During REM sleep the body increases its manufacture of certain nerve proteins, the building blocks of the brain. Learning is also thought to occur during the active stage of sleep. The brain may use this time to process information acquired while awake, storing what is beneficial to the individual and discarding what is not. Some sleep researchers believe that REM sleeps acts to auto-stimulate the developing brain, providing beneficial imagery that promotes mental development. During the light sleep stage, the higher centers of the brain keep operating, yet during deep sleep these higher brain centers shut off and the baby functions on her lower brain centers. It is possible that during this stage of rapid brain growth (babies' brains grow to nearly seventy percent of adult volume during the first two years) the brain needs to continue functioning during sleep in order to develop. It is interesting to note that premature babies spend even more of their sleep time (approximately 90 percent) in REM sleep, perhaps to accelerate their brain growth. As you can see, the period of life when humans sleep the most and the brain is developing the most rapidly is also the time when they have the most active sleep. One day as I was explaining the theory that light sleep helps babies' brains develop, a tired mother of a wakeful infant chuckled and said, "If that's true, my baby's going to be very smart."

7. As they grow, babies achieve sleep maturity. "Okay," you say, "I understand this developmental design, but when will my baby sleep through the night?" The age at which babies settle meaning they go to sleep easily and stay asleep varies widely among babies. Some babies go to sleep easily, but don't stay asleep. Others go to sleep with difficulty but will stay asleep. Other exhausting babies neither want to go to sleep nor stay asleep.

In the first three months, tiny babies seldom sleep for more than four-hour stretches without needing a feeding. Tiny babies have tiny tummies. Yet, they usually sleep a total of 14-18 hours a day. From three to six months, most babies begin to settle. They are awake for longer stretches during the day and some may sleep five-hour stretches at night. Between three to six months, expect one or two nightwakings. You will also see the period of deep sleep lengthen. The vulnerable periods for nightwaking decrease and babies are able to enter deep sleep more quickly. This is called sleep maturity.

An important fact for you to remember is that your baby's sleep habits are more a reflection of your baby's temperament rather than your style of nighttime parenting. And keep in mind that other parents usually exaggerate how long their baby sleeps, as if this were a badge of good parenting, which it isn't. It's not your fault baby wakes up.
8. Babies still wake up. When babies mature into these adult-like sleep patterns varies among babies. Yet, even though babies achieve this sleep maturity some time during the last half of the first year, many still wake up. The reason? Painful stimuli, such as colds and teething pain, become more frequent. Major developmental milestones, such as sitting, crawling, and walking, drive babies to "practice" their new developmental skills in their sleep. Then between one and two years of age, when baby begins to sleep through the above-mentioned wake-up stimuli, other causes of nightwaking occur, such as separation anxiety and nightmares.

Even though you understand why babies are prone to nightwaking, you realize it's still important for parents and babies to get a restful night's sleep, otherwise, baby, the parents, and their relationship won't thrive.

BabyFit Community Team

"A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three." -- Grantly Dick-Read, author of Childbirth Without Fear

Posts: 5250
10/16/06 11:28 A

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LYNN_ANN's Photo
Before 3 months, I don't think you can 'put them on a schedule.'
They like to sleep during the day because it is louder & there is more activity around them usually. At night, it is unusually quiet for them. I play white noise pretty loud in Nate's room at night, & swaddle him tight, & that seems to do the trick recently (this could change...just when yu think yu have them figured out, they go a change :)
I let Nate sleep as much as he wants during the day (no longer than 4 hrs., as per his peditrician). Between the naps, I feed him, bath him, do a couple tummy times, for about 5-10 minutes each, & usually run one errand in the car, which uually puts him back to sleep.
I think come 3 months we can start working on establishing a schedule.

Nathaniel Robert Herrera
3 years old
September 25, 2006

Daniel Thomas Herrera
2 year old
November 7, 2007

Posts: 2410
10/16/06 10:16 A

If you are trying to get them to sleep through the night and not throught the day it will take some times. but try keeping him/her "cooler" (don't swaddle so much) and also try waking him up after a few hours to nurse. Giving him/her a bath will certianly wake them up, and changing diapers. Get them involved in activites like that should wake them up for a while.

Posts: 611
10/16/06 5:11 A

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RHH1967's Photo
Well, most newborns sleep most of the time. But I would try to keep it light during the day (don't put down shades etc.) and not totally silent in the house. At night, make sure the baby's sleeping area is dark, keep it quiet and even when you are up to feed and change the baby keep it as dark and quiet as possible. Eventually they get the hang of the day/night thing, but not at first.
Good luck.

#3 son arrived Tues 24 Oct at 4:07 pm - approx. 6 lbs 12 oz & almost 20 in. (3090 g / 50 cm)

3D US at 21wk6d (I'm working on uploading a baby pic)

Son #1: 29 Jan 98
Son #2: 17 Apr 01

Posts: 158
10/16/06 4:29 A

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SONILA1's Photo

How do you get the baby to sleep during the day because mine just like to stay awake, but they sleep at night though.



No, I'm not pregnant again. This is the coundown to Vanessa & Olivia's first birthday.
Posts: 313
10/16/06 3:13 A

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I have heard you need to do this to get them on a day/night schedule but my little one (as most are at this age) is so un-entertainable! What do you all do?

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