Babies' sleep cycles change dramatically in their first 24 months of life. As they grow older, they gradually sleep less in the daytime and start to sleep through the night (hallelujah!).
But some babies get day and night mixed up. It's called 'day/night confusion' and is literally an imbalance in their juvenile circadian rhythm. We all have a body clock and it can get thrown out of sync if we do shift work, go on holidays or even ... have a newborn in the house. However, for a newborn, their little body clock may not have set itself yet.
Help is available!
If your little one is driving you bananas because he or she wants to sleep when everyone else is awake, and vice versa, see your GP who can refer you to a specialist.
To try some natural remedies at home first, consider the following:
- Wake baby from his/her day nap after two hours.
- Give them some sunlight or natural light during the day, even in a nicely lit room. Fresh air is also helpful. A walk in the sunshine (with appropriate shade protection) can do wonders.
- Make sure their correct awake time is filled with activity, interaction, sounds and fun, taking care not to over-stimulate.
- In the evening, tone down the atmosphere, dim the lights and minimise stimulation.
- Create a bedtime ritual encompassing food, bathtime, gentle cuddles and quiet talking.
- Explore the use of our natural sleep remedy essential oils in a diffuser (not too close to baby's cot - it only needs to be a gentle mist in the room).
Of course, if the issue continues, definitely seek help because sleep deprivation is incredibly difficult to cope with and once your little one settles into a proper routine, everyone will be a whole lot happier and healthier.
The Parentline support hotline is available on 1300 30 1300 7 days a week and also offers a live WebChat service.