1. Day Light and Dark Night
As soon as my second child was born, I made sure that day was light and night was dark. Keep the windows open and lights on during the day. Let the baby soak up that vitamin D, especially if your baby is jaundiced - yellowing of the skin and whites of eyes caused by having too much bilirubin in the blood. A daytime nap should still be in the daylight. And when it's night (I consider this to start around 7-8pm), turn the lights down or off. This will allow the body to release melatonin - a hormone that regulates sleep and awake cycles. The same goes for naptime. Example: Have you ever noticed that you can stay up all night looking at the computer, but as soon as you look away, you're ready to crash? This is because the light from the screen messes with your melatonin levels.
Do not stimulate your baby at night. This is the hardest part, but do not make eye-contact or talk to the baby at night. By doing either of these, you are stimulating your baby. A gentle lullaby and cuddling will do. Try to stimulate - play with, talk to, sing, cuddle, make eye-contact, with the baby during the day to keep baby's interested so that they are less likely to sleep during the day. Do not force the baby to stay awake.
It is important to remember that a newborn's stomach is still very very small and because of this, the baby will need to be fed often. The goal is not to get the baby to sleep all the way through the night without ever waking. The goal is to get the baby to wake only for feedings and to go back to sleep once fed and burped.
|Photo by Felishia Kerstetter|