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Day & Night Confusion

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Newborns are born with an underdeveloped pineal gland which causes them to not be able to produce melatonin. This means their body is not able to differentiate days and nights leading to day and night confusion.


Day and night confusion will typically resolve around 8-11 weeks when their circadian rhythm is fully developed but there are things you can do to help set the stage with environmental cues and minimize the effects of the confusion until their body takes over!


Common signs of day and night confusion:

  • Super sleepy during the day

  • Hard to wake or keep awake during the wake window

  • Prolonged periods of awake time at night

Ways to help your newborn through this phase:


The best way to set a healthy foundation of sleep for your baby is to follow the routine of wake, eat, play and sleep.


Key building blocks for healthy sleep:

  • Keep wake windows no longer than 45-60 minutes

  • Exposure to daylight will help set your baby’s natural circadian rhythm ESPECIALLY first thing in the morning.

  • Day naps for the first few weeks can be in a bright room with normal day sounds can be helpful (once they’re not awake for long periods at night, you can switch to a dim or dark room for naps if it helps them nap longer).

  • Make sure to keep awake time bright and interactive (but don’t keep a baby awake all day– sleep does beget sleep!)

  • At night reduce stimuli, use an amber color night light (ex. salt lamp) if light is needed

  • During night time sleep keep your room dark, cool and always make sure to have a sound machine for white noise.

If you are struggling in those early weeks join our Raising Happy Sleepers membership to get real time advice from our sleep consultants .

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