Ideas on how to get a newborn to understand night from day

G is only 5 days old so maybe I'm being a bit premature, but it seems she has her night and day back to front. During the day she is amazing, she wakes for feeds ever 3-4 hours, I change her and when I put her back down she'll lay content until she drops off again. We can have the TV on, pass around visitors for cuddles and she never stirs, and only really cries when she wants feeding or whilst shes being changed.

However at night between midnight and 5am, she just won't settle. She cries every time you put her down, she still cries whilst we're cuddling her but it's less frustrated than when shes in her moses basket. If she does doze off she wakes up as soon as we put her down, or within about 20 minutes if she's in our arms. I thought after we got out of the hospital it may settle down but if anything it's got worse. I'm most worried because we're both so tired that I found myself nodding off last night with her in my arms.

I know I have it really good with her sleeping well in the day but I'm  worried because I found myself nodding off last night with her in my arms.. Is there anyway to get her to understand night from day? Or any other tips anyone has that might help on making her happy to be in her moses basket happily received.


  • Time I'm afraid, she will get it. I think the mw said it's about 3 weeks they start to realise the difference. Try and keep nighttime quiet and darker and during the day background noise and light whilst she sleeps is good. It does improve I promise! In the mean time sleep when she does during the day so the nights are a bit easier.
  • All quite normal and both exhausting and frustrating for you. Get the baby out in the daylight (or near a window if the weather is rubbish) during the day and try and rest yourself.

    Have you tried putting a hot water bottle in the moses basket (before the baby goes in, remove before putting the baby in) to keep the basket warm. Put a tshirt in that you are wearing or something with your smell on it.

    I think that at night it can be quieter than babies are expecting as well as they are used to a lot of noise from the womb. So white noise or an untuned radio can help as well. We found having the window open was useful as there was a little bit more noise around.

  • It's all normal and just part of what most newborns do I'm afraid. They do get better though but right now she isn't even really aware she is her own wee person so it takes time for them to work things out. Also if you are bfing night time is when they get the fatty milk and feeding then helps to stimulate supply so again just part of newborn days. Xx

  • As everyone else says, its just what they do I'm afraid!  It will get better as time goes on.  We used to have lights low after 7pm, TV low, no talking or entertaining during feeds and nappy changes, and I didnt change nappy unless it was a pooey one to cause minimal fuss as night.

  • As others have said, completely normal and it's just a matter of time til she 'gets it'
  • Like everyone has said, in time lo will learn day & night.  We used to alternate holding R every 2/3hrs in the night so we could both get some sleep, H would wake me when she needed feeding.  We did find it a bit easier when we changed the moses basket mattress, the one which came with it was filled with air, we borrowed a foam one from a family member & R started sleeping in it a bit more, first through the day then night.

    13 weeks on & the newborn days do become a bit of a distant memory.

  • Ah S was like that in the early days, it's tough, I sympathise. We would do as all others have said - daytime we got out as much as we could to get some natural light, then at night time we spoke in hushed tones, kept lights + tv to a minimum etc. To get S to settle in his crib, I put a t shirt that I'd worn over the mattress and warmed it through with a hot water bottle. We also used white noise a LOT and still do now. In the beginning I had an app that played womb noises, but we've progressed on to wave sounds now thank goodness, womb noises are a bit creepy at night! She will learn, I promise!

  • A is exactly the same and i was struggling for the first few days but I'm sleeping in the daytime when she sleeps now and feel better at night when we're up feeding non-stop.

    Being patient and hope hope that she figures it out soon.x

  • Aww huge hugs as it's so hard but as others have said it's totally normal. Keep it quiet and dark (and boring!) at night. Take it in turns to hold baby, that way you get 2-3 hours sleep at a time. Definitely sleep in the day, I struggled with this to start but once I started it kept me sane. Nevermind visitors. Let others help with anything and everything. BFing is hard, nobody else can take over but it gets so much easier. One other tip, lower your expectations of the day...if you eat, baby is clean and fed then you are doing great! Keep going x

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