day and night confusion

How to Avoid Day & Night Confusion in Babies

It’s hard to put ourselves in our baby’s shoes sometimes. There are so many things they are yet to learn. All they know is that they’ve come out of a small, warm, comfortable place into a world that’s big and bright and sometimes scary. One thing that babies need to be taught about while they’re still very young is the difference between day and night. This helps them get into a routine and know when their big sleep should be, as opposed to daytime naps. So, let’s talk about how to avoid day and night confusion in babies.

What is day and night confusion?

Day and night confusion occurs when babies are yet to understand the difference between day and night. It can last from anywhere between 1 to 8 weeks depending on how proactive you are about helping your little one get their days and nights in order. It’s thought that day and night confusion is brought on during pregnancy. During the day you were generally moving about which helped rocked your baby to sleep when they were still in your tummy. Your stillness as you slept throughout the night may have had the opposite effect, causing your baby to wake up, ready to party!


How to avoid it

Adjust lighting

During the day keep lights on and curtains open. Allow your little one to see the sun when it’s up. After sunset though, turn the lights down low and keep the environment as dim as possible. Help them understand that their big sleep happens at night when it’s dark. Alternatively their little naps happen throughout the day when it’s light.

Adjust swaddling

Swaddling your baby when they sleep is a great way of keeping them safe and secure in their cot. After a little while they will start to associate swaddling with sleep time. So, when you’re feeding them before bed or if they wake up through the night, keep them swaddled so they make the association between feeding at night and going to sleep for the night.

Lots of interaction vs little interaction

Interacting with your baby is a great way to stimulate their minds. Babies are just like us – if their minds are stimulated at bed time, it’s going to be harder for them to get to sleep. They’ll want to continue interacting with you and learning. So, during the day is when play time should be happening. At night time, limit the amount of talking you do with and around them to set their mind to rest as they’re preparing to sleep.


There are many other techniques involved in combating day and night confusion in babies but the three mentioned in this article are some of the most effective when used together.

If you need any help at all getting your little one to sleep through the night, please do get in touch. We’re always here to help.

As always, sleep sweet and deep my loves.

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