You may have heard the phrase “She has her days and nights mixed up” in reference to a baby who sleeps all day and is up most of the night. The reason for this “mix up” is that brand new infants have not developed what is called a circadian rhythm.
A circadian rhythm is essentially a 24 hour internal clock that gives us cues as to when we should sleep and when we should be alert. Many of these cues are influenced by our exposure to light and our hormones. It generally takes 2-5 months for an infant to develop a good 24-hour circadian rhythm.
As a human who needs sleep (that’s you!) it is a good goal to work towards naturally helping your baby cultivate a strong circadian rhythm. You see, it is usually not the amount that a baby sleeps that is the problem- it’s that they don’t want to sleep when you do! (more…)