We may not think of it – but in our homes, we artificially control our environment with interior lighting, TV, DVD, computer, radio, CD sights and sounds.
It is up to us to ensure that we create day time and night time clues for our baby so they learn the difference.
At night – in a house filled with bright artificial light, and loud “daytime sounds” of people, TV, computer and/or stereo – we have eliminated all the clues that would otherwise teach our baby the natural transition from day to night.
There is a natural and gradual progress from day to night.
During the day it’s naturally bright, and people and animals are making lots of sounds as they go about their daytime activities.
Then as night approaches, it gradually gets darker and darker, animals start to go to bed, people head into their houses to relax, and eventually, they go to bed.
This natural progression from bright and loud to dim and quiet can help your baby slide right into sleep.
It’s calming and if you create it day after day – they know what to expect which is comforting to them in this crazy new world they’ve entered.
During the day:
- Your home should be filled with light.
- Talk in a normal volume – alert – awake – not hushed voices.
- This is the time for all your normal daytime activities – which will teach your baby that this bright, potentially activity and people filled atmosphere is day.
- Begin using quieter voices which your baby will learn signals night.
- When a baby learns that nighttime is for sleeping, they will sleep more easily.
- Dim the lights right before you begin your nighttime routine.
- Turn down the TV or Stereo to a lower volume or turn them off.
- A baby who is well fed during the day will probably sleep better at night.
- If your baby wakes in the night, don’t turn on lights, and don’t take your baby into a well-lit room. Too much light will make them think it’s time to wake up and they may become too active to go back to sleep.
- Keep your interaction with them low key and calm.
- Light blocking curtains or shades can help you control the transition and timing from day to night and again from night to morning – especially as the seasons change and it stays lighter longer.