How do I teach my four week old the difference between night and day. At the moment he has no idea! Is there something I should be doing to make sure he starts to know the difference. Jada

Day and nights should look fairly much the same for a 4 week old baby.  The difference really is no nightime play, cuddles etc.  Nights are for feeding, changing, wrapping and back to bed sleeping.  Here’s a few tricks to help, when up feeding during the night, keep the lights on dim, put in the lowest wattage bulb you can find for the lamp in his room, even better if the light is filtering in from down the hallway.

When you get him up to feed, I would recommend feeding in his room, not moving throughout the house from room to room.  Turning on lights, going down the hallway to feed in the lounge will just stimulate him more.  At night you really want to just fill him up with milk, get him sleepy and place him back down to sleep.

Once you have fed him one side if breastfeeding or most of the bottle if bottle feeding then this is the time to change his nappy.  This does two important jobs, one is to keep him clean, the other is that is wakes him up - all those cold wipes on bottoms, fastening and unfastening clothes etc,  waking him at this point will work to wake him up to have the second side or rest of the bottle well.  If he is fully fed, then he will sleep longer.  Changing him at the end of the feed altogether will wake him up when you are really needing him sleepy from a full tummy to drift off to sleep.  Keep him sleepy is the goal.

Make sure he is wrapped or in a sleeping bag of the right thickness / toggle for your climate.  I would definitely move him from a wrap to a sleeping bag by around 10 weeks of age.

Check that he has had a full feed, if not wake him up and try to encourage him to feed longer.  Your milk supply will also be at the lowest at the end of the day and for the first night feed or so, as this is when you become tired and production is lower.  Be sure to rest more at the end and go to bed early.  Having Dad give a top up bottle of breastmilk  for the first night feed, will also allow you to get some more rest.

For plenty of other tips and essential information I recommend buying my book  “BabyCare: Caring for your Baby  0-6 months”  from www.babysmiles.com.au  to set you up for a awesome first 6 months.

Nicole Pierotti

Written by Nicole Pierotti

© Copyright 2012. No reprinting or publishing without permission from writer. For permission or further information contact nicole@babysmiles.com.au.

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