Day & Night Confusion/ Hates the Bassinet!

Updated on May 04, 2019
E.M. asks from Deptford, NJ
10 answers

Mamas, I am losing my mind from sleep deprivation! My 17 day old is the sweetest little thing, but is so mixed up. I need advice! Here's what's happening-
She is EBF. She has already surpassed her birth weight by more than a pound.
During the day, she can happily go 3-4 hours between feedings. I have been waking her up at the 2-3 hr mark to feed. During the day, I keep the shades open, tv or music on, etc. After feedings, she typically passes out again.
At night, she feeds every hour. I will put her in her bassinet and she lasts about 10 minutes before flipping out! We need to hold her/Rock her/carry her till she falls asleep. But then we put her down and it's the same thing. We have tried inclining her bassinet slightly, white noise, swaddling... But every night she is either wide awake, eating, or flipping out.
Any advice is greatly appreciated! I have a toddler at home so I know it will get better eventually but I am slowly losing my mind from lack of sleep.

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answers from Springfield on

Everything you are experiencing is completely normal! You aren't doing anything wrong, and if anyone you know says their baby slept more or slept through the night at that young age, they either don't remember correctly or they were just one of the lucky ones.

We co-slept with our kids. I think they sometimes wake up just because they want to know they aren't all alone. Sometimes one of our kids would wake up and just touch us and go right back to sleep. When my oldest was a baby, I even started nursing him to sleep in our bed for naps. I would just gently roll away when I saw that he was really asleep.

I don't know how i would have survived those first few months if I hadn't co-slept. It really was a lifesaver. I actually got to sleep for a few hours!

Also, Dad needs to let you take a nap once in awhile and sleep in once in awhile. If your daughter will take a bottle, let Dad give her a bottle (breastmilk or formula - whatever). Mom needs to get some sleep once in awhile.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

During the day when she passes out after eating, do you put her in the bassinet or is she sleeping somewhere else? If she sleeps somewhere safe during the day (not in her bassinet), can you put her in that place at night since she likes to sleep there? As long as it's safe, I'd do it. Also, are you using a pacifier at all? I can't imagine that she's actually hungry that often at night. She might just need to suck, and a paci might help. Since your breastfeeding is firmly established, giving her a paci won't affect that at all so don't worry about that. Otherwise, you are doing everything right, and she'll get the hang of it. Especially if your toddler is around during the day, pretty soon your newborn will become so interested in watching her sibling that she'll want to stay awake during the days.

So, my advice is not what you can do differently with her, but rather what you need to do for yourself. Enlist help. Pump some bottles and have others hold her. Since she goes longer during the day, have your husband take over with both kids for the afternoon this weekend and get a long nap in the afternoon. Or enlist a friend or other relative. Your baby will figure out it, use your limited energy to figure out how to help yourself in the meantime.

(I don't usually comment on other poster's responses, but I can't help myself in this case. I strongly disagree with letting a newborn infant not even 3 weeks old cry it out in her bassinet without picking her up. No. You cannot spoil a 3 week old newborn by holding her too much.)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

As we had more children, we realized that babies in our house got used to noise during the day (compared to our first). So your baby is used to noise as you say (TV or music on). She's content during day with noise. She heard noise in your womb too.

So you shut it all off at night. She's fussy. Doesn't settle. White noise isn't cutting it.

I would go to bed, get rest, and hubby (night owl) would have babes up with him in the evenings till about midnight. Baby would sleep in a bouncy seat on/off, so rest. Before he went to bed, he'd bring in for a feed. I'd barely wake up. He'd burp, change, and put down for a sleep for 4 hours. That would mean I'd next wake around 4 am for another feed. Down again till about 7-8 am with rest of them. That meant I got rest.

Gradually little baby would sleep longer stretches. Anything from 12-6 (then 7) is considered sleeping through the night by doctors.

It's not 7-7.

So do what works so you get rest.


*Alternatively, you can try putting her in a quieter room/area for naps during the day so she gets used to that - even transfer her over if she passes out after a feed.

Some of mine were night owls. It's usually a short lived phase. Hang in there momma and congratulations!

ETA - I co-slept with my last, and wished I had with all of them. Far ..... easier. So once babes came in for final feed (11 or midnight) stayed with me, woke around 4 am ... drifted off ... till morning. If kind of woke, just pulled close.. just wanted comfort. I had soother too. I could transition to crib around 6 months, no problem. I just stayed in room for a few nights (I slept on floor) and that's all it took.

Sometimes I think we overthink things .....

Babies would just climb back in our wombs if they could .... they just want to snuggle. Who can blame them :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

she's a brand new baby. she's not mixed up, she's just trying desperately to adjust to life outside the womb. nothing here is out of whack.

that doesn't make it any easier on you. i strongly suggest you get her used to a bottle and pump (assuming you're breastfeeding). you and your husband need to take shifts and let the other sleep for a few unbroken hours.

you're doing everything right by keeping it bright and lively during the day. good for you. don't stop that. also don't expect her to understand busy time and sleep time right away.

the only thing i'd do differently is to stop waking her up for feedings. i know you're trying to get her to sleep more at night, but her biorythyms are still tuned to your womb. let her work through her own rapidly changing schedule.

co-sleeping isn't for everyone, but maybe give it a whirl. lots of babies don't like being placed out of touch of a human body. will she sleep in a swing? if so, try that.

poor tired mama. this too shall pass. the main thing is to set yourself and your husband up to get a little sleep when you can.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

It's very common for newborns to have their days and nights switched.
While I was moving around during the day our son before he was born was rocked to sleep.
While I was sleeping he kicked up a storm - he actually kicked dad out of bed once.
Was very funny to have my husband talking to my tummy saying "This is your father speaking - no more kicking me out of bed!"

Once they are born they are still use to sleeping while you are awake and not when you want to sleep.
It was at least 3 months before our son got use to sleeping a bit more at night.
It's hard to get use to but you have to sleep when they do - no matter what time of day it is.
With a toddler it's harder - they are certainly more use to being up during the day but if you ever catch a time when everyone is napping - you go nap too - forget trying to get anything done while they sleep - you need the sleep more.

You and dad can tag team it - every other night you take baby duty while dad sleeps and then switch so each of you will be well rested every other day.
You can pump milk so dad can feed the baby - our son never had any confusion between breast and bottle - he switched back and forth all the time.

Sometimes you might have to have a relative over (great time for grandparents to help out) or hire a baby sitter to watch the kids while you catch a nap.
She will adjust eventually - you just need to find ways to cope until she does.

You can't spoil any child under 6 months old.
She's not even 3 weeks old and infants need to be held.
Rubbing her back and not picking her up will not help her learn to sleep at night.
We're programmed to respond to crying babies - you can't ignore it - so pick her up.
Our son settled down a lot between 6 and 8 weeks.
Just hang in there - it will get better.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

My oldest hated the bassinet, I ended up having to co-sleep. As for the day/night confusion I would try keeping her up more during the day to see if that helps with nighttime, but she will have to feed at night of course for at least the next few weeks. Congratulations and blessed be.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I had three in six years so I feel your pain. NONE of mine liked the bassinet. Who can blame them, a bassinet is like an empty box. The crib wasn't any better. They are wired to be next to your warm body. If I hadn't co slept I don't know how I would have survived. Once they were around a year old we transitioned to a twin mattress on the floor with no issues. So that's my advice (and obviously do it safely!)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

Totally normal and why we co slept with our babies. You can't hold a baby too much at this age. I do agree that during the night, try to encourage her to stay awake a little longer and continue to nurse until she gets the hind milk, even if you only end up giving only one breast. Then feed from the other one to start the next feeding. Sleep when you can during the day, you shouldn't be doing much else except taking care of the kids right now. The dishes, dusting, and other housework can wait.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on


Please stop. Take a breather. Have your husband step up right now.
While your baby is still young, holding her until she falls asleep is going to create a monster.

Stop letting her sleep all day. That will help out as well.

As you know, this will change. Get her outside in a stroller. Keep her up so that she can be tired at night.

If you are feeding her every hour at night? She's not getting a lot of milk, she's getting comfort. Try pumping and ensuring she's getting "FULL" with her feedings and that should help her as well.

Good luck!



answers from Miami on

Edited to Add:
Mynewnickname, thanks for your remarks. I should have realized that what I was saying sounds like cry-it-out. You are absolutely right - an infant at this age should not have cry-it-out used. I meant that it's what she can try, being right there with the baby. Most babies stop crying and will fall asleep, especially at this age - they really want to sleep all the time. Being in the bassinet at nighttime helps a baby differentiate night from day, too. Of course, if she can't be comforted, mom is probably stuck having to hold her.

Please don’t hold her all night. You will be setting everyone up for failure if you do. Instead of holding/rocking to sleep, put her in the bassinet and pat her. You are there - she knows it - she can feel you. Babies sometimes need to cry to work things out. She needs to learn how to fall asleep without your arms. You won’t be hurting her.

If you can pump, do that and get her used to bottles. That will help.

Think hard before letting her sleep with you. She will be in your bed for years if you do.

I would try to flip your feeding to nursing every hour and a half during the day to try to help modify her night feeding. She is 17 days old - not 7. Use wet washcloths, moving her around, a swing, etc, to keep her awake more. At night, stretch out her feeding even though it’s not what she wants. It will be hard for a while, but you can do this.

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