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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Nighttime Diaper Changes

Nighttime Diaper Changes:

Babies do not sleep during the night in the beginning. Not unless you are one very lucky parent, and even then it's still rare for their baby to sleep. It's a known fact, babies wake up in the middle of the night, they need to eat and be changed. That's just the way it works. In the beginning, newborns sleep most of the time. They wake up, eat, get a diaper change, stay awake for a little while, and go back to sleep. They have this routine for a while, and it applies for the daytime and the middle of the night. But, that changes very soon. Your baby will slowly begin staying awake for longer and longer periods after each feeding. And, the new parents are usually so happy that the baby is awake, they coo and play with the baby as long as the baby will let them. And this is great. The only problem with this is that the baby can't tell a difference between daytime feedings and nighttime feedings. There is no difference to them. They aren't outside, so they have no idea that it's dark. They just know they woke up hungry, they got a diaper changed, they got fed, and now they want to play like they always do. This is fine, except that it is very likely that the person doing the feeding might be sleepy, and want to go back to bed.

This is why it is important, from the very beginning, to show your child that there is a difference between night and day. During the daytime, you should play with your baby and talk to them, and keep them awake for as long as possible. During those nighttime feedings, though, you should do things a little differently:

• Keep it dark

You don't want to turn on any bright lights during nighttime feedings and changes. Instead, you should use a nightlight or dim lamp, something that gives off just enough light to see what you are doing. Light wakes people up, including babies, so avoiding that might help. You might even get lucky, and your child might not even fully wake up, which means they will go back to sleep more quickly.

• No Playing

It is the tendency of new parents, whether this is their first child or fifth, to want to play with the baby when she is awake. There is plenty of time for that during the day, though, and never starting this habit makes it a whole lot easier to break later.

• Stay in the same room

If possible, you should stay in the same room your baby sleeps for the changing and feeding at nighttime. Taking the baby to the kitchen to make a bottle, or going to the living room to watch television while you feed the baby provides too many distractions for the baby not to wake up.

• Talk softly

With the parent being as sleep as they are, this may not even be an issue, but it is something worth addressing. During the night, when you are talking to your baby, you won't want to do it at a very loud voice level. Actually, a whisper or barely above a whisper is the best way to go.

Granted, you may use all of these methods and your little one may still want to stay up and play in the middle of the night. There is nothing guaranteed about anything you do with a baby. But, if you use these methods every night every time the baby wakes up, it is a lot less likely to happen. It is also very possible that doing this from birth will help your child begin sleeping through the night more quickly.

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