Babies are born with little concept of the difference between day and night, in fact while you were pregnant it may have been that your baby woke up and started dancing as soon as the sensed you’d layed down and relaxed! Your stomach muscles weren’t tense anymore and he was enjoying the aditional space availble to move around.
Now that he’s joined you in the real world, it is up to you to teach him that human beings sleeeeep at nighttime. Here are a few tips to help you with this educational process:
- Do not make eye contact if he wakes to feed at night.
- Do not speak or sing to him. Stay silent.
- Keep body contact to a minimum, as soon as he has had enough and falls off the breast lay him directly back in his crib and go back to bed yourself.
- Do not turn on lights, TV or radio. If you should need to see to latch him on the breast, have one of those little press nightlights: they’re round, battery run and you push on them to give off a gentle light that lasts one minute. Find them at at any hardware store.
- Sometimes dad is the one who gets up to fetch the baby, so that you can stay in bed and feed lying down. As soon as the baby finishes his feed, dad gets up and puts him back to bed. Not every dad is able/willing to do this, but sometimes dad really wants to become involved in the feeding process for bonding sake, and this is a great responsibility for him. It lets you stay sleeping longer too, so he’s nuturing both of you. Of course he’d have to follow the no-talking/eye contact rules too.
The goal is to offer your baby no stimulation, no interaction or play at all at nighttime, so he’ll understand that it’s terribly boring at night. It’s not at all worth staying up for. He can’t even get you to play or cuddle him extra. Don’t run to his crib the minute he first wimpers, wait a moment until it’s a real cry for food, because sometimes they just waken slightly, not hungry, and he can drop off again to sleep by himself, which is something you really want him to be able to do. This is a wonderful skill!
Hope that you find some of this helpful, and that you get some more sleep/life back soon.