how to wake up a newborn during the day

How to Wake Up a Newborn During the Day

Welcoming a newborn into your life means a lot of exciting new experiences, especially when it comes to their sleep patterns. If you’re a first-time parent, you might wonder why it seems like your baby is sleeping all day long. While newborns need plenty of rest, it’s also essential to wake them up during the day for different reasons. In this article, we’ll share helpful tips on waking up your baby during the day that will benefit both of you in the long run.

Understanding Your Baby’s Sleep

The first step in waking up your newborn is understanding how much sleep they need and their sleep patterns based on their age. Newborns typically sleep 14-17 hours per day, depending on their age. At two weeks to two months old, babies should start having more extended periods of wakefulness and gradually develop their schedule.

Even though babies need plenty of rest, excessive sleep can be a sign of underlying health issues such as anemia or respiratory problems. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that your newborn isn’t sleeping too much during the day so that they don’t sleep less at night.

Benefits of Waking Up Your Newborn During the Day

Aside from preventing over-sleeping during the day, there are several benefits associated with waking up newborns:

Improved Night-Time Sleep

If your baby sleeps too much during the day, they’ll likely have trouble sleeping at night. Ensuring that they get enough wakeful time during the day improves their chances of sleeping longer and better at night.

Developmental Benefits

Newborns develop fast and require a lot of stimulation to aid their development. By waking them up, you help stimulate their senses and promote healthy growth.

Building Healthy Sleep Habits

Waking up your baby at the same time every day and having a sleep routine establishes positive sleep habits. They’ll learn that nighttime is for sleep, and daytime is for being awake and getting stuff done.

Techniques for Waking Up a Newborn

Now that we know why waking up your newborn is essential, let’s discuss some tips to help you achieve it:

Establishing a Consistent Daytime Routine

The best way to condition your baby to stay alert during the day is by establishing consistent daytime routines. Start by regularly waking them up at the same time every day with minimal disruptions unless it’s medically necessary. This consistency will let the baby know what to expect, making them feel secure enough to wake up on their own eventually.

Brightening Up the Environment

Introducing light into your baby’s sleeping environment stimulates their eyes and brain, signaling time to wake up. As soon as you’re ready to get your baby up from nap time or just passing through during the day, open curtains or blinds to allow light in or if you somehow create an illusion of natural light in a dim room. This method can help break the sleep cycle, letting your newborn gradually understand that daytime is for being awake.

Engaging in Stimulating Activities

Sometimes when babies have slept too long, they may seem sluggish or lethargic when it’s time to wake up. In such cases, introducing stimulating activities can work like magic and get them excited again. Some of these activities include:

  • Tummy Time: Placing your baby on their stomach for a few minutes can help exercise their muscles and get them ready to stay awake.
  • Songs and Music: Playing music or singing to your newborn can create a joyful atmosphere filled with positive energy, driving away slumber and lethargy.
  • Conversation and Eye Contact: Having talks and making eye contact with your baby will stimulate their senses, making them feel happy, engaged, and alert.

Precautions to Keep in Mind When Waking Up Your Newborn

While it’s essential to wake up your newborn, it’s also necessary to do it the right way. We’ll discuss some precautions you should keep in mind when waking up your baby:

Avoid Overstimulation

Avoid over-stimulating your newborn as this might stress them out instead of stimulating them. Choose activities that they enjoy without overwhelming them with too many different stimuli. Ensure that when you brighten up the environment or introduce stimulating activities, they’re at a comfortable threshold rather than feeling overwhelmed.

Importance of Providing a Calm Environment

The environment has a lot of impact on the baby’s mood and behavior. Therefore, creating a calm atmosphere free from excessive noise or chaos is crucial. A soothing voice or playing soft music can help maintain a calming environment that encourages wakefulness without agitation.

Reducing Stress for You and Baby

An essential thing to keep in mind when taking care of babies is minimizing stress for both of you. Being stressed or anxious could affect your baby’s mood negatively since such feelings are contagious. Ensure you are calm during the process of waking up your newborn so that they too remain relaxed throughout the day.

Tips for Maintaining Your Newborn’s Awake Time During the Day

Maintaining your baby’s awake time is equally important as waking them up. Below are some tips to help with that:

Understanding Hunger Cues and Feeding Often

Babies require regular feedings to maintain their energy levels, and it’s necessary to understand their hunger cues correctly. Hungry babies may become irritable or fussy, while some will make sucking motions or bring hands to their mouth.

If your baby shows signs of being hungry, it’s essential to feed them rather than trying to keep them awake until the next mealtime. Feeding your newborn often helps maintain consistent wakefulness throughout the day.

Napping Strategies

Newborns require plenty of rest between periods of wakefulness. However, ensuring they don’t oversleep during naps is crucial. Attempt to follow these guidelines:

  • Duration and Timing of Naps: Thirty minutes to two-hour-long naps spread throughout the day should be enough without interfering with sleep at night.
  • Creating a “Nap-friendly” Environment:The time when your newborn needs to nap might determine how you prepare the space. Ensure they have a place where they can lie down comfortably, without distractions, in dim light or in darkness (as long as it does not interfere with waking up for feeding).

Addressing Common Problems with Waking Up Your Newborn

Dealing with Resistance to Being Woken Up

If your baby seems resistant to waking up or showing signs of sleep inertia, it could be because they’re over-tired. It’s essential to avoid over-stimulating them, and instead, offer gentle stimulation like you would in the morning, such as singing or talking to them softly. A less stimulating environment enables the baby to wake up gradually without feeling overwhelmed.

Managing Newborns Who Fall Asleep While Feeding

Babies tend to sleep while eating since feeding is relaxing but also tiresome for them. When this happens, it’s okay to remind them gently that it’s time to wake up and finish the feed if they have not fed sufficiently. You can even remove their clothes and un-swaddle them so that they become colder and less relaxed.”

When to Seek Professional Help

Every newborn baby is unique when it comes to their sleep patterns. Although waking up a baby during the day is necessary for healthy development and good sleeping habits, there are instances when their sleep patterns may advance into potential health problems. Some of these issues include:

  • Difficulty waking up your newborn during regular feeding times
  • Your newborn falls asleep after just a few minutes of feeding
  • Your baby sleeps for extended periods repeatedly instead of engaging in wakeful periods.

If your baby displays any of these symptoms or other abnormalities, check with your pediatrician or medical officer immediately.


As a parent, waking up your newborn might seem like an additional task amidst other priorities. However, establishing healthy daytime routines can instill good sleeping habits in your child, helping them stay awake for more extended periods during the day. Regular wakeful periods can aid in promoting proper growth and development, improve night-time sleep and general mood throughout the day. With our tips above on how to wake up newborns during the day successfully, you can enjoy good sleeping schedules for both you and your baby.

7 FAQs on How to Wake Up a Newborn during the Day

Q: Should I wake up my newborn during the day?

A: Yes, it is important to wake up your newborn during the day to ensure they are getting enough feeding and stimulating activity for their development.

Q: How often should I wake up my newborn?

A: You should aim to wake up your newborn every three to four hours for feeding. However, if they sleep longer than that, you can let them sleep.

Q: What are some effective ways to wake up my newborn?

  • Change their diaper
  • Talk or sing to them in a gentle voice
  • Hold and cuddle them
  • Moving them gently

Q: Is it okay to let my newborn sleep through the day?

A: No, it is important for your newborn to have regular feeding and stimulation during the day. Sleeping too much during the day can make them restless at night and affect their feeding schedule.

Q: Can I use bright light to wake up my newborn?

A: No, bright light can be too harsh on your baby’s sensitive eyes. Instead, try gradually increasing the natural light in their room or opening curtains.

Q: What if my newborn is difficult to wake up?

  • Rub their feet or hands gently
  • Wipe their face with a damp cloth
  • Use a cool washcloth on their forehead or neck

Q: How can I ensure my newborn gets enough sleep during the day and night?

  • Create a consistent nap and bedtime routine
  • Offer comforting activities, such as a lullaby or white noise machine
  • Ensure their sleeping area is comfortable and safe
  • Monitor their sleep patterns to adjust as needed

In conclusion, waking up your newborn during the day is crucial for their development. Use gentle methods to wake them up, and ensure they are getting enough feeding and stimulation throughout the day while also providing them with adequate sleep. If you have concerns, consult with your pediatrician for additional guidance.

keys takeaways

4 Key Takeaways for Waking up a Newborn During the Day

  1. Establish a routine: Creating a consistent schedule can help your newborn differentiate between day and night, which aids in their ability to stay awake during the day.
  2. Expose them to natural light: Sunlight can assist in regulating your little one’s circadian rhythm and promote wakefulness during daylight hours. Try incorporating outdoor walks or opening blinds in your daily routine.
  3. Mimic nighttime during the day: Maintain a dim, quiet environment at bedtime and an active, bright atmosphere during the day. This also means keeping nap time short so that your baby doesn’t sleep through the daytime hours.
  4. Engage with baby: Interacting with your newborn throughout the day can keep them stimulated and interested in their surroundings. This could mean singing or talking to them during feedings or playing with toys during awake time.

By using these tips, you’ll have a better chance of keeping your newborn alert and active during the day so they can enjoy getting a full night’s rest.

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