Mother and Baby

Teach Your Baby The Difference Between Night And Day

You’re overwhelmed by how much you have to teach your newborn, but helping him tell the difference between night and day is simpler than you think – and will mean more sleep for you both

Your baby is finally here and you want to enjoy every minute of him – but you also want him to be awake at the correct times of day. It’s hard for babies to understand the difference between night and day as the body clock still has to kick in.

You can easily help him learn, though. It’s all about differentiating between night and day and can happen from just a few weeks old. Whilst it’s not possible to establish a routine when your baby is this young, there are things you can do to separate day and night activities.

It’s hard for babies to understand the difference between night and day as his body clock has yet kick in

Absorb natural light

Take your baby outside at least once a day to see the light of day and to feel the fresh air on his skin. If you’re having one of those days where leaving the house seems like the biggest task imaginable, just make sure there are lots of bright lights on or the windows are open with light filling the room.

Act differently night and day

Try using different types of interaction for night and day to create clear distinctions between the two for your baby. At night time, you can use blackout blinds to make sure the room remains dark and keep noise to a minimum, so you have a calming, quiet atmosphere.

‘When your baby wakes for a feed at night, dim the lights or use a side lamp to keep the room dark and if you have to speak, use hushed tones,’ says Child Sleep Work’s founder, Maryanne Taylor. ‘It’s also best to avoid changing your baby’s nappy unless necessary, and if you do so stick to the same rules - dim lights and little to no talking.’

During the day, don’t worry about clattering around – carry on with your activities as your baby sleeps. ‘You baby needs to get used to sleeping despite noise, light and commotion around him,’ says Maryanne. The last thing you need is a light sleeper!

Start a routine

While a full routine shouldn’t be used yet, there’s nothing wrong with some consistent bedtime habits. ‘Although a baby can’t understand a routine, he’ll love predictability,’ Maryanne says. ‘Before he sleeps, change his clothes and maybe give him a bath to soothe him and show that the day’s activities are over and it’s time for the night to start.’

Related content:


No comments have been made yet.

A mum’s wisdom: Happy New Year! Brought to you by Palmer's

In part three of her new blog, mum Natasha talks about New Year's resolutions. Brought to you by Palmer's. 

Win an NCT antenatal course
Win an NCT antenatal course

Click here for your chance to win an antenatal course with NCT and make sure you're baby ready.

Subscribe to Mother&Baby
Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week.