You do remember sleep, don’t you? After bringing your new baby home, it might be that you have forgotten the concept. Especially if your little one threatens to raise the roof with their cries of a night time, you might be more than a little sleep-deprived!
Lack of sleep is a common problem for many new mums, so know that you aren’t alone. We appreciate this might be of no comfort to you when it’s 3 in the morning and you’re still wide awake, but we do have some tips that might be useful to you.
#1: Get your baby into a bedtime routine
During the first few weeks, your baby will be sleeping both day and night, so getting them into a regular routine might be difficult. However, the advice given by the NHS suggests it might be possible to introduce a bedtime routine when they are about 3 months old. If you manage to do this successfully, it might be that your personal bedtime routine will face less disruption, so you might be able to grab more sleep than usual.
There is further advice in the linked article on getting your baby to sleep, so have a read and follow the advice within.
#2: Ensure your baby has a good night’s sleep
The longer your baby sleeps, the longer you will be able to sleep, so do what is necessary to help both of you.
Research the best mattress for your baby’s bassinet or crib, as they are more likely to sleep well if they have something comfortable to lie on. This bassinet mattress buyer’s guide should be useful to you.
It’s important to moderate the temperature in your baby’s sleeping area too. Not only will the right temperature ensure a better night’s sleep for your little one, but you will also protect them from overheating. Check out this article on room temperature for some useful tips.
And finally, use these tips on soundproofing your baby’s room. The less noise there is, the better, so do what you can to minimise the disruption to your little one’s sleeping pattern.
After following these tips, your baby should have a better night’s sleep. And when they’re sleeping well, you will have a better chance of sleeping well, which will be of a blessed relief to you.
#3: Sleep when your baby sleeps
You should be able to sleep better at night if you followed the last two points in this article. However, you might still have the opportunity to catch some extra shut-eye if your baby sleeps during the day. Considering the fact that newborns can sleep up to 18 hours a day, you should have plenty of opportunities. So, when you’re feeling the need to sleep, do so, even if you have to cancel some of your plans and give up on your household chores.
#4: Deal with your stressors
You won’t be able to sleep very well if you’re constantly feeling stressed.
It might be that you lie awake with worries about your baby, and these thoughts might hinder your attempts to rest. Or you might be stressed out because of all of your responsibilities, which will be many when you’re juggling the needs of your baby with the other things you have to deal with in life. Whatever the case, try to overcome your stressors.
If you have any worries, talk to your midwife or doctor about them. They will give you the advice you need, and if your baby is fine, you will have the peace of mind needed to relax. And when it comes to your responsibilities, offload some of your regular tasks to others if you can, because now is as good a time as any to excuse yourself from them. By dealing with these and any other stressors, you will be able to sleep better as your mind and body will be in a more rested state.
Another way to deal with your stress is to practice relaxation techniques just before going to bed. By focussing your mind and putting yourself into a calmer state, you should be able to drift off to la la land sooner rather than later.
#5: Share nights with your partner
If you’re bottle-feeding your baby, it will be easy for you to share the responsibility of feeding your baby at night. Talk to your partner about turn-taking and work out a reasonable schedule for both of you. It’s a little more tricky if you’re breastfeeding, although chest feeding kits have bee invented, so your partner might still be able to breastfeed your baby.
By sharing the responsibility, both you and your partner will get a better night’s sleep, so don’t assume you have to go it alone if you have somebody by your side.
Thanks for reading!