With August being a very popular month for babies to be born, we thought it was a great opportunity to offer some handy hints and techniques for new parents on getting some well-needed shut eye during a period where sleep will almost certainly be in short supply.
Get into a routine as soon as possible
With an abundance of baby sleep experts in the field, and hundreds of studies conducted on baby sleep patterns, one piece of advice seems to be consistent, and that is the importance of getting into a routine from an early age. Whilst the first few weeks can be very up and down, babies can soon start to adapt to regular patterns within their daily life and bed times, and this can help to gaining a sleep pattern too. Start by trying to bath your newborn at the same time each day or put them in their rocker at the same time each day and gradually build from there on.
Take your turn
Comforting a waking baby becomes a much easier task when it is shared in half. Talk to your partner about sharing wake-up times during the night and agree on a system that works for you both. If you are breast-feeding, then during the first few weeks and months it may be harder to do this during the night, however, once the feeds slow down or if you decide to introduce a bottle, then it will be easier to share the load.
Once you have agreed on a night time rota that works for your family, you may want to consider sleeping in separate rooms or beds so that you can try to have a non-interrupted sleep during your time-off! Having your own bed for a few weeks might just give you that extra bit of sleep that you need during these restless few weeks. If you don’t have a spare room for this, then consider making a comfortable place on your sofa where you can sleep during this period.
Power napping while baby sleeps
It sounds simple enough, but trying to get some sleep while baby is asleep is actually harder than it seems. As soon as your little one closes their eyes you will suddenly realise the build up of pots in the sink, clothing in the wash bag, and letters that need to be opened. Once all these tasks have been attended to, your baby will awaken and decide it’s time for lunch, and yet again, you will have no time for napping! Try to combat this by planning ahead and making yourself a schedule for the day. Set aside 15 mins to complete jobs in the morning, as well as 15 mins for a power nap, and the same in the afternoon. This way you are sure to make sure you get chance to get at least a bit of nap time while your little one is resting too.
Watch your diet
When sleep is a priority on the agenda, you must ensure that you are taking all precautions to make sure that you can get the most and best type of sleep possible. Some foods, especially those which are high in sugar or caffeine can make getting to sleep rather difficult and intrude on valuable nap times. Try to opt for caffeine free alternatives and natural food types, rather than processed foods that are high in sugar content.
Ask for help
Although new parents tend to be keen to remain independent and non-reliant on others for support, it is important to know when it’s time to ask for help. If you are continuously lacking sleep, your health and energy levels will begin to suffer, and this will have a negative on you, your baby and your family relationships. Even if it’s just an hour every couple of days, ask a grandparent or close friend to take baby for a walk in their buggy whilst you take time to lay down on your bed and shut your eyes. Even if you don’t manage to drift off to sleep during this period, by taking the weight of your feet, closing your eyes and allowing you body to relax, you will instantly get a new boost of well-needed energy to carry on the day.
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