Although it is a given that sleep deprivation will be a part of life when becoming new parents and having a newborn at home, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make the most of the hours you spend sleeping. With a bit of planning, imagination, and support, it is possible to navigate through this stage. If you are looking for ways to cope with the sleepless nights of early parenthood, we have got you covered.
Here are five tips for getting enough sleep when your baby is at the centre of your attention.
A Baby Sleep Routine Is Key
During the initial couple of months of life, little can be done to alleviate sleep deprivation caused by your baby’s sleep patterns beyond ensuring the room is as dark as possible and providing soothing when necessary.
However, as your baby grows, you can establish a healthy sleep pattern to combat sleep deprivation by implementing a relaxing bedtime routine and fostering regular nap times.
Sleep In The Same Room
Babies should usually sleep in the same room for at least the first six months of their lives. Keeping your little bundle of joy near you gives you a significant advantage in getting those extra minutes and enough sleep. If you don’t have to leave your room to tend to your baby, you’ll get to them quicker to tend to their needs, and you’ll both have an easier time falling back to sleep once all is sorted.
Sleep When the Baby Sleeps
Everyone always mentions this age-old advice, and while this sounds very simple as a parent-to-be, those experienced parents will tell you otherwise. When your baby arrives, you may feel it’s tough to enter the land of nod within your baby’s sleep window.
You will find the need to get stuff done at this time or take some time to have a cup of coffee and relax (trust me, it doesn’t last long). But your baby’s naps give you the best opportunity to catch up on sleep, So if you can, take advantage of them.
As Parents, Design A Survival Sleep Plan.
Similar to how your partner created a plan for the birth or nursery decor, you can also plan for managing sleep deprivation after your baby’s arrival. Have a conversation with your partner and establish a structured routine to ensure equal distribution of responsibilities.
You and your partner could discuss mixing up some of those night feedings, or you could help bring your baby to your partner if she is breastfeeding. You can also ask any close family or friends to come over and do a stint with the baby while you both get under the covers for some naughty sleeping time!
It’s a Team Game.
Be that rock at night or even during the day, make sure you understand that tending to your baby between naps is not a one-person job. Pitching in and taking care of night wakings while your partner sleeps during the day or on weekends is a job you can and should do.
It’s important to remember that sleep deprivation can affect both you and your partner, and it’s crucial to work together and support each other through this time. Be bold, ask for help, and have regular conversations about how you’re coping and if any changes need to be made to the plan. Together, you can navigate this new and exciting journey as a team.
Develop healthy sleep habits.
Sometimes, being chronically tired can make it difficult to fall asleep, even when an opportunity presents itself. Now is an excellent time to build a toolbox for trying things if you are having difficulty sleeping. Meditation, reading before bed, and breathing techniques before sleep can be the best ways to send you off.
Additionally, it’s worth trying to avoid screens for an hour before bed as the blue light emitted from screens can disrupt our natural sleep patterns. You can try to create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as taking a warm bath or shower, listening to soothing music or white noise, and practising yoga or stretching to relax the body and mind. And remember the power of a comfortable bed and a dark, quiet, and cool room.
Sleep deprivation will always catch up with you, no matter how well you do or how many night shifts you put in. It comes part and parcel with your newborn, and unfortunately, you will need to live with it for the first couple of months.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and your baby will gradually increase their minutes in the land of zzz’s. So let the laundry pile up, leave the dishes until the next day, and accept and ask for help from your friends, family or even neighbours, simply because it’s not forever.
This article was written by Chris over at www.dadstoolshed.co.uk