Tips to help new parents get some sleep
The joy of a new baby is certainly special and something that all new parents experience. However, a lack of sleep is also part of having a new baby and new parents notoriously get very little sleep, if any at all. Fortunately, there are some strategies and tips to help new parents get some sleep when the new baby comes. Of course, with a baby you will never get an over abundance of sleep, but these tips will help you at least get enough sleep to keep your sanity.
Tip #1 Take Turns
When the baby starts crying both parents generally wake up, even if only one attends to the baby. However, in the first couple of months both parents might get up each time the baby cries. This will lead to a lack of sleep for both parents. The best plan is for Mum and Dad to make a plan of who will get up when to comfort the crying baby. Generally, taking turns is really the best option and will help everyone get just a little more sleep. In the early days, when a mother is breastfeeding, it is unavoidable that she will be waking up throughout the night but if baby has been fed and still wont settle, it might be worthwhile seeing if Dad can help rock the baby back to sleep.
Tip #2 Nap With Baby
If you are caring for the baby and are tired and the baby goes to sleep then you should take a nap as well. This will allow you to get some much needed sleep. So, whether the baby naps in the morning, afternoon, or early evening you should also get a little rest because you never know when the baby might wake up.
Tip #3 Accept Help
Frequently when you have a new baby there are plenty of people willing to help from parents, siblings, friends, and other family members. So, when you really need to get some sleep just accept some of the help that is being offered. Having your Mum, sister or friend care for the baby just a couple of hours will allow you to get some much needed sleep.
Tip #4 Feed Baby Before You Sleep
If your baby has been asleep for several hours and it is around 11 pm and you are getting ready for bed simply wake baby for a feeding. This is sometimes called ‘dream feeding’. Most babies wake during the night because they are hungry, so if you feed baby late before you go to bed it is more likely they will sleep longer. This will allow you to get some continuous sleep, even if it is not as much as you want.
Please note that for very small babies ie from birth -12 weeks, it is normal to wake every couple of hours during the night so try not to expect too much at this stage. The first few months are like a blur but babies sleep habits do get better as long as you try to stick to a consistent routine. For example bath time at the same time every day and quiet time in the evening before bed. The tips in this article are designed to help you ride through the sleep deprivation that you may experience.