The arrival of a baby can be tough on parents and their sleep routines. It can also be difficult for mothers to breastfeed as their partners don’t share the same role. What you have to remember is that this stage doesn’t last forever, and typically by the age of 3 months, most babies can sleep at least five consecutive hours at a time. Nighttime sleep can stretch to 9 – 12 hours by the time your little one is six months old.
If you are a new parent and sleep is something you’re not getting enough of, you are at the right place. In today’s guide on ‘Sleep Tips for Parents’, we’d offer some timely tips and hacks for new parents on dealing with a broken night’s sleep.
1. Sleep when your baby sleeps
Yes, this may not be possible for all parents since taking care of their child isn’t the only thing they have to do during the day, but if you get the possibility to nap with your baby, take advantage of it. When it comes down to sleep at night, we know that babies wake up frequently, especially when they are a few months old, but you can turn off your phone or TV and sleep with them.
If you need some sleep advice about your babies and children, check our guide on ‘How much sleep do children need?’
2. Take advantage of parental leave
Every parent needs time to adjust when their baby is born. Yes, employer policies on parental leave vary, but in most cases, both parents can take time off from work for at least two weeks, which helps them juggle baby care more easily. Or you can take parental leave a few weeks after your wife, so you can help the new mom get some rest before she transitions back to work.
3. Share nighttime baby duties
You and your partner can share feedings, diaper changes and other nighttime baby duties and wake-up calls. We know that if your baby is hungry during the night, it is harder to help when only one parent is breastfeeding, but there is always a way. You can help your partner by bottle-feeding your little one or at least by bringing the baby to their mom and handling the nappy changes.
4. Don’t keep the baby in bed with you
We know that it might be tempting to keep your little bundle of joy in bed with you, but you should only do so to feed them or change their diaper. It’s essential you return your infant to their lovely cot bed when they are ready to go to bed, so they associate it with sleep. This will save you from creating other problems in the longer run. If you want to keep your baby close, placing their crib next to your bed can be an excellent solution to your worries.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Asking for help is something you should never be afraid of, especially from your family or friends. You can cast the usual social niceties aside and ask if they’d mind watching your baby while you take a shower, eat or take a nap. Most of your relatives and friends will be happy to help.
6. Learn to accept help
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help nor to accept it. You don’t need to ‘do it all’ and if someone offers you some aid, take it. You can ask them to bottle feed the baby, change their diaper or just watch them until you run some errands or take a bath. Even parents need a break!
7. Prepare for sleep
We understand that having a newborn can leave you feeling exhausted, but somehow you still can’t fall asleep. If you have trouble falling asleep, make sure your bedroom environment is suited for rest and relaxation. Having a quiet room with no outside noise, no bright lights, and a cool temperature can do wonders.
8. Practice good sleep hygiene
It’s crucial to practice good sleep hygiene because it can help you get more rest, whether or not you have a newborn at home. The first thing you should try and stay clear of at night is caffeine and sugar drinks since they are a stimulant that can interfere with your sleep cycle.
Another crucial factor is keeping a strict sleep schedule, which can be challenging as a new parent, but at least try and wake up and go to bed at the same time. With that said, having a baby might make your schedule more flexible due to the nighttime awakenings. Last but not least, don’t use electronics before bedtime since they emit blue light, which can confuse your body clock and cause sleep disruptions.
9. Get a comfortable bed & mattress
Your baby needs sleep to grow, but rest is essential for everyone’s health. For you to get a good night’s sleep, you need to have a high-quality mattress and a stable and durable bed frame. The right mattress will be comfortable and support you so you can get a restful sleep while your little one is peacefully sleeping in their crib.
10. Take care of yourself
Finally, even with a new human being in your hands, you should never forget to take care of yourself and your health. Sleep deprivation can lead to mood changes, which you should avoid, as your hormones are already in overdrive. However, if you have any concerns about your mood swings or health, you should speak with a doctor who can help you get the rest you need.
Being a new parent can be challenging and stressful, but sleep is essential for both your and your baby’s health, which is why you should never ignore it. If you take care of yourself, you will be able to take care of your newborn as well!
We hope we were able to answer the how and why when it comes down to ‘Sleep tips for parents’, and now it’s our turn to hear from you if any questions regarding the subject were left unanswered. If you want to share some information, we would gladly hear about it in the comments below.