How New Parents Can Sleep Better
You are in your bed, sleeping soundly at 3 o’clock in the morning. You are probably dreaming about meeting your favorite celebrities or winning a car from a lucky draw or traveling to the best destinations in the world for ‘me-time’. But just when it’s about to get more exciting, you hear someone is crying. Very… very… loudly.
You suddenly wake up, look at the clock and give yourself a 10-second stare at your partner who is still sleeping before you remove yourself from your bed and head to the crib to calm your baby down.
This is the fear of every new parent; the battle to get enough sleep. A survey from Owlet Baby Care found that nearly 50% of all parents with children six months or younger get just one to three hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
Multiple feedings every night, diaper changes, the unexpected wakes in the middle of your dreams and let’s not forget, the usual waking-up-early part to make sure everything goes smoothly before you head to go about your day at the office can turn even the most committed moms and dads into undead zombies.
Sigh…yeap, there you go. You may ponder around if there’s any hope of getting through this difficult time. The answer is YES.
Here are 5 pieces of advice for you to get through the groggy days of parenthood:-
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
This may sound like it’s coming from an old textbook but proper sleep hygiene does make a difference to maximize your rest after your baby’s arrival.
You may wonder, how to prepare your mind and body for a good sleep?
You can create a bedtime routine such as taking a warm bath or reading a book. This will let your mind and body unwind before going to sleep.
Getting to bed at the same time every night will also help you prepare yourself. It’s best if you are in bed right after your baby has fallen asleep.
Remember, do NOT sleep after 12 midnight. You will be exhausted if you have to wake up later. Sleeping at 10 o’clock should be the ideal time for you.
Take Turns With Your Spouse
Hey, believe it or not, the person next to you is actually the best help you can get! Marriage is all about teamwork and this is the time to show that! Take turns with your spouse getting up with your baby so that each of you can get uninterrupted sleep.
If you are a nursing mom, try going to sleep at the same time as your baby and see if your spouse can feed him a bottle of pumped breast milk while you get plenty of sleep during the first half of the night. Only in the second half will you wake up to comfort your baby.
Work Only Applies at Work
It’s the modern day and work assignments, projects and deadlines can easily intrude your life. Not only that, but the thoughts and anxieties of remembering your tasks at work can seep into your brain and affect your resting time.
During your first few months with your new baby, make an effort to leave work, at work. Explain to your managers or boss on your circumstances and limit work-related messages and phone calls. If you have two phones; one is for work and the other is for personal use, switching off the former should be okey-dokey. Don’t feel guilty, your mental health and your baby should be prioritized first before anything else.
Create a Sleep Conducive Environment for you and your baby
Are you reading this at home? If yes, then go to your room and ask yourself this question, ‘Is your bedroom relaxing enough for you?’
Terry Cralle, a sleep educator advises to keep clutter, unfolded laundry, bric-a-brac, gadgets and other stuff out of your bedroom. All of this can distract you from getting a good night’s sleep.
If you feel the need to take a temporary break from sleeping in the bed with your partner, you should do so. Bear in mind that your spouse should also have a say in this, so discuss with them before you make your decision. Getting enough sleep can contribute to happy and healthy relationships and sleeping in separate rooms may help just that.
You can also create the best sleep environment for your baby. White noise machines, swaddling and a dark bedroom can help your baby sleep better and for longer periods of time.
Rejuvenate Yourself Doing What You Love
If sleeping 7 to 8 hours isn’t possible for you, then try to find the things that you love doing as a way to refresh yourself other than sleep. It can be anything from listening to music, reading books, baking or gardening.
Finding time to enjoy your hobby can help you to reduce stress. We know what you’re thinking; how is it possible to pursue your hobby when you have a baby to care for and work to do?
We’re positive that all of you have your leisure time. Spend yours to work on your hobby. It’s a great idea to use 30 to 60 minutes of your day and just sit on the sofa and watch Netflix!
Worry not, there’s still hope at the end of the tunnel. Tomorrow you will wake up and your zombie-self will disappear in no time! 😉