New baby keeping you awake? Here’s some help.
Guest post provided by Sonia Ourmand. See below for more information about this author.
New babies are notorious for keeping their parents up at all hours of the night.
Because their circadian cycles have yet to become established, babies are still unaware of the norm of sleeping during the night and waking during the day.
Getting sufficient rest in the early days of your child’s life can be challenging, but with a few helpful tips you can make the experience a positive one.
As infants’ bodies and minds adjust to the normal sleep schedules of their families, new parents can have a difficult time managing their own lack of sleep.
While the overwhelming joy of a new baby easily outweighs any discomfort it can still be a challenge to function when you are used to sleeping for much longer periods of time.
Set realistic expectations
You won’t likely be able to sleep for solid eight hour stretches.
Just as you prepare for baby’s arrival with tiny clothes and bedding and things like breastfeeding pajamas, you can also mentally prepare for lack of sleep.
Knowing that your sleep schedule will be disrupted can help you avoid any shock in the beginning.
Change your sleep schedule
New babies sleep and wake around the clock, so if you want to rest as well, you simply must sleep while baby sleeps.
This may mean sleeping during the day when it is light outside, and forcing yourself to prioritize your nap instead of rushing to check your email or wash dishes the second baby dozes off.
In order to get more rest, many couples agree to switch off night-waking schedules.
One can take the first shift of four hours and the other can take the remaining four hours.
If one partner simply must wake up early for work, you can consider having the parent on duty for the night sleep in another room with the baby.
Special needs for nursing
Breastfeeding mothers often have to wake up with baby in order to feed.
Having comfortable breastfeeding pajamas is essential for this, as you won’t want to keep a hungry infant waiting.
Dad can also help by making sure she has a comfortable place to nurse such as an armchair, and helping to fetch items like diapers if necessary.
He can be sure to let her sleep during the morning by taking baby for a walk or simply to another place in the house.
Set a routine
Although baby will be new to the sleep game in the very beginning, you can help establish a healthy sleep pattern by setting a great bedtime routine.
Try giving baby a warm bath, nursing or giving a bottle, and laying her down in the same place every night.
Repeating this same sequence of events will help her understand when it’s time to go to sleep.
About the Author:
Sonia Ourmand is a mother of two and breastfeeding expert. She is also a writer for Amoralia.com, makers of comfortable breastfeeding pyjamas, and gorgeous lingerie for pregnancy and nursing.