Becoming parents is a wonderful life event and you’ll be so happy to have welcomed your baby into the world. You’ll also be tired, most likely! It can be overwhelming – emotionally, mentally and physically – to adapt to your new life with a newborn and you need to make sure you get some rest to recharge your batteries.
Here are my top 5 sleep tips for new parents:
1. Don’t expect too much, too soon.
Not all babies are the same. Some sleep well from the start, others take a few months before they sleep through and some still wake up when they’re toddlers. All variations are fine, of course. Just go with the rhythm of your baby. In the early days, the wake-ups are usually for feeds which are of course important for your baby’s growth and development. Sometimes, your baby just wants a cuddle or a new nappy. Don’t expect your baby to sleep through while he or she is still very young – but if he or she does, be happy and enjoy the sleep! You don’t need to read the rest of this post!
2. Create a safe place for your baby nearby.
Make it easy for yourself and install a bedside cot (also known as co-sleeping crib) on the side of your bed so that your newborn has a safe place to sleep near you. By having them close in a cot attached to your bed, you limit the times you have to get up in the night which means you should sleep better.
A bedside cot allows you to easily breastfeed your baby in the night and to check on him or her throughout the night. When you have a new baby, you usually want to check on them often to make sure they’re okay and when they’re right next to you, it’s really easy to hear that they’re breathing, settle them if they’re stirring and ensure they’re in the sleep position you want them to be.
3. Catch up when you can.
When you have your first baby, you can follow the advice that is “sleep when your baby sleeps”, so do! Broken nights will make you exhausted and it’s important that you try to catch up on some of the lost sleep when you can. If your baby is napping in the bedside cot in the daytime, go and lay down in your bed and have a sleep yourself. You’ll feel much better afterwards. Catching up on sleep in the early days is much more important than catching up on household chores so make sure you’re prioritising your well-being and health.
4. Ask for help.
If you’re struggling to settle your baby to sleep in their cot in the day – some babies seem to just want to nap in the pram, baby carrier or the car – ask for help. Ask a friend or a family member to come and look after your baby for an hour or so to let you have a nap. I’m sure they’d be more than happy to help!
5. See what works for you.
There are lots of products and tricks that can help your baby sleep and therefor help make sure you get some more sleep too. Our youngest baby really liked our Grohush Baby Calmer which plays white noise and heartbeats. The heartbeats setting really helped calm her down and sleep for longer. Some babies react well to swaddling or baby massage and some like a really dark room to sleep. Try different things and see what works for your baby and family.
Good luck and remember the newborn days don’t last forever and one day you will get a full night’s sleep again.
This guest blog was kindly submitted by Petra from the blog A Mum Reviews, which covers anything that might interest mums and mums-to-be. Petra writes about things like pregnancy, babies, children, parenting, beauty, pampering, books, food, travel and just family life in general – and products relating to these topics.