Infants sleep a lot, sometimes as much as 18 hours daily (1). Each baby has their own sleeping and waking patterns. And whatever works for them may not fit into your schedule. Since newborns are unaware of day and night, they wake up quite often. So this means you’ll also be up attending to your baby, to feed, change or soothe them.
If you have just undergone the process of childbirth and your body is still sore and recovering, you’re still adjusting to the newborn, the youngest member of the family. So, how do you cope with sleepless nights as a new parent? If you’re curious, read on to know some coping mechanisms that can help you catch up on much-needed sleep as you raise your little one:
1. Get Advice From Other Parents
Some parents sleep well because their babies sleep through the night. But if your baby doesn’t let you, don’t worry; you’re not alone in the journey. Many parents have stories to tell about the times when they faced issues trying to put the baby off to sleep and their endless struggles in the process. It helps to learn some valuable tips from these experienced moms.
2. Get Some Idea On Safe Sleeping Methods
Learn about safe sleep habits for babies. New parents are often clueless about safe sleeping habits that they must inculcate in their routine early on. If you are anxious to know what you can do for your baby if they aren’t sleeping well, you will be stressed and unable to rest. You can be sure that your baby is sleeping in a safe environment in a separate bed or cot but in the same room as yours in the first six months after birth. This will help reduce the chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) (1).
3. Schedule Your Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps
Sleeping for 8 hours can be a distant dream, especially when breastfeeding. However, avoid being awake when your baby is sleeping. Sleep when they sleep. Try not to be tempted to engage in other household chores during your baby’s sleeping hours and get some sleep for yourself instead. Just rest for a few minutes if you struggle to sleep.
4. Monitor Your Diet
When you’re recovering and breastfeeding, it’s normal to feel extra hungry. And since you’ll be hard-pressed to figure out what to eat, you may end up making unhealthy choices that lead to weight gain. Try to eat a healthy and balanced diet that gives you your daily nutrition because what you eat will affect your baby’s growth and development. Try not to skip breakfast and eat at least three-five portions of fruits and vegetables. Ditch junk food like cookies, cakes or sweets. Drink plenty of fluids, at least eight glasses of water a day (2).
5. Seek Help From Your Loved Ones
The period after childbirth is sensitive. You’ll go through all sorts of changes as your body tries to get back to its normal state.
Ask your partner to help if they are around. Once you’ve breastfed the baby, ask them to put the baby off to sleep while you hit the bed right away. To ensure that one of you has a good night’s sleep, you can also try and take turns to sleep separately with the baby. You can do this if they are already formula feeding. Your partner or helpers can take the baby out of the bedroom and play with them for a few hours while you catch up on some precious sleep meanwhile.
6. Cut Out The Extra Work
Your baby right now needs you. And you wouldn’t want to miss out on making beautiful memories with them during this period. So, slow down a bit and prioritize your to-dos. If you can delegate some tasks to helpers around, do it. We suggest you start shopping online as this can save you time. Also, cooking elaborate dishes shouldn’t be your concern now. Apart from tasks that demand your sole attention, leave the rest to someone else.
7. Speak To Your Doctor
If you are confused, it’s best to talk to your most trusted friend in your parenthood journey. And that’s your doctor. Along with checking in on your baby and tracking their developments, they can also assist you in getting your baby to have a good bedtime routine.
Life can suddenly feel hectic when your baby has arrived home, leaving you no time for yourself. And, it’s super hard to be at the top of your game, at work or home, right after you’ve given birth to your little one. But it’s alright to take a backseat and relax. Your body has gone through enough and whenever it demands rest, listen to it. So, how did your baby impact your sleep schedule? Do let us know your tips for new parents to cope with sleepless nights in the comments section below.