According to- New Baby? Seven Sleep Tips for Exhausted Parents , Before your baby was born, someone probably told you, “Enjoy your sleep while you can.”.
This age-old (maybe even cruel?) advice seems to be hitting you in the face now that your newborn is here.
In parenthood, sleeplessness or sleep deprivation may seem like a rite of passage, but it shouldn’t. Sleep isn’t just important for your newborn, but for you as well.
According to Russell Horton, DO, a physician with Banner Health in Phoenix, AZ, “Good, quality sleep can lower stress, improve mood, maintain a healthy weight and boost immunity.”
In spite of the fact that quality sleep may seem more like a distant memory than a reality these days, it is still possible to get the amount of sleep you need.
New parents can benefit from Dr. Horton’s 7 sleeping tips.
Sleep when the baby sleeps.
During naptime and bedtime, follow your baby’s lead and take time to rest. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but it’s better for your body and mind.
A new parent’s need for sleep is heightened. Naturally, when you don’t get enough sleep, you are more likely to suffer from anxiety and emotional stress.
“Sleep deprivation can impact you even more, affecting the way you treat your partner and your baby,” Dr. Horton said. In reality, you should try to make the most of every moment your baby is sleeping by also napping. You’ll be woken up many times in the night, so try to make the most of that.”
For a quick recharge, take a power nap or “light sleep” for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Get your head in the game … the game of sleep.
Sleep hygiene can help you get more rest, regardless of whether you have a newborn or not. Here are some tips:
Take a warm bath or shower before bed, read a book, walk around the block, journal, stretch, meditate, or do anything that calms your body and mind.
You can help your body prepare for a good night’s sleep by using room darkening shades.
Regardless of how tempting it might be to scroll TikTok, watch Netflix, or post the latest pictures of your baby, these things will still be there when you wake up. Using electronic devices can cause your body clock to be confused, making it difficult for you to fall asleep and even sleep deeply.
Before going to bed, avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol. These things can make it harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
You should place the crib or bassinet near your bed.
In the first six months when your baby sleeps intermittently throughout the night, room sharing in a bassinet or crib near your bed can be helpful.
Despite how tempting it may be to co-sleep with your sleeping beauty, it is unsafe and dangerous to do so.
“Co-sleeping is convenient and often practiced, but it does increase the risk of SIDS,” Dr. Horton said. Even a firm adult mattress isn’t designed to meet the needs of an infant when parents are in a deep sleep. “Parents often don’t realize how unaware they become when in a deep sleep. Especially for infants under three months and those whose mothers smoke, room sharing is a safe way to keep baby close and promote bonding and breastfeeding.”
You can find safe sleep guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics here. Read Also-Intimacy and Sex After a Vaginal Delivery?
4. Work in shifts.
Even for parents who exclusively breastfeed, nighttime parenting can be a little lopsided if you’re parenting with a partner.
“Taking shifts during the night can make a world of difference,” Dr. Horton said. “It can acclimate both parents to the infant’s nighttime needs and help with sleep training.”
When possible, split the night into shifts, with one person waking up with the baby first and the other with the baby second. If breastfeeding, pump right before you go to bed so the other parent has a bottle ready to go and you can sleep through the first feed.
Help is available if you ask for it.
Having a new baby can be overwhelming. There is nothing wrong with asking for help.
To catch up on some sleep, ask a friend, family member, postpartum doula or sleep coach to help out overnight or during the day. Whenever possible, ask a family member or friend to assist in day-to-day tasks like laundry or dishwashing, and use services like grocery delivery if you can.
In time, you’ll adjust to your new lifestyle and make it the new normal for you. Your loved ones will be excited to help and get some extra snuggles in with your newborn.
Parental leave should be taken advantage of.
The length of parental leave varies from company to company and country to country, but if you and your spouse are both able to take some time off, take advantage of it.
“Parenting together in the first few days and weeks of a child’s life can improve sleep and bonding significantly,” Dr. Horton said.
It has been shown to reduce stress levels, improve bonding between parent and child, improve mental health, and aid in postpartum recovery.
Make sure you take care of yourself.
It has been a long and stressful time for your body and life, so take some time to pamper yourself or take a break. Get a massage, go for a hike, talk to a friend, listen to music, or do whatever makes you feel good. You may feel less alone on this journey of parenthood if you join a community or support group.
Seek help from your health care provider or a licensed behavioral health specialist if you’re experiencing insomnia or symptoms of postpartum depression. Fortunately, there are treatments that can help with postpartum and getting your sleep back on track.
In order to stay healthy with a new baby, you need to get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can affect almost every system in our body, from our brain, heart and lungs to our immune system and our resistance to disease.
It won’t take long for your baby to sleep long enough for you to get some decent sleep regularly.
Sleeping too little or not well?
Find a primary care provider near you and schedule an appointment.
Before your baby was born, someone probably told you, “Enjoy your sleep while you can.”.
In the midst of your sleep deprivation, this age-old (perhaps even cruel?) advice seems to be smacking you across the face.
As a parent, sleeplessness might seem like a rite of passage, but that shouldn’t be the case. Sleep is important for your newborn, but it’s also one of the best things you can do for yourself.
“Good, quality sleep is important to improving your health and well-being,” said Russell Horton, DO, a physician with Banner Health in Phoenix, AZ. “It can lower stress, help you think clearly, improve mood, maintain a healthy body weight, and boost your immune system.”
New parents can benefit from Dr. Horton’s 7 sleeping tips. Recommended-Tips for Vegetarians During Pregnancy You need to know about it