Welcoming a newborn into your family is a magical time, however it doesn’t come without its challenges. Chances are you’ll spend a lot of time thinking about how to help your baby to sleep better - but what about you?
New parents can often find themselves overwhelmed with creating a newborn bedtime routine, nighttime feeds, nappy changes and midnight fussing; and your own sleep can fall by the wayside. However, as difficult as it often seems, getting enough sleep is important when it comes to keeping focussed and calm.
To help you get through those first nights as a new parent, and even catch a little extra shut eye yourself, here are our top tips on how to sleep as a newborn parent.
1.Sleep when your baby sleeps
Nap time isn’t just for little ones: parents can benefit from a daytime snooze too. You may have heard the expression ‘sleep when your baby sleeps’ - it exists for a reason! Noisy distractions or the temptation to get jobs done around the house can get in the way, but it’s important to remember that making sure you’re as well rested as possible should be one of your top priorities.
Even if it’s for half an hour, if you can grab some shuteye while your baby naps, it’s a good idea to do so. Those little jobs can wait. Which leads us on to our second piece of advice...
2.Ditch the guilt
So your house isn’t perfectly clean and tidy? So what! As a new parent, it can be hard to let go of the desire to be perfect - and that can mean sleep takes a back seat to cleaning and tidying. It’s time to ditch the guilt: nobody will expect your home to be spick and span, so forget the washing up and take a nap.
3.Don’t neglect your diet
It’s only natural to find yourself reaching for quick and easy snacks while taking care of your new arrival; and your own nutrition can suffer as a result. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated, and opt for nutritious, healthy options wherever you can. While there’s no need to feel bad about reaching for the takeaway menu, keeping your diet well balanced will help you to feel more energised and less foggy headed; plus, it’ll help you sleep better too.
4.Divide and conquer
If you have a partner who is able to help out, split nighttime duties between the two of you. Whether that means you take it in turns to change your newborn’s nappy, or share the night feed, dividing up those nighttime responsibilities can mean you’re able to grab a little more sleep for yourself.
5.Don’t be afraid to ask for help
There is no shame in admitting you need a helping hand: taking care of a newborn is hard, and if you have a support network then use it! Ask a friend to watch your baby while you take a quick nap, or accept the offer of a food shop from a family member: friends and family will most likely want to help, and will be more than happy to do what they can to keep you as well rested as possible.
6.Get some fresh air
Getting outside, even if only for a ten minute walk, can be a great way to boost your energy during the daytime. It can be hard to find the time, but getting outdoors or adding a little physical activity into your day can not only help you to feel refreshed and revitalised, but can also help you to sleep better too.
7.Take steps to help your baby sleep...
While you may not be able to control when your baby sleeps, or for how long, it is a good idea to take steps to help your newborn sleep better. Maintain a consistent bedtime routine; avoid keeping them up during the day; and create a safe, cosy place for them to sleep - our range of Moses baskets are perfect for helping your newborn to feel comforted and secure.
8....and remember your own sleep hygiene!
This advice rings true for everyone, but even more so for new parents: when taking care of a newborn it can be easy to forget to take care of your own sleep hygiene. Create a calming environment in which to sleep at night (plus, as your baby will be sleeping in your room with you, this should help them to sleep too); avoid caffeine before bed time; stick to a regular schedule as much as possible; and put your phone away for an hour before you go to sleep.
We hope these sleep tips for new parents help you to get some much deserved shut eye.