You won't need us to tell you that having a new baby can really take its toll on your sleeping pattern. Fortunately, the period of sleepless nights doesn't last forever, and you should start to get more rest once your little one is between six months and a year old. And, there are some tricks you can use to ensure you still get as much sleep as possible in the early days.
Here, we're going to outline some tried and tested tips that are well worth a try.
Ask for help with the night-time feeds
One of the most effective ways to get a long stretch of sleep is to ask your partner or a family member to help with the night-time feeds, if this is possible. This will be easy if you're currently bottle feeding your little one with formula but, of course, if you're breast feeding, you'll need to express and introduce bottles to your baby. While some new mothers can be hesitant to do this, the extra hours of sleep will make it well worth it. A single bottle of milk could bag you two to three hours of extra sleep!
Sleep when your baby sleeps
It can be tempting to catch up on your housework, reply to emails, or even watch your favourite TV shows while your little one naps during the day. But we would highly recommend using this quiet time to get some extra sleep in, too. Your to-do list and text messages can wait, but squeezing in a quick nap can really help keep your mood up and your stress levels low, which is incredibly important as a new parent.
Go for morning walks
It's normal for your sleeping pattern to be all over the place when you're a new parent, but leaving the house to go for a walk each morning can really help. The exposure to natural daylight will help to reset your circadian rhythm, regardless of how much sleep you managed to get the night before. And, it might even help your little one to settle into more of a regular sleeping schedule. The exercise of pushing your baby around in a pushchair could make it easier for you to sleep when you get the chance to nap, too.
Find activities that help you wind down
No matter how tired you might feel, it can still be difficult to fall asleep after a stressful day of nappy changes, running errands, and trying to calm a crying baby. So, it's important that you find a way to wind down on an evening before you head off to bed. It's best to avoid screens that emit blue light, as these are likely to keep you up longer. Instead, think about reading a few pages of a new book, taking a quick dip in the bath, or even relaxing with a nice skincare routine. Your brain will start to associate these activities with bedtime, and you should begin to find it much easier to nod off.
Turn your baby monitor down
As a new parent, you'll be hardwired to respond to every little noise your little one makes, so having a baby monitor next to your bed can be quite distracting. Of course, you'll want to know if your little one is distressed, but a lot of the sounds they make during the night won't be a cause for concern. So, considering turning the volume of your baby monitor down so you can only hear if your baby is crying out for you. This will go a long way to helping you relax, so you should be able to sleep for slightly longer each night.
We know that getting enough sleep is a huge issue for new parents, but these tips should help you to get just enough shut-eye in the first few months of your little one's life.