People warn you about sleepless nights when you’re expecting your first child, but nothing can prepare you for those first few weeks when it seems like you’re running purely on love and adrenaline. You can plan as much as you like, but when that little bundle arrives, it will flip your world upside down, and a good night’s sleep may soon become a distant memory. Parenting is tiring work, and everybody needs a rest from time to time. If you’re a new parent, and you can’t remember the last time you woke up feeling refreshed and revived, here are some tips to help you crack the code and get some rest.
Sharing the load
It’s difficult to bring up children when you’ve got help, let alone when you’re trying to muddle through on your own. If you’ve got people asking about helping out, don’t feel obliged to say no all the time. If your partner is happy to help with night feeds or your mom wants to pop round in the afternoons, take advantage of the window available to get your head down and get some sleep. It’s so advantageous to get into a sleep routine, but when you have a tiny baby, napping when you can is the way forward. As your child gets older, you should find that they develop patterns, and this will enable you to establish some routine too. If you’re struggling, you’re exhausted, or you could just do with an hour to yourself, ask a friend, sibling, parent or partner to help out. It’s amazing what a hot bath and a power nap can do.
When you’ve got your baby in your bedroom with you, it can be difficult to create the right ambiance and set the tone for rest. Try and keep the room as tidy as possible, and store their clothes and equipment in the nursery. Make the room dark when you’re trying to snooze and keep it quiet. Make sure you’ve got a comfortable bed. It’s vital that you make the most of every moment you’ve got when your baby is still tiny, so if you are struggling with an old mattress, consider shopping for a replacement before the baby arrives. If your child is older and they’re sleeping in the nursery, use a monitor to give you peace of mind when you put them down. If you don’t like to leave them straight away, you could put an air mattress in the room and stay with them until they have dozed off or even grab 40 winks while they’re sleeping. Many parents also find this is a good trick when children are older, and they don’t like to be left alone at bedtime.
It may seem impossible to relax when there’s a new baby around, but there will be moments when the baby is sleeping when you can enjoy a little ‘me time.’ Even if you only get 10 minutes, use it to do something you find relaxing. Have a shower, stretch, watch TV, meditate or call a friend for a catch-up. If you can take a few breaks during the day, this will make it much easier to power through without as much sleep as you’re used to.
If you’re a new parent, you’re probably dreaming of a good night’s sleep. Hopefully, this guide will come in handy.