Like food and water, sleep is an absolute necessity; if you don’t sleep, you cannot function. For the majority of new parents, sleep deprivation is so bad (and common) they can’t even articulate how tired they are. I have five top tips for new parents to keep sleep deprivation at bay and get through the night:
TIP 1: SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS
I know naps are a foreign concept to many parents but, especially with a new baby, they are necessary. Even if you can’t sleep, simply lying down whilst the baby sleeps can be very restorative.
TIP 2: MAKE A SLEEP JOURNAL
Consider making a sleep journal for the first couple of months. I know it sounds silly, but it will help you keep track of how much sleep you and your little one are truly getting. This will also help your support network see when and where you need their help.
TIP 3: ALLOW YOURSELF PEACE OF MIND
Most parents who make it through the feeding, changing, and even getting their little one down to sleep still do not sleep themselves. The reason they aren’t sleeping is because they are hovering - constantly checking on their little one while they’re sleeping.
As a parent, you react to every little whimper, breath, and movement. This is where the Owlet Smart Sock comes in as a parent must-have. It provides parents with a peace of mind by notifying them if their baby's heart rate or oxygen levels are outside of preset zones. Offering parents that peace of mind is key to making sure they are getting quality sleep that allows their mind and body to relax. I first learnt about the product from Jessica Alba!
TIP 4: ESTABLISH AND STICK TO A ROUTINE
This starts from day one! Babies are extremely smart and love routines. You have to train your baby, so that each step eventually leads to slumber. This starts with your naptime and night-time routine.
At night, I always give the baby a warm bath, a massage, jammies, and a little reading. Just before you put them down make sure they have a good bottle, a nice burp, clean diaper, and good swaddle. A good burp is a must, a gassy baby will not make for a sleepy baby.
TIP 5: SET THE MOOD
Whether it’s naptime or night-time, setting the mood is key. That starts with low lighting and soft music. Babies will begin to relate the dim light and soothing music as their sign that it is time to relax and go to sleep.
Sleep is essential for both you and the baby. Taking care of a newborn is both beautiful and tough. Try my top tips to help you get the rest you deserve.