The joy of a new baby is certainly special and something that all new parents experience. However, a lack of sleep is also part of having a new baby and new parents get very little sleep, if any at all. The good news is, there are some strategies and tips to help new parents get some sleep when the new baby comes. Of course, with a baby you will never get enough sleep, but these tips will help you at least get adequate sleep to keep your sanity.
Tip #1 Take Turns
When the baby starts crying both parents generally wake up, even if only one attends to the baby. However, in the first couple of months both parents might get up each time the baby cries. This will lead to a lack of sleep for both parents. The best plan is for mom and dad to make a plan of who will get up when to comfort the crying baby. Generally, taking turns is really the best option and will help everyone get just a little more sleep.
Tip #2 Nap With Baby
If you are caring for the baby and are tired, and the baby goes to sleep then you should take a nap as well. This will allow you to get some much needed sleep. So, whether the baby naps in the morning, afternoon, or early evening you should also get a little rest because you never know when the baby might wake up.
Tip #3 Accept Help
Frequently when you have a new baby there are plenty of people willing to help from parents, siblings, friends, and other family members. So, when you really need to get some sleep, go ahead and accept some of the help that is being offered. Having your mom care for the baby just a couple of hours will allow you to get some much needed sleep.
Tip #4 Keep Baby in Nursery
The baby should sleep in the nursery and not with the parents. Many times it is tempting to allow the baby to sleep with the parents, but this is not healthy for the child or the parents. So, put the baby to sleep in his crib in the nursery. Then, when the baby cries one parent can go attend to the baby without disturbing the other parent. This allows a little more sleep for new parents.
Tip #5 Feed Baby Before You Sleep
If your baby has been asleep for several hours and it is around 11 pm and you are getting ready for bed, gently wake your baby up for a quick feed. Most babies wake up during the night because they are hungry, so if you feed your baby late before you go to bed, it is likely they will sleep until early morning or 6-7 hours. This will allow you to get some continuous sleep, even if it is not as much as you want.
Off course there are many other ways to get more sleep as a parent (specially for us, moms). But as we have found out, mixing two or more of all the techniques recommended will definitely help you achieving a little more sleep and rest.
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