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How to get sleep as a new parent

It's not always easy to catch some sleep when you have a baby

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life

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When you have a new baby, getting a good night’s sleep will be one of the biggest challenges. With your little one waking up 5 times a night for feedings or changings, there are many things that will keep you up.

However, it’s so important to look after yourself when you’re a new parent. You might be eager to put your baby first in everything, but don’t let this mean that you neglect your own needs to do so. Sleep is one of the most important, basic requirements that you need to stay physically and mentally healthy, so it’s important to try to get all the shut-eye you need. Here are some top tips for getting as much sleep as possible when you have a new baby.

Tips on getting to sleep as a new parent

Adjust your sleep schedule to match your baby’s

It’ll take a little time and practice to master this, but if you go to sleep at the same time as your baby, your chances of getting some good sleep are higher. This includes naps. If your baby dozes off in the afternoon, take this as your chance to fall asleep too.

Accept all the help you can get

If your parents, friend or sibling offers to look after the baby for a few hours, let them! You may worry about imposing but don’t - they’re asking to help because they genuinely want to, and the sleep you can get during your few hours off will make you feel much better.

Avoid checking your phone or TV

When feeding your baby in the middle of the night, you may want to pass the time by checking Facebook on your phone or flicking through the TV. Try to avoid this. Looking at a screen late at night seriously affects your sleep, and it may take you much longer to doze off if you do this.

Make your baby’s bedtime the same every night

If you put your baby down at the same time every night, they’re more likely to sleep for longer, which gives you some extra snoozing time. Also, try to stick to the same routine and order. For instance, give your baby their bath at the same time, and read them a story at the same time.

It’s ok to wait a few minutes when your baby wakes up

Sometimes your baby will stop crying by themselves when they wake up at night. It’s ok to wait a minute or two to see if they stop, but if they cry for any longer than that, they may need to be fed or changed.

Learn more about improving your sleep.

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Published April 26th2015
Last updated June 22nd2018
Tags sleep young parent insomnia
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