As any new mother can attest, sleep deprivation is no joke. In those first few weeks, it's not uncommon to feel like you're running on empty. Between feedings, diaper changes, family visits and other things you have to juggle, it can be hard to get any shut-eye. And when you're running low on your energy, everything feels twice as hard.
But this phase won't last forever and you'll eventually adjust to your new role. And with a little planning and patience, you'll be a pro in no time. Meanwhile, there are a few things you can do to help encourage your newborn to sleep and get some much-needed Z's in no time.
Here are 5 newborn sleep tips to help you survive the first few weeks:
1. Show your newborn the difference between day and night
It's important to help them understand when it's time to sleep. So they can learn to be on the same schedule as you. Because their internal clocks aren't used to a life outside of the womb and they don't yet have a regular sleep cycle.
Help them adjust:
By keeping their surroundings bright and active during the day.
Try to establish a bedtime routine that includes some calming activities like reading, feeding, nappy changing or baths. These activities will give a signal to your baby that it is time for sleep.
2. Make sure their sleeping environment is dark at night
Baby's environment has a big impact on their sleeping habits. To encourage a good night's sleep, dim lighting and minimal interaction help babies wind down and prepare for sleep.
In addition, be sure to keep the temperature cool and the crib free from soft objects, which can impede breathing. By creating a safe and comfortable space for your baby to sleep, you can help ensure that they get the rest they need to grow and thrive.
3. Swaddle your baby
This one might sound obvious but mothers have been swaddling their little angels for centuries. This practice has many benefits including helping babies to feel secure and preventing the startle reflex, which can awake them. Simply put swaddling can become an effective way to help your baby get the rest they need. Plus, it's a great workout for your core!
4. Take a moment to listen before you burst into the room.
This tip is one of the hardest things to do, especially for the first time mums. I would recommend you to get a baby cam. Like this, you can check on them if they aren't just crying or sobbing from their sleep. If they are awake give them 1-2 minutes to soothe themselves. Because it's best to wait a moment before responding to a crying baby.
5. Don't hesitate to ask for help
It's alright to feel overwhelmed as a new mother. It can be tempting to use this time to catch up on chores or take a shower, but your body will thank you if you take a nap instead. So take advantage of family and friends who offer to help out. Do the chores, cook or watch the baby and say yes!
Congratulations on your new arrival! Raising a baby is hard work, but it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. As you get started in this new chapter of your life, remember to use these five tips to make your life a little bit easier. Remember that consistency is the key, so try to stick to the same schedule every night. And while it might not seem like it now, this phase of your life will eventually come to an end. So hang in there, mama. You've got this.
If you are struggling with newborn sleep or simply want to know more about selling up healthy sleep foundations for your newborn, you can get a copy of The Slumber Academy's Newborn Guide below!