Sleep Solutions for Exhausted New Parents: Strategies for Catching More ZZZs
Although becoming a new parent is one of the greatest blessings in the world, parenting has its challenges. Having babies means becoming responsible for new lives and caring for all their needs. You have to feed them frequently, change diapers at 3 am, and comfort them when they are cranky, no matter the time. Managing all this can take a toll on your sleep and result in a lack of sleep.
Sleep deprivation is a serious problem for everyone, including new parents, as it makes you exhausted and cranky. It causes emotional distress, mood disorders, poor memory, and performance deficits. Thus, getting enough sleep becomes all the more essential for new parents as it can help them better fulfil their responsibilities. So, here are a few sleep solutions for exhausted parents. Let’s have a look!
Tips for new parents for better sleep
1. Sleep while the baby is asleep
Newborns sleep for the most part of the day, anywhere from 16 to 18 hours. They take frequent naps that typically last for 2 to 4 hours. New parents must make the most of this window and get some sleep while the baby is asleep. While this can be challenging because of the internal body clock, catching a few hours of sleep here and there can help you feel refreshed.
2. Create the right sleep environment
For sleeping well, you have to create a rest-conducive environment. It can make you fall asleep quickly and promote better quality sleep. For this purpose, you should keep the clutter, including your unfolded laundry, a stack of bills, and empty food packets, out of the bedroom. Besides, you must create a dark and quiet room to ensure you get a peaceful sleep.
Designing the right sleep environment can also help your baby rest. It can ensure the little one falls asleep quickly and gets better rest quality. Swaddling, white noise machines, and a dark bedroom are a few tricks that can help your baby stay asleep longer.
3. Take turns with your partner
Most parents complain their babies are very active at night time. They fail to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep at night because they have to take care of their little ones. One easy solution to this problem is to divide duties with your partner. While you can stay awake and look after the baby during the first half, your partner can take over during the second half of the night. A little teamwork can go a long way in getting some necessary hours of peaceful rest.
4. Accept help from your circle
There is no badge of honour for powering through sleepless nights and taking care of your baby on your own. You should remember that looking after a baby is a big responsibility that is clearly not meant for one individual. Thus, new parents with family living nearby should accept all the help they can get and rely on their circle of friends. Since babies sleep in bouts, you can ask one of your friends or family members to chip in while you rest.
5. Skip household chores
Unfortunately, becoming a new parent doesn’t absolve you of your household duties. Your clothes do not fold themselves, and the dishes in the sink don’t magically disappear. But, they can wait. When your baby is asleep, instead of opting for vacuuming or loading the dishes, get some sleep. You can manage household chores later when you have had some much-needed rest.
6. Apply for paternity leaves
Different companies have different policies on parental leaves. New parents working for organisations with norms for paternity leaves should use them. It can help parents better juggle their responsibilities. While mothers can get off from work right after the baby is born, fathers can apply for leave some weeks later. Establishing a good work-life balance can help you rest better.
7. Practise good sleep hygiene
Good sleep hygiene promotes good-quality rest. Positive habits can ensure you get ample sleep and feel recharged the next day to take care of the baby. Here are a few things you should follow:
- Avoid consuming coffee in the evening, as the stimulant can interfere with sleep.
- You may feel like you are not getting enough time to scroll through your social media but refrain from taking your phone to bed. The blue light from electronic devices can disrupt sleep.
- Avoid drinking alcohol close to bedtime. While drinking helps you fall asleep faster, it leads to poor-quality rest.
8. Place the crib near the bedside
Another tip for how to get good sleep is to place the crib near the bedside. In this case, if your baby gets up from sleep in the middle of the night, you can comfort him and get back to sleep quickly. It lessens the chances of sleepless nights.
9. Keep work at work
In the digital world, office work can easily find its way into your home and rob you of sleep. This is why it’s necessary to create a boundary between office and personal life, at least during the initial months after the baby is born. Make an effort to leave work at the office and try to reach home within time. Doing so may help you get enough time to sleep.
10. Take care of your diet and exercise
After the baby enters their world, many parents forget self-care. While you should meet your little one’s needs, you must also make time for yourself. Invest in your diet and indulge in exercise as they promote good-quality sleep.
While it may seem difficult, getting enough sleep after having a baby is not impossible. Catching on ample rest time is one way of taking care of your little one. Only when you are well-rested and in the best condition will you be able to take good care of your baby.