With a newborn waking every two to three hours, parents often struggle to catch enough shut-eye. Use these suggestions to help you get more rest with a newborn.
One of the most challenging aspects of parenting a newborn is that they wake up about every two to three hours. Even the most enthusiastic parents can feel stressed and overwhelmed during this period, and sleep deprivation can create or exacerbate physical and mental health issues, including postpartum depression. For your health and happiness, and the well-being of your family, try these four tips for getting more sleep with a newborn at home.
1. Soothe Baby
One of the best ways to get better sleep as a parent is to soothe your fussing baby back to sleep. The better your methods, the more effectively you encourage your baby to sleep. One of the best methods is to soothe baby with the 5 S’s: swaddle, side- or stomach-position, shushing, swinging, and calming them with their sucking reflex. These processes comfort your baby with a sense of familiarity by mimicking conditions in the womb.
2. Reach Out for Help
The old proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” rings especially true during the newborn stage; don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and family for help. While new parents often have trouble sleeping because of their baby’s sleep schedule, the demands of other areas of life, such as work or chores, also make it challenging to get enough rest. Letting someone you trust watch over your baby gives you the chance to take care of yourself to sleep, shower, or practice another form of self-care.
3. Relax Throughout the Day
The next tip for getting more sleep with a newborn at home is to relax throughout the day whenever possible. You can do this by focusing on having a positive mindset, even over small details. You can also do this by incorporating at least one activity you enjoy into every day, such as chatting with a friend. Gratitude, positivity, and doing what you enjoy help you manage your stress and can make it easier for you to get restorative sleep.
4. Take Care of Baby in Shifts at Night
If possible, work with your partner in shifts to take care of your baby’s needs through the night. While bottle feeding can make this process easier, a partner can assist the mother with nursing, too. Picking up your baby from the cradle, making sure mom doesn’t fall asleep as she nurses from bed, changing the baby’s diaper, and getting baby back to sleep will help the nursing mother immensely.