For many new moms, the memories of sleeping eight hours straight through the night are now a thing of the past, but fortunately there are ways to help your baby out in the sleep department.
Hush little baby… please!
But have no fear — you will get to sleep. You just have to be creative when you’re searching for some much needed zzzzs. And as someone who has conquered sleep deprivation head on and made it to the other side, here are some tried-and-true tips that’ll help you get some rest while getting your little one to sleep through the night.
Grab a cat nap the moment your baby goes down for the count. If your friends and family members are telling you to sleep when the baby sleeps, take their advice! Even if it’s the middle of the afternoon, resist the urge to do the laundry or take a shower.
Don’t let the baby sleep for long stretches during the day. If the baby is confusing night and day, then you will have to do whatever you can to keep your little one awake during daylight hours. The last thing you want is for your baby to sleep five hours during broad daylight — because if that happens, you’ll be on the same sleep schedule as an Eskimo.
Lights out at 8 p.m. If you’ve set a time for your baby to go down to sleep, then it’s time to set your own curfew — especially when you’re coping with an infant that’s awake every few hours. Sleeping when your baby sleeps is so important during the beginning, and you’ll want to keep your nursing schedule on time to prevent supply issues.
Put the baby back in their crib or bassinet. While many parents are advocates of co-sleeping, I personally found it incredibly difficult to get a sound sleep when my baby was only a few inches away from me. In fact, I still remember when we kept my daughter’s bassinet in our bedroom and I was attuned to every breath, sudden movement and tiny cry. If you get the baby acclimated to their surroundings from the beginning, both of you will experience a better night’s sleep. And if you don’t want to be away from your baby, invest in a daybed or mattress that you can keep in the nursery. You deserve a good night’s sleep too and don’t you ever forget it!
Teach your baby to fall asleep on his/her own. While there’s nothing more comforting than having a baby rest their weary head on your chest, you’ll find that it’s incredibly difficult to get them to fall back to sleep without the sound of your heartbeat. Instead, try a white noise machine (or even an app) to help soothe your little one to sleep.
Avoid television and computer time in the evening. As much as you may want to jump online, if you are sleep deprived, the best medicine for new mothers is a good book or a soothing cup of herbal tea (caffeine free of course).
Help your baby to sleep through the night