You’re a new mom, congratulations! But, you are so tired. So, unbelievably tired.
Everyone tried to warn you, but nothing prepared you for just how exhausted you would feel. Below are some sleep tips for you and for baby to get you rested ASAP.
Hang in there mama.
Sleep Tips for Mom:
When you’re a new mom, you need sleep just as much as baby needs sleep. You’ll hear this from a lot of seasoned parents, and it’s important to take their advice. You’ll be happier and better equipped to deal with some of the challenges of parenting if you do!
Nap When the Baby Naps
We know you’ve heard this before, so why aren’t you doing it? Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or this only applies on your days off from work, keep your schedule in the early baby days light and rest when your baby is resting. It’s amazing what a quick hour nap can do for your overall energy level and morale as a new mom. Just do it.
Tag Team With Your Partner
I can’t encourage this enough. I waited so long to ask for a tag out in the sleep department with my kids that by the time my husband took a night of feedings, the little stinkers actually slept through the night that first night!
Be willing to ask your partner to take one night a week, even if they are the primary working spouse. They can tackle a weekend night. It took two to make baby, it can take two to tackle the baby sleep so everyone can be rested. Your relationship with one another and as a family will thank you.
Don’t Burn the Midnight Oil
Yes, it feels really lame to go to bed at 8pm and it is so tempting to stay up late to get in your ‘me time’, but in the first year, getting sleep really should be what you count as ‘me time’. When you put your little one down for the night, consider putting yourself to bed too. If you still want to get in your TGIT shows, then at least commit to doing this a few times a week to help re-coup some sleeping hours – you won’t regret it.
Settle Your Mind
Moms are the ultimate multi-taskers and we worry about all. the. things, which can make it difficult to settle into sleep at night. If you are finding that you have racing thoughts and can’t sleep, there are a few things you can try to help:
- Keep a pad of paper by your bed and write out a list of everything that comes to mind for the next day’s to-do list, right before bed. This will give you comfort that you won’t forget, and it won’t continue on repeat in your mind, hindering your sleep.
- Put on a sound machine and get an eye mask for your eyes to help settle into a sleep state. It may take getting used to, but it can work to trigger your mind and body into sleep faster.
- Discuss the option of melatonin with your doctor. It’s a natural, over the counter supplement that you can take to assist with falling asleep, but definitely discuss it first with your doc.
Sleep Tips for Baby:
Each baby is different, so there isn’t one way to succeed in the baby sleep department, but there are a variety of tips and strategies to try in the first year. Hopefully one (or more) will be the winning ticket for your little nugget.
Top Baby Off With a Dream Feed
Your baby likely goes to bed around 7pm or 8pm, but you aren’t quite ready until around 10pm or later. In the early months when baby isn’t sleeping through the night, this can be problematic for you to get a good block of sleep for yourself, especially if you aren’t following the advice to go to bed when baby goes to bed (naughty mommy!). So, to gain a few extra hours of sleep for yourself, give your little one a ‘dream feed’.
What this entails is giving your sleepy baby a little top-off of milk before you head off to bed yourself. You don’t wake them completely, (unless they happen to have an obvious diaper need), you simply pick them up, they wake just enough to latch on to your breast, or take a bottle. Your baby will usually drink enough to top off their little tummies. Place them back in bed without waking them and this will buy you a longer stretch of sleep before they wake to eat again.
Keep a Schedule
A solid routine is an important part of keeping baby happy. If they know what to expect, they will fare better (and so will you!). Find a routine that leads them into their bed each night with predictability. Whether it’s a bath, or rocking them for a few minutes with a snuggle and a story after their jammy time, this will help them realize it’s time to settle into bed and then eventually sleep. Keep the routine calm and soothing so your little one will go down a lot easier.
Avoid Overstimulating Baby
Avoid active play and energy filled environments for baby right before bed – it will work against your goal of settling them into sleep. Overstimulation right before bed is the enemy of sleep.
Swaddle Them Up
In the earlier months of life with baby, when they are not mobile themselves, swaddling can be a sleep saver because baby won’t wake themselves up. Our young babies have a startle reflex that tends to shake them out of sleep. Swaddling can help them avoid this, so learn how to wrap your little one up for those earlier months.
Want to meet moms who are in the early days of baby too? Download the mom.life app. It’s a safe space for moms to support and empower one another through the ebbs and flows of parenting.