Sleep deprivation is a common problem for new parents. A lack of sleep can cause all sorts of problems, from decreased cognitive function to irritability and mood swings. In fact, sleep deprivation is so dangerous that it has been linked to car accidents and workplace injuries.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for both parents and infants. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make it easier for everyone involved. Here are ten tips for sleeping well with a newborn.
Establish a bedtime routine
One of the best ways to ensure a good night’s sleep is to establish a bedtime routine. This can help signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. A bedtime routine might include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or doing some gentle stretching.
Create a dark and calming environment
Creating an environment that is conducive to sleep can also be helpful. This means making sure the room is dark and free from noise and other distractions. Investing in some blackout curtains or an eye mask can be helpful. And consider using a white noise machine to help drown out any disruptive sounds.
Breastfeed or use a pacifier
Breastfeeding can be an excellent way to help your baby fall asleep. The act of nursing releases the hormone prolactin, which has a calming effect. If you’re not breastfeeding, using a pacifier can also be helpful. This is because sucking is a calming reflex that can help soothe and relax your baby.
Avoid watching television or working on the computer in the hours leading up to bedtime
It’s important to avoid stimulating activities in the hours before bedtime. This means no watching television, working on the computer, or playing video games. Instead, try to do something calming, such as reading or taking a bath.
Put your baby to bed drowsy but awake
It’s also important to put your baby down when he or she is drowsy but still awake. This will help your baby learn to fall asleep on his or her own. When you do this, it’s important to remain calm and avoid making eye contact. You can also try patting your baby’s back or singing a lullaby.
Don’t worry if your baby wakes up at the night
It’s normal for babies to wake up several times during the night. This is because they have very short sleep cycles. If your baby wakes up, try to soothe him or her back to sleep without picking up or holding baby. This will help your baby learn to self-soothe and fall back asleep on his or her own.
Use a comfortable mattress and bedding
Using a comfortable mattress and bedding can also be helpful. This is especially important if you’re breastfeeding, as you’ll want to be able to do so comfortably. A body pillow can also be helpful in supporting your back and keeping you from rolling over on top of your baby.
Get help if you’re struggling
If you’re finding it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, don’t hesitate to ask for help. There are many resources available to parents who are struggling with sleep deprivation. You can talk to your doctor, a lactation consultant, or a postpartum doula. You can also find support groups and online forums where you can connect with other parents.
Seek professional help if you’re still struggling
If you’re still struggling to get a good night’s sleep, it might be time to seek professional help. This is especially important if you’re experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety. A therapist or counselor can help you identify and address the underlying causes of your sleep problems.
It’s important to remember that it takes time for both you and your baby to adjust to parenthood. There will be good nights and bad nights. But if you’re persistent, eventually, you’ll find a routine that works for both of you. And sleep deprivation will become a distant memory.
These are just a few tips for getting a good night’s sleep with a newborn. Every family is different, so it’s important to find what works for you. With a little patience and some trial and error, you’ll eventually find a routine that helps everyone get the rest they need.