7 Tips On Getting The Right Sleep With Your Newborn
The first three months of a newborn pretty much follows an eat-sleep-poop-repeat pattern. They drink milk every four hours and the amount increases by the week. Because they have a small stomach catching up with the growth spurt they are supposed to surpass; their sleeping pattern reaches up to 16-17 hours in total. But why is it that many tease moms-to-be about the endless all-nighters to come? Everybody seems to expect taking care of this bundle of joy as a nightmare in disguise.
Many factors should be considered. Clueless parents are the ones who usually get stuck in a rut over lack of sleep and overfatigue. Your newborn needs a lot of care, but it’s hard for new parents to balance that between their own self-care. Especially for the adamant breastfeeders out there, we admire your work, but understand the occasional need for a double up on motherly nurture from a newborn care specialist is not a threat to your motherhood.
On top of consuming the right kind and amount of food, you may want to check out these seven tips on how to get the proper sleep with your newborn.
1. Sleep as your baby sleeps.
This is the ultimate guide in knowing when is the best time to get quality sleep for yourself is with your baby. Early on, your newborn’s instinct is mostly about survival. Meaning, it would need a lot of on-demand feeding and sleeping. While it usually lasts 20 minutes to 4 hours at a time, the frequency justifies its completion. Simply put, while your baby sleeps, you sleep too. It may be hard adjusting the first couple of months, but keep your hygiene, eat on time, by all means, caring for your baby means caring for yourself, first.
2. Reduce the consumption of caffeinated drinks.
Emphasis on coffee, chocolate, and any consumption of foods made out of cocoa. Some mommies think that after their pregnancy, they can consume sodas like how they did during their unpregnant state. But this, too, can contribute to insomnia. There are times your body is so tired and screams for sleep, but your mind is kept awake by these beverages. If you’re breastfeeding, this may be transferred to your baby which could leave them restless, then altogether adding up to unwanted missed hours of sleep.
There are caffeinated drinks that are diuretic which pushes you to pee more than usual, disturbing your sleep too.
3. Establish a sleeping routine.
At night, give ample time for cuddling with a soothing song, breastfeeding, and a bedtime story before the actual sleeping time you have set with your child. This cute snuggly-wuggly time also helps with establishing a good sleeping pattern, also helping to build up your child’s sense of day and night. Remember that it is okay to find help from a nanny in your area to co-ordinate sleep schedules with when you have date nights, or overtime work commitments.
4. Take the hint.
Newborns sleep a lot. But there’s a time when they feel fresh and well-nourished that they’d appear milk-drunk afterwards that induces a longer sleep than usual. When you figure this out, set the room with a dimmed light, lessen noise, and ensure proper ventilation to facilitate a good night’s sleep. When it comes to naps, do the same thing but keep the window curtains open and don’t act like you’re stepping on broken glass. Maintaining your usual activities during the day helps them in understanding the difference with daily routines. Also, it discourages oversleeping. The thing is, if your baby oversleeps during the day, it will more likely be harder for your child to drift away to sleep at night. The earlier your baby gets hold of a sleeping routine, the better for your sake.
5. Reduce anxiety.
Have the milk bottle ready with water, the milk dispenser, the material for clearing your baby’s mouth of spilt milk, and everything that you would need by the bedside table so that you don’t have to leave your baby when a need calls for it. This reduces the waiting time your child has to deal with which could lead it to wake up completely. To kickstart your evening sleep routine, it’s good to help them go back to sleep after having them burp. If you’re breastfeeding, make sure you put your baby in a cot to reduce the anxiety of suffocating your child with your blanket, extremities, or cloth. A baby cot secures their space and helps you to avoid waking up at night to check on your baby’s position and safety more frequently as opposed to not having one. Have a relaxing night light too so that you could see your baby as soon as you wake up not having to look for a bedside light switch and risk the sudden change disrupt the sweet snores of your baby fast asleep.
6. Play a soothing bedtime lullaby for a background.
Singing a bedtime lullaby helps the developing mind of your baby to grow and process new things in a healthy and soothing fashion while asleep. It brings them to a relaxed mood, again facilitating a good night’s sleep. Not only could your baby benefit from this but you also may find yourself singing till you start counting sheep and fall asleep as well.
7. Rule out possible psychological imbalances.
Overall, your outlook in life as you come home to your baby and how you’re coping up with the demands of being a parent can affect your sleeping pattern. While some parents who have had multiple children already, second-timers, and the rest, know how fast it just goes by, for the first-timers, it could be a shock to their system. There could be moments of putting down the kid in the beginning, with a huge question in their minds, “What was I thinking?”. When you experience this, have your support system (mother, mother-in-law, sisters, your husband), know about it as they will be there to back you up just in case you need a day for yourself to rest and regain self-esteem. A lot of changes in your body happened. And your mind’s priority becomes your child all of a sudden. Somehow, you find yourself reaching the highest level in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which is self-actualization—realizing that this is your ultimate purpose. But it will always boil down to the fact that you cannot take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first.