As a new mommy, proper sleep is one of those all illusive things that is so hard to get but hard to live without! Living on no or little sleep can make us feel sad, moody, irritable and frustrated and the less sleep we get, the higher chance of postpartum mood disorder. As a sleep consultant, I often focus on tips for helping baby sleep better but sometimes tips for the parents to sleep better can often help too!
Here are a few tips to make sure that Mommy and Daddy are getting better and more restorative sleep when they get the chance…even if it is for a short time!
1. Just as we encourage babies to be on a sleep schedule, the same is true for adults. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day even on the weekends. Being consistent will reinforce your circadian clock and sleep-wake cycles and help you sleep better each night.
2. Try not to consume nicotine, alcohol or caffeine at least 3 hours prior to going to bed. Instead replace it with a warm chamomile or caffeine free warm beverage…warm milk can often help. Although you do want to limit your liquid intake to prevent frequent overnight trips to the bathroom.
3. Create a bedtime routine for yourself and be consistent. Be sure that it is a soothing routine like taking a warm bath or shower reading a book or listening to some relaxing music.
4. Sleep hygiene is very important. Conditioning your brain to
understand that the bed is for sleeping is a great way to learn to fall asleep quicker and easier. Limit stimulating activities such as watching TV, playing on a smart phone or ipad and even eating in bed as it can confuse the mind as to what we are supposed to do when we hit the pillow, making it harder for us to sleep.
5. Create a great sleep atmosphere.
-Your room should be dark to increase your natural sleep hormone melatonin
- Use of a white noise machine will help drown out sounds from your partner, the little squeaks and noises your new baby makes as well as any creaks your home may make. This will also help baby sleep better.
- Make sure you have a comfortable mattress, pillow and bedding so that your body can sleep in proper positioning and allow you to wake up feeling refreshed.
- Have your baby sleeping in a bassinet or playpen beside you
rather than in bed with you so that you can sleep deeper knowing he is safe in his own bed yet close enough that when he wakes you can feed him and place him back quickly.
- Have your pets sleep off the bed. Often our loving pets want to
be snuggled up right against us making it difficult for you to move around and get comfortable when you need to thus fully waking you from a sleep cycle to readjust.
6. Include physical activity in your daily routine specifically outside. This is healthy both physically and mentally and will not only help you sleep deeper but also reduce postpartum mood disorders. This is also a great for your baby. However be sure not exercise approximately 2 hours before bedtime as you may then be too energized to sleep.
7. Keep a notepad and pen by your bedside table. So if you wake in
the middle of the night thinking of things you have to remember to do the next morning you can write them down and forget it. This is also great for tracking your baby’s feeds so you don’t have to try and remember them the next day.
8. If you have gone to bed and feel like you cannot fall asleep eyt,
get up and do something. Then come back 20 minutes later and try and again! Sometimes although you feel tired, your body may just not be ready to fall asleep yet.
9. Turn off all phones and even put a sign on your door so that any visitors will not ring your door bell and wake you up once you do fall asleep.
10. You may want to enlist some help from a night doula or night nanny. This will help limit the disruptions overnight so that mommy can still feed her baby but the night doula or nanny will then be able to settle baby down in another room while mommy goes back to sleep. Or you can choose to pump and allow your helper or dad to offer it overnight so you can get a bit more
These are tips that both new moms and dads can use to help get better sleep once new baby comes. Funny enough, many of them
I would suggest for your baby too!
Parenting Coach and Sleep Consultant
Precious Moments Babeez
This is a great place to ask your questions. Anything from prenatal to preschool. From feeding to sleeping...ask away!