Sleep is one of the most common issues that new parents face. A new baby will have a sporadic sleep schedule that does not allow many new parents to get their ideal 8 hours of sleep a night. New parents want to be there for their new baby, and they want to be able to get all the things done each day that they need to do, but they cannot do these things if they are not getting enough sleep. The right amount of restful sleep is essential for new parents to provide the necessary care for their new baby and maintain a clear mind to make the best decisions possible.
Despite all the issues that new parents have to face, and the unusual sleep schedule of a new baby, there are a lot of ways that parents can ensure that they will be getting the sleep they need to function properly every day. Yes, being tired is a normal part of parenting, especially in the early years, but parents can find ways to make sure they get as much sleep as they possibly can. Getting more sleep not only helps parents function better daily, but it can also help build their immune systems to keep themselves and their new baby healthier. Here are five ways new parents can get more sleep.
Fix any sleep issues when possible
Many new parents either have existing sleep issues, or they develop new sleep issues when they bring home a new baby. It is important for new parents to recognize these issues and find the methods they need to fix them.
Try to keep the baby in a separate bed
Many parents have their baby in the same bed as them during the first few months. This may be an easier way to get the baby to sleep each night, but it can prevent the parents from getting the sleep that they need. New parents should try to have their newborn sleep in his or her own bed inside their room to help them get better sleep.
Work as a team
Typically, one parent takes on most of the parenting responsibilities, or there is only one parent raising the child. This may seem like a good idea, but it is much more beneficial to split up the duties of parenting throughout the child’s life. Parents can take turns getting up with their newborn to allow the other to sleep, or single parents can hire some help for a few hours each day.
Lie down when the baby sleeps
Many parents like to take advantage of the times that their child is sleeping to get things done that they did not have time to do before. This may be a good idea some of the time, but most often new parents should try to sleep when their new baby is sleeping. Even lying down for a half hour without sleeping can be beneficial to new parents.
Accept some extra help
New parents have a lot on their plate. Many parents want to do things on their own, but it is always alright for new parents to ask for help every once in a while. Parents can have a friend or family member spend some time with the new baby so they can catch up on much needed sleep.
Don’t Overdo Caffeine or Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can make it difficult for new parents to get a night of good sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that takes more than 8 hours to leave the body, and alcohol has unpredictable effects on the quality of sleep. New parents should avoid having too much caffeine or alcohol so that they can get better rest when their newborn is sleeping.
Don’t Rely On Too Many Sleeping Medications
It can be tempting for new parents to rely on sleep medications to get the rest they need. Though these medications might help in the short term, relying too heavily on them can have a negative impact on their overall sleep quality and cause them to become dependent upon them. New parents should try natural alternatives first, such as yoga and meditation before turning to sleeping pills or other medications.
Creating a Sleep Routine
New parents often struggle with trying to find time for themselves when it comes to getting enough restful sleep. Even if it seems impossible at times, creating a consistent bedtime routine can help make sure that new parents are getting enough sleep each night. This could look like taking some time out of each day for self-care, going to bed at the same time each night, and making sure that the environment is conducive for sleeping.
New parents have a lot of responsibility when it comes to raising a newborn. It’s important for them to take care of themselves as well and find ways to get enough restful sleep so they can be their best selves for their new baby. With the tips outlined above, new parents should be able to create a better sleep routine which will help them gain more energy and provide better care for their newborn.