It can be quite surprising how difficult it is to adjust to a newborn’s sleep habits. Sleep deprivation for a long period of time can affect people’s lives in many ways. It can be detrimental to relationships, health and family life.
“76% of parents have sleep problems” Source: National Sleep Foundation
It is important to take care of yourself so that you can be the best version of yourself for your baby and family.
Here are 3 things you can do to help optimise sleep for you and your partner:
1 – Communication
Everyone is different when it comes to sleep, some people need more sleep than others. It is important to communicate your sleep needs and how you handle sleep deprivation to your partner and/or support network, doing this sets expectations and helps avoid unwanted surprises.
2 – Responsibilities
This is not the time to take on new roles and responsibilities. It is important to avoid adding any additional stress to your life whilst you have a newborn.
Try to delegate instead. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family to ask for help. Now is the time to try and get as much support as you can, even if it just means having someone cook you a meal or hand you a glass of water whilst you are feeding your baby. Try and say ‘Yes’ to help rather than ‘I’m fine, I can manage’.
Avoid doing too many daily chores around the house. It is okay to have a messy house for a while, it won’t be forever. You should try and use your spare time to rest and get some sleep.
3 – Sleep
Your baby is napping, what should you do?
Always chose sleep or rest! Lie your head down for a well-earned rest and recharge your body so that you can keep going. The more rest you get, the stronger you will feel to take on the sleepless nights.
Please remember that this is just a phase! Sleep will get better as your baby grows and starts to develop her circadian rhythm and her ability to self soothe.