The arrival of a new baby heralds great joy for families. Those first few days when you simply can’t get enough of your new bundle of joy is so precious.
Unfortunately though, for many new parents the first few weeks with a new baby can also be difficult as you try and establish a sleep routine.
No doubt you’ll have every well-meaning person telling you to: ‘Sleep when baby sleeps’. Not always easy when you’ve a million things to do or when the baby’s sleep pattern hasn’t yet been established. Nonetheless, it’s good advice and everything else can wait!
If you are struggling, however, and really feel you’re not getting enough sleep, feel low, agitated or simply unable to cope, talk to your doctor or other health professional as they can advise on a range of strategies to help you sleep better.
Baby Sleep Routines
It’s important to remember that newborn babies are asleep more than they are awake as they need to be fed through the night. Typically though, at 3 to 6 months old babies will start to sleep for longer.
In these early stages, it’s important to try and establish a good bedtime routine. Simple things that you can do is by keeping the lights turned down low, try not and stimulate baby by talking too much or too loudly or playing with them, and always try and put baby down to sleep once they’ve been fed and changed.
Sleep Tips for New Parents
As important as it is to establish baby’s sleep patterns, it’s important too for new parents to look after their own sleep routines. The following sleep tips may help in getting your sleep back on track.
- Try and take some time out and rest during the day. This will not only lessen the effects of sleep deprivation, it will also help improve quality of your sleep.
- Try and go to bed a little earlier than usual. Maybe your partner or a relative could help out what that last nappy change or soothing a colicky baby. Even if you find you can’t nod off earlier, try and do something relaxing for half an hour beforehand, such as reading a book or having a warm bath to help you relax.
- Try and establish a good bedtime routine. From having all your nightly baby paraphernalia organised for the night ahead, to removing all gadgets and gizmos from the bedroom.
- If you can, share the responsibility of getting up in the night with your partner. Take alternate nights or weeks. If grandparents or friends offer to help out, accept all invitations readily!
- Try and build some exercise into your daily routine. Exercise is one of the key strategies in helping relieve stress and to sleep better. It’s also a great way for baby and you getting some fresh air, too.
- We all know the amount of ‘stuff’ that parents accumulate for newborns, but where possible try and keep your bedroom as clutter-free as possible so that you can relax better.
- Make sure your bed and mattress is giving you the right support so that you can nod off. A good supportive bed can make all the difference to getting a good night’s sleep.
- Have all your bedding essentials to hand. Extra pillows or a back support pillow might also help during nighttime feeds.
- Finally, don’t get stressed about lack of sleep. Those first few months with baby are precious times and winding yourself up about sleepless nights will only exacerbate the situation. Allow yourself time to just rest and enjoy your new baby.
Dr Chris Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, explains:
If you’re not getting enough sleep, the sleep you do get becomes more intense in order to help compensate. When you do get the chance to drop off, your body knows getting the two hours of deep and restorative sleep it needs is a priority, so that will come first in your sleep cycle.’ Yes, you’ll still feel tired the next day, as your natural sleep cycle is being disrupted by the demands of your new baby, but at least you can rest assured knowing your body is doing its best to cope and keep you functioning as well as it can.
What to do next
At Dalzell’s we know only too well how lack of sleep can disrupt family life. With over sixty years of bedding expertise we’ve met many sleep deprived parents over the years who have come to us looking for advice on buying a new bed. Our expertly trained staff are happy to advise on all types of beds and mattresses that will help new parents get some well-earned sleep. There’s plenty of on-street Free Parking at our retail store in Markethill and we’re easily accessible, just off the A28 between Armagh and Newry; 30 minutes from Lisburn, 45 from Belfast and an hour from Dublin. With Multi-Buy Discounts available why shop anywhere else? What’s more, with Free Delivery* and Free Collection and Recycling of Your Old Bed throughout our Free Delivery Zone of Northern Ireland and Counties Dublin, Louth and Monaghan, there’s one less thing to worry about in those early days. Not only that, but we’ll we’ll also unpack and set-up your New Bed and Mattress in a room of your choosing and dispose of all the packaging, leaving mum and dad more time to relax and enjoy baby’s first few weeks. Visit in-store, Email, or simply Call us on T: 028 3755 1260 where our staff are on hand to answer and questions you may have.