You may have planned things well in advance before your baby’s birth—sleeping with the baby in the cradle next to you, spending some time with your husband while the baby is asleep and so much more. We don’t wish to break your bubble, but every parent goes through what can be called an endless schedule of sleepless nights when the baby finally comes home.
Your baby will wake up every two hours to feed. A baby is still too young to know the difference between day and night—hunger is just hunger for them. It is true that you love your newborn but can a biological process like sleep be compromised?
Yes, there is no other way around it. So here are 7 things that will help you cope with sleep deprivation while you attend to your little one and still be able to maintain your sanity.
1. Sleep When Your Baby Does
You could catch some sleep while your little one is fast asleep in the bassinet. This could just be a half an hour nap or an hour of complete rest. Match your dozing time with theirs—it will make up for the night hours that you spend rocking and feeding your baby.
2. Get In A Habit Of Sleeping Early
The cliched quote ‘early to bed and early to rise’ works for all, even for new moms who get up in the middle of the night, hearing the first cry of their hungry baby. Keep your bedtime close to 10 pm, shorten the night routine of watching movies or television. Why? This will give you some hours of sleep before you have to wake up late in the night for nursing.
3. Keep Your Phone Aside Before Sleeping
That gadget will take your sleep away—even if you want to close your eyes, the notifications, and messages won’t let you sleep. It is an addiction, make sure you don’t lose your precious sleep over it.
4. Breastfeed While Lying Down
You could enjoy a light sleep lying next to your baby while nursing them. You won’t have to put extra effort to sit and rock them while feeding. However, make sure you don’t go into deep sleep, risking a SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Though this may seem relaxing, your baby might get into a habit where they won’t fall asleep unless they are nursing and sleeping while lying next to you.
5. Consider Pumping Breastmilk
There would be times when you wish your partner could attend to the baby and feed them while you get some extra hours of sleep. If they can help with feeding, switch your night shifts with them for a day.
Pump your breastmilk and keep it refrigerated to bottle-feed your baby late in the night. This is also an excellent opportunity for the baby and the father to bond—of course, daddy can sacrifice some sleep for the little one.
6. Try Sleep Training The Baby
Though you may feel that baby could be too young to get sleep trained, you could start by as early as 4-5 months of age. A baby this age is old enough to sleep through the whole night without feeding.
7. Ask For Help
The most underrated, but the most significant of all points is to ask for help—don’t presume that you are the mother and you have to do it all by yourself. Relatives, friends, and family are there to help in times of need and this is that time. Ask them for assistance and grab a short nap while they keep an eye on your baby.
Don’t hesitate the generous offers from family and friends to look after the baby for some time—this way they could also bond with your little one.
It is always a slow process towards getting your baby to sleep through the night. There will be restless and sleepless times where you will be the only one awake in the middle of the night. However, before you realize your baby will grow up and these moments will pass away.