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Sleep tips for new parents

Filed in
  • Infants
  • Healthy sleep habits
  • parenting

By Jack Cunningham  |  Aug 13, 2019
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SleepNewParents

As the summer winds down and people go back to work and school, many couples are preparing for a massive change in their lives – becoming parents. August and September usually see the most babies born in the United States compared with the rest of the year. As parents welcome a new baby into their home, they also usually say goodbye to something else: a normal sleep schedule. According to new research, men and women report not being satisfied with sleep for up to six years after the birth of their first child. As a baby changes things and shakes up your sleep schedule, it’s important to keep these tips in mind and continue sleeping as best as you can (as hard as that might be).

  1. Sleep when your baby sleeps. When your newborn is awake, you’ll likely be spending all your waking hours on baby duty, so it’s important to sleep when possible.  Although you may be tempted to do chores or catch up on the latest episodes of your favorite show, it’s important to put all your duties aside to take a nap.

  2. Don’t depend on caffeine. While caffeinated drinks like coffee help wake you up in the morning to be more alert, there are negative side effects to caffeine consumption later in the day. Couple this with the already inconsistent and wild sleep schedule that new parents have, and caffeine ends up becoming a detriment. Overdoing your caffeine consumption can mask your need for rest and deter your ability to fall asleep.

  3. Be willing to ask for help. It’s OK to take a step back and ask friends, family, and other loved ones to assist you. Having these people around to help with baby duties can help give you time to take a brief nap and get some well-deserved rest.

  4. Don’t share your bed with your newborn. When attempting to sleep, leave your baby in a crib or bassinet rather than sharing your bed. This can help you get better quality sleep and will make sure that your baby is “Safe to Sleep.” It is OK to bring your child into bed with you to nurse; however, you should remove your baby from the bed before dozing off.

  5. Alternate feeding nights. Newborns need to feed around the clock, which can make it hard for breastfeeding moms to get enough sleep during the night. Once your baby transitions to a bottle, then you can trade off nights with your spouse or partner. Prepare bottles in advance to make those nighttime feedings easier.

What sleep tips can you share with new parents?


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