Being a new parent is never easy. Even if it isn’t your first rodeo, having a new baby is likely to disrupt your routine and regular way of life to a great degree. It’s natural for new parents to become so preoccupied with looking after the baby’s every need that they often neglect their own well being. People focus so much on how best to get the child to sleep through the night that they easily fail to see the impact that changes to their schedule is having on their own sleep patterns. It’s totally normal to expect a new baby to shake things up a little, but don’t underestimate how important self-care and getting a good night’s sleep is in terms of parenting.
If you are struggling to get a decent night’s sleep or maintain regular sleeping patterns, here are a few tips.
We’ve all heard that tired piece of advice that “you’ll sleep when baby sleeps”, but that’s easier said than done. For most new parents, there is a natural inclination to be productive when the little one is snoozing, but the truth is this is the best time for you to get some rest as well. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sleep though; even just taking a break on the couch, doing a little yoga or meditation, or reading a magazine can help. Taking a little time for yourself gives you a boost to tackle the day ahead more effectively.
Split Your Parental Duties (or Ask for Help)
Research shows that it tends to be the mother who loses more sleep in the first year of a child’s life. To help reduce the burden of care, it’s important to split parental duties in an equitable way so all parties can get a decent amount of rest. Try to set up a schedule and take it in terms to tackle those nap changes and late-night feeds. If you are a single parent, don’t be afraid to ask for support, whether it’s from family and friends, or through hiring a nanny.
Incorporate Regular Exercise Into Your Daily Routine
Exercise may be the last thing on your mind as a new parent, but it can actually help improve the quality of your sleep. Some new parents struggle to sleep even though they are exhausted due to stress and tension. A little bit of light exercise, be it a leisurely stroll outdoors or a relaxing yoga session, can work wonders when it comes to getting some shuteye.
Invest In a Good Mattress
Getting the required eight hours of sleep per night can have a profound effect on your health, general functionality, and mood. Pregnancy and giving birth can have quite an impact on one’s body and having a good mattress can make all the difference when it comes to relieving discomfort. Investing time and effort shopping for the right mattress for your body rather than simply buying whatever is on sale is the best way to go.
Seek Professional Help
If after taking some basic steps to try and regulate sleep patterns yourself, you still find things difficult and are struggling there may come to a point when you need to seek professional help. While your GP may be the first port of call, you can also explore the option of consulting specialists like those at the Dr. Krueger Sleep & Sinus Clinic who have experience in a range of conditions such as sleep apnea and snoring might be better placed to deal with your issues.
Don’t worry, the sleepless nights won’t last forever and things will improve. With that being said, it's important to find ways to improve your sleep both for your own mental and physical well being and that of your little one.