Alaska Sleep Education Center

Ways New Parents Can Get More Sleep

Posted by Sleepworld Outreach on Jun 11, 2020 10:37:45 AM

Woman holding her 2 day-old newborn baby

It is often exhausting when you have a newborn baby since newborns require round the clock attention from their parents. Some of them have different sleeping patterns that make it extremely difficult for new parents to sleep. Lack of sleep significantly increases your chances of getting postpartum depression. Although most newborns will present relatively different sleeping challenges, there are standard measures that parents with a newborn baby can take into account to ensure that they get more sleep. In this article, we show you some of the ways new parents can get more sleep.

#1. Take turns with your partner/Accept help.

When you have a newborn, it can get extremely exhausting when you are solely responsible for everything. It is good to accept or ask for help from your partner, friend, or sibling. Having a supportive partner is extremely important to make this work. Fatigue is prevalent among new parents; however, extreme fatigue should be avoided since it can impair your judgment. Impaired judgment may result in making a dangerous decision for you and your newborn. Striking a schedule with your partner allows you to take quick strategic naps and scheduled sleep that is incredibly beneficial to your wellbeing and that of the newborn.

Your spouse can be of immense help, especially during the night. Taking turns to get up at night and check on the baby allows you to get some quality uninterrupted sleep, which is highly recommended. Again, when you are asleep, and the baby wakes up, your partner can help feed the baby using pumped breast milk to buy you more time to sleep.

#2. Create a conducive sleep environment

As a newborn parent, you need to create the best sleep environment for both of you. A conducive sleep environment may help elongate the baby's sleeping time, which means more sleep for you as well. Your bed and bedroom should provide you with a refreshing ambiance that promotes quality sleep—choosing a good quality mattress that offers comfort and suits your sleeping style can also be extremely helpful in creating a better sleeping environment.

Parents with a newborn baby often have a lot of laundry to do, which can lead to a stuffy and untidy bedroom. You must keep your unfolded laundry, unnecessary toys, and other forms of clutter out of sight in the bedroom. To improve the quality of your sleep, you may need to opt for a separate bed instead of sharing one with your partner. Proper understanding will ensure that you get a more quality sleep, which will contribute to healthy and happy relationships with your partner and baby.

#3. Be choosy about accepting guests.

New parents often get numerous guests who come to show appreciation and support. As this is important for your family and friends, it can be overwhelming for you and sometimes unnecessary. The time you spend entertaining guests can be used more productively when you decide to get some rest. New mothers with relatively less social support had more sleep than those mothers with significantly higher social support.

When you minimize visitors, you reduce the need to prepare food, engage them and keep them happy. Avoiding or minimizing visitors who expect a certain level of hospitality will help you preserve your energy and increase your sleeping time and that of the baby.  However, some guests are more than happy to assist you; they can help you get through some of the tasks quicker and, in turn, allow you to catch some sleep.

#4. Sleep when your newborn is asleep

This is arguably the golden rule for new parents. Immediately your newborn falls asleep; New mom and baby getting much needed should strive to get some sleep as well. You should avoid using your phone or resorting to watching a show on TV, instead, you should sneak in as much rest as possible. Sleeping when your baby falls asleep is quite challenging for most mothers and is difficult advice to live up to. 

Newborns have very unpredictable sleeping patterns. They can have a nap at any time, wake up within fifteen minutes of sleep and fall asleep again after a couple of minutes. This annoying sleeping pattern makes it difficult for mothers to follow. On the same light, newborn mothers often have postpartum insomnia and experience difficulty in falling asleep. It may not be possible for mothers to fall asleep as soon as their newborns fall asleep. However, the bottom line is, parents with newborn babies should try getting more sleep when their newborns are asleep.

Habits play a significant part in developing your newborn’s sleeping patterns. If you train your baby to sleep through the night by avoiding unnecessary interruptions and frequent feeding during the night, you may be able to get an uninterrupted goodnight sleep. This, however, is only possible after a few months and not for newborns.

Pediatric Sleep Troubles

A good night's sleep is essential to the growth and development of children, and children require much more sleep than adults. Sometimes however, children are unable to get the necessary amounts of nightly sleep that they need, and it can sometimes be attributed to a sleep disorder.

At The Alaska Sleep Clinic we provide consultation and therapeutic management for a wide variety of pediatric sleep disorders. We understand that your child's health is important to you and we want to assure you that our Board Certified Sleep Physicians are highly adept at treating child sleep disorders.

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Topics: babies, parents, getting better sleep

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