Having a newborn is a rollercoaster of excitement and challenges! But even worse is trying to get better sleep with a newborn.
Newborns have unpredictable sleep patterns and need frequent feedings, making it tough for new parents to get their beauty sleep. While the “sleep when the baby sleeps” advice sounds good, it’s not always doable or helpful.
In this article, we’ll discuss sleep hygiene with a newborn and provide some tips for getting the sleep you need.
Understanding Newborn Sleep Patterns
Newborns sleep for most of the day, averaging around 16-17 hours a day. However, their sleep patterns are erratic, and they wake up frequently to feed.
In the first few weeks of life, newborns have no sense of day or night, which means they don’t have a consistent sleep-wake cycle. It’s not until they are around six to eight weeks old that they start to develop a circadian rhythm and sleep for longer stretches at night.
Set Realistic Expectations
One of the most important things you can do is to set realistic expectations for how much sleep you’ll get. Newborns require frequent feedings, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to sleep for more than a few hours at a time in the first few weeks. Recognizing this and accepting it can help you feel less frustrated and more rested.
It’s important to prioritize sleep and make it a priority in your daily routine. While there may be other things you want or need to do, getting enough sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. Make sure you’re getting as much sleep as possible, even if that means taking a nap during the day.
Create a Relaxing Sleep Environment
Creating a relaxing sleep environment can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, and make sure your bed is comfortable.
If your baby is sleeping in the same room as you, consider using a white noise machine or earplugs to help you sleep through any noises they make.
Ask for Help
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Whether it’s asking a family member or friend to watch the baby so you can take a nap, or hiring a postpartum doula to help with night feedings, getting some extra help can make a big difference in your sleep and overall well-being.
We know having a newborn baby around can be difficult and it could deprive you of your sleep and sometimes make you uncomfortable but hang in there, you will be fine soon.