Babies bring immeasurable joy to their parents’ lives. But this happiness can often be accompanied by sleep deprivation. While both parents can equally suffer from this problem, mothers find it especially exhausting due to the physical and mental health issues resulting from labor and childbirth.
It takes at least six weeks for mothers to heal from childbirth. Moreover, sudden changes in the body after childbirth, such as postpartum depression and lactation, can also make it challenging for a new mom to feel truly rested. Sleep deprivation can easily ruin the new mom’s health in such a scenario. Therefore, it is essential to establish a baby’s sleep routine as soon as possible.
If you’re a new mom or going to be one soon, here are some tips that can help you establish a healthy sleep routine for your child:
After childbirth, it is essential that you only care for your baby. Your partner can help during this time by taking up the responsibilities of the household chores. If your partner is not great with household chores, don’t worry too much about it; only assign them stuff they can do. For example, cleaning clothes in a washer or vacuuming doesn’t require much effort.
New moms often feel frustrated if the house becomes a mess. But it is vital to remember that nothing is more important than your own and your baby’s health at this time.
Since newborns must be fed every two to four hours, you might need to switch your routine to fit theirs. If it isn’t easy to nap, consider resting even if you don’t fall asleep.
While you may want to instill better sleeping habits in your child immediately, you cannot control it during their first few months. Moreover, controlling them at this age will only make you irritated and angry. Thus, it’s best to give up and just follow their sleep routine.
Adults require at least six hours of sleep. On the other hand, newborns can nap for two to four hours. Considering these facts, both parents can easily secure six hours of night sleep if the night duty is fairly divided. Dividing the night duty can be easy if one of the parents is a night owl and the other an early riser. But you can also alternate between nights if both parents follow a similar sleep routine on their own. As a new mom, you can pump breast milk in advance so your partner can feed the baby at night.
While this will allow you to go back to your sleep routine more effectively, a quicker nighttime routine will also promote quicker sleeping in your newborn.
Since babies can get suffocated in an adult bed, the best method to ensure maximum sleep for a new mom is to keep the baby’s crib in the parent’s bedroom. Waking up in the middle of the night and walking to the baby’s room can further ruin your sleep and keep you occupied for the baby longer, resulting in you hindering their sleep.
However, you may find it easier to feed or comfort the baby and go back to sleep immediately if they’re in the same room. This will lead to more sleep for you as well as your baby.
Hiring help or asking for help from friends and family members is also a good option. Asking for help lightens your responsibilities and shortens the daily to-do list, helping you focus better on establishing your baby’s sleep routine.
If you feel shy about asking for help, consider asking for a small favor, such as a grocery run or cooked food you and your partner can eat for two to three meals. You can also ask for help from community members and neighbors. Most women who have gone through childbirth sympathize with new moms and help them as much as their capacity allows. If nothing else, you can reach out to moms who faced similar challenges as you when building their baby’s sleep routine.
Babies begin sleeping four to six hours when they near 3 months of age. At this point, you can establish a sleep routine for the baby by sticking to a good sleep routine yourself. You can also move the baby’s crib back to the nursery at this point.
This step requires observation and even some trial and error. You must discover if your baby feels drowsy after eating or playing. You can also take some help from playing specific music and noises that assist babies in sleeping.
New parents often make the mistake of taking leaves at the same time. While it greatly helps to have both parents at home during the first couple of weeks, dads should not take a paternal leave longer than that. In fact, it is best to have a family member over during the first couple of weeks so that dads can save their leaves. Grandmothers or aunts can be especially helpful at this time.
Dads should utilize their leave when the mom’s maternity leaves are ending. This allows the new mom to get some extra help and return to their pre-childbirth sleep routine before rejoining work. Planning the leaves this way also allows the new parents enough time to work out their new daily routine.
Finally, establishing a baby’s sleep routine is impossible in an environment that doesn’t support healthy sleep. New parents must ensure they are not consuming caffeinated beverages late in the evening. Only turning on dim yellow lighting in the house after dinner time and avoiding blue screens from all electronics and gadgets can also create a relaxing environment that assists in sleeping. Changing into high-quality sleepwear can also set a restful mood.
Hence, you must avoid social media and watching TV late at night. You must try your best to stick to a healthy sleep routine, even if it doesn’t work daily. With time, you can create a sleep schedule for your baby.