3 Ways on How to Sleep with a Newborn
You’ve probably heard all the advice in the book about getting sleep when you have a newborn baby:
- “Sleep when they sleep!”
- “Rock her to sleep.”
- “Never rock her to sleep!”
- “Always get up when they cry.”
- “Just let them cry it out.”
But not all advice works for all parents or babies. As long as you are following the American Academy of Pediatrics rules for safe sleep, anything goes to help sleep-deprived moms get more sleep.
At Women’s Care Florida, we’ve seen our share of sleepy new moms. Our experts suggest trying out these three tactics to improve your sleep and your health.
Sleep with a newborn by sharing responsibilities
Sleep-deprived moms can get more sleep by sharing who takes care of the baby during the night with their partner. You might take the 11 p.m. feeding while your husband takes the 3 a.m. feedings. Or you can trade off who is in charge of getting up every other night. These set-ups not only help you more equally share parenting responsibilities, but it also ensures that you get a good night of sleep at least every other night, helping reduce sleep deprivation.
If you don’t have a partner to share nighttime duties with, consider asking a close family member or friend for help when your child is very young. Some babysitters are also willing to work nights to help with new mom sleep deprivation.
Make your own bedtime routine
When you know you have to get up in two hours to feed the baby again, it can be hard to fall asleep. You need to create healthy sleep habits and routines to help your mind fall into a restful sleep. Your routine might include:
- Taking a warm bath after your child’s last feeding
- Reading for 30 minutes before sleep
- Changing into pajamas earlier in the night
- Following the same steps for sleep every night such as the last feeding, brush your teeth, wash your face, go to bed
- Go to bed and wake up at the same times every day
- Listening to white noise when you lie down for bed
You will also want to follow rules of good sleep hygiene such as:
- Keep screens out of your bedroom
- Ensure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol within three hours of bedtime
- Avoid food within three hours of bedtime
Adapt to your family’s needs
Before you have a baby, you might be certain that you want your baby to room in with a bassinet. You might be certain you will exclusively breastfeed, no bottles at all. But when the baby comes, these plans might not turn out to be what is best for your family.
If you or your family cannot sleep with a newborn, try new tactics to help you all rest more easily. If rooming-in doesn’t work, move the baby to their own room and crib. If you just can’t stand another 3 a.m. feeding, pump milk earlier in the day so someone else can feed the baby during the night. By adapting your plans, you’ll be able to find the right sleeping habits to keep both you and baby happy.
For more postpartum health advice and care, contact Women’s Care Florida. Our experts have helped thousands of women maintain good health as new moms.