Sleep deprivation and fatigue have become part of the journey of new parents. Here are 8 tactics on how to survive your baby's first months.
Congratulations on the newest member of your family! What can be more fulfilling than bringing a child into this world? Your lifelong journey as parents will start with sleepless nights with your newborn. Babies have an erratic sleeping schedule. They can snooze for long hours at a time either in the morning or at night, or sleep for 3 to 4 hours at a time. The result? Sleep deprived, fatigued, and stressed out parents. How will you survive the first years of caring for your baby? Here are 9 tricks for first-time parents.
#1: Plan a shifting schedule[caption id="attachment_110797" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
As new parents, brace yourselves for the high risk of sleep deprivation. Newborn babies should sleep for 14 to 17 hours every day. However, they are likely to wake up every 2 to 4 hours for feeding and other needs. As they grow older, they're able to sleep for longer stretches.
Plan a rotating schedule with your partner so both of you can get sufficient sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults aged 18 to 64 should be clocking in 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. You can at least meet the minimum 7 hours of shut-eye if you follow a schedule. You can agree on taking turns every other night.
#2: Have a conducive sleeping area[caption id="attachment_110796" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
You may have heard about the struggles of caring for infants. Yours doesn't have to be equally troublesome. Aspire to meet the recommended sleep range by creating a conducive sleeping environment in your home. You need to maximize every precious minute so it wouldn't do any good if you'll have a hard time falling asleep.
It's advisable to separate your child's sleeping quarters from your own. This will allow you to truly recharge. Tidy up your bedroom, keep all your baby's stuff in the nursery, and enjoy that much-needed sleep. Set the mood for sleep. You can mount heavy curtains to darken the room and keep the temperature low.
#3: Get the Orthocare Mattress[caption id="attachment_110803" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Insufficient sleep, even for the couple of days, can have serious impact on your health and safety. By missing a couple of hours of sleep at night, your brain could suffer from memory issues, poor concentration, and poor performance. It can also make you moody and emotional.
Make sure you and your partner get enough sleep each night as you care for your newborn. Buy a high-quality mattress that will relieve you of muscle pain and backache, and cradle you to a restful sleep. The Orthocare Mattress adapts to your sleeping position and it’s designed to be a pain-relieving bed. It’s also beneficial for new parents because this mattress is guaranteed to have no dust mites, fungi, odor, or bacteria.
#4: Horizontal breastfeeding for extra sleep[caption id="attachment_110800" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
If you're breastfeeding your child, you can pump breast milk for your baby's feeding before going to bed so your husband doesn't need to wake you up in the middle of your sleep.
Try horizontal breastfeeding. This works for most babies a couple of months old. While breastfeeding your child, you both lay down on the bed. This position can help your baby fall asleep. This is also a golden opportunity for you to get some sleep. Just take note that if your infant is experiencing reflux and need to burp, this position isn't advisable.
#5: Doze off while your baby sleeps[caption id="attachment_110799" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
New parents are overworked and sleep deprived. After putting the babies to bed, parents are likely to stay busy cleaning the house, cooking, doing the laundry, etc. How to catch more sleep when taking care of babies? Go to bed when your newborn does. It's peaceful and quiet, perfect to catch up on your sleep.
#6: Teach your child to fall back to sleep[caption id="attachment_110801" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
First time parents have the tendency of leaping out of bed even on the faintest sound. Before going to bed, turn down the monitor. Babies, especially newborns, are active sleepers. They groan, whimper, and toss around throughout their sleep.
As the months progress, your baby will be sleeping at least seven hours at a stretch. You can start teaching your child to fall back to sleep on his own by the time he reaches 6 months old. Stop using the strategies you've been doing to put him to sleep if he cries for you in the middle of the night. Instead of rocking him back to sleep, let your child cry a bit until he falls back to sleep.
#7: Go for power napping[caption id="attachment_110802" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Never underestimate the power of naps as napping helps you to commit better sleep. Buy a comfy sofa bed for your morning and early afternoon siesta. A 20-minute power nap while your baby is snoozing can help you recharge. Remember, however, not to do power napping after 3 PM. This may interfere with your ability to sleep at night.
Some parents suggest munching on midnight snacks to help you stay awake. This may become problematic if you're indulging in too much carbs you couldn't digest late at night. Also, avoid caffeine and energy drinks. If you're sleepy, don't fight it. Go to bed.
#8: Accept offered assistance[caption id="attachment_110798" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Being first-time parents can be overwhelming. Don't hesitate to ask for assistance from family and friends. Your mom can look after your baby in weekends so you could sleep in peace. Your friends may also help out in cleaning the kitchen or clearing the lawn when you have too many things on your plate.
Being a parent is considered the greatest role a person could ever take. It's a life-long career in which you can never retire from. However, parenthood could also bring out the best in you. As new parents, you'll notice the changes a newborn will bring in your individual lives. Your child will test your patience and resilience. Your baby will push you to your limits, allowing you to do things you thought you couldn't. With a child, your life will never the same again. Enjoy this exhilarating journey. Start by surviving the sleepless nights spent caring for your newborn.