If you’re a new parent, you’re aware of the demanding little alarm clock in the crib that goes off at random intervals throughout the night. You can’t do much as a new parent to prevent the interruptions, and you certainly can’t ignore it. But there are some things that you can do to manage the situation and enjoy a semi-normal sleep schedule. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your sleep time as a new parent.
Sleep When the Baby Sleeps
The importance of this cannot be overstated. When you’re tired in the evening around eight or nine PM, just go to bed if the child is. Don’t try to stay up working, cleaning or checking out social media. Go to sleep while your child sleeps. You may be tired the first time the baby wakes up at night, but you’ll be better able to go back to sleep. Moreover, you’ll nearly guarantee you get eight hours of sleep by the time you both get up in the morning. Note that it is a good idea to take a nap when the baby does if you’re tired too.
Create an Environment Where You Can Both Sleep
Is your baby fighting to stay awake when you want them to go to sleep? Or are you struggling to sleep yourself after you get the baby to sleep? If both of these are true, you may need to change the home environment to be more conducive to sleep.
Turn off all the screens at least half an hour before bedtime. Don’t check your smartphone while you’re trying to get the baby to sleep or getting ready for bed yourself. Don’t run a lot of noisy appliances, and turn down the TV if you like to leave it on. Try to keep the amount of digital light as minimal as possible. You want to make the home as quiet, dark and peaceful as you can. This will make it easier for everyone to go to sleep and stay asleep.
Maximize Your Sleep Quality
As a parent, you should do what you can to maximize your quality of sleep. Anti-snoring strips could be the key to improving your sleep quality. These can help you breathe easier at night, preventing the minor disturbances in breathing that force you half awake. When that happens, your eight hours of sleep feels more like four to six hours.
If your partner is snoring, anti-snoring strips could be the best solution too. They force the person to breathe through their nose instead of their mouth, the quieter option. It also helps them use a CPAP mask properly. You may need to invest in a more comfortable bed, too.
Establish a Bedtime Routine for Both of You
One of the best ways to ensure you all get enough sleep is establishing a routine. Have a set time each night that you start winding down for the evening. Put your child to bed at a given time after a soothing ritual like singing or reading to them. This trains them to associate the ritual with sleep while putting them in a relaxed frame of mind. Follow a bedtime ritual yourself and go to bed around the same time. When they wake, feed them, soothe them, and return them to bed.
On a side note, don’t give in to the temptation to put the baby in bed with you. That may be a viable option while breastfeeding, but return them to their cot afterward. Otherwise, you risk the child in a few months demanding to go to bed with Mom and Dad and interfering in their quality of sleep.
You can’t get the baby to sleep through the night any faster. However, if follow these few simple tips, you could minimize bedtime fights and end the sleepless nights for both of you.