Being a new parent can be exhausting. One of the reasons for the same is your baby’s sleeping pattern (or “no-sleeping pattern” as we may say).Consider this situation – It’s 2 a.m. and your newborn is crying. The only question that comes to your mind is – “Will I ever get a good night’s sleep again?” Although life with a newborn is a round-the-clock adventure, don’t lose hope. By age 3 months, many babies can sleep at least five hours at a time. By age 6 months, night-time stretches of nine to 12 hours are possible. In the meantime, a little creativity can help you sneak in as much sleep as possible.
While there’s no magical formula for getting enough sleep, these strategies can help:
- Sleep when your baby sleeps:Silence your phone, hide the laundry basket and ignore the dishes in the kitchen sink. Calls and chores can wait.
- Split up nighttime duties:Work out a schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and care for the baby. If you’re breast-feeding, perhaps your partner could bring you the baby and handle night-time diaper changes. If you’re using a bottle, take turns feeding the baby.
- Give watchful waiting a try:Sometimes, middle-of-the-night fussing or crying is simply a sign that your baby is settling down. Unless you suspect that your baby is hungry or uncomfortable, it’s OK to wait a few minutes to see what happens.
When sleep becomes a struggle
The rigors of caring for a newborn might leave you so exhausted that you could fall asleep anytime, anywhere — but that’s not always the case.
If you have trouble falling asleep, make sure your environment is suited for sleep. Turn off the TV and keep your bedroom cool and dark. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol late in the day or at night. In addition, don’t agonize over falling asleep. If you’re not nodding off within a reasonable amount of time, get up and do something else until you feel sleepy. Then try going back to bed. Remember, taking good care of yourself,including getting adequate sleep,will help you take the best care of your baby.