There is nothing greater than being a mum, but there are many sacrifices you will need to make in the process. One of these is sleep, and this is surely something every parent can identify with. As soon as you bring your newborn home, you need to be prepared to say goodbye to your regular sleeping pattern.
Your bedtime routine is going to change, and while you may be able to catch some shut-eye during your baby’s nap times, you may find yourself feeling exhausted during those first few months. Thankfully, we are here to help. Short of us coming round to your home singing lullabies to your little one, here are some great ideas that may help you and your child.
Focus on the bed
There are all kinds of beds you can buy for your new one, including cots, cribs, and
Moses baskets. Your newborn will feel more relaxed knowing you are near, so consider moving their bed into your room for a while, which may help them get to sleep sooner.
Avoid eye contact
You should make plenty of eye contact with your baby during the day, as this can improve bonding, and will encourage them to stay awake. At night, bedtime should become a routine unto itself, so avoid eye contact. According to professionals, the baby’s heart rate will increase when you look into their eyes, making them more alert and wanting to play. So, despite your motherly instincts, get into the habit of this simple nighttime practice, and you might be able to catch up on your beauty sleep!
Change the lighting
We all have a body clock, and as adults, we are used to going to bed when it’s dark, and being awake when it’s light. You need to get your newborn used to this habit, too, so make sure you lower the lights, or buy a dimmer switch, and regulate your child’s sleeping pattern. Infants need around 16-20 hours sleep a day, so there will be times when you can’t do anything about the light, though they will eventually get into a sleeping routine.
Make a noise
While living in the womb, unborn children are used to noise. From the muffled voices of others to the regular rhythm of your heartbeat, your child hasn’t hung out in the quietest of places. Therefore, simulate the experience as much as you can after birth. Many parents find sleep apps useful, which provide a variety of sounds to relax and encourage a baby to fall asleep. Alternatively, you may want to purchase some natural sound cd’s or place your child’s bed near the dishwasher as it slowly rumbles away.
Change the temperature
We can all sleep better in a well-regulated room, so adjust the temperature to ensure your child isn’t too hot or cold. Experts say the best room temperature for a child’s sleep is between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful not to overload the bedding with blankets, and provide comfortable sheets for the bed.
Cut out caffeine
While we love breastfeeding on this site, you need to be aware that your breast milk can contain traces of caffeine from coffee and fizzy drinks. Caffeine can keep us awake, and the same applies to your child. You will be tempted to increase your caffeine intake if you are feeling particularly exhausted, but resist the urge, and go for a healthier option to raise your energy levels.
Change feeding times
Your baby will start to cry when they wake up hungry during the night, so you will need to ensure they are well-fed before bedtime. The amount of food you give your child will vary as they start to get older, so follow this age-related guide. There will come a time when you need to wean your child from nighttime feeding, so do your research and speak to your GP for further advice.
Buy the right nappies
Dirty nappies are the bane of any parent. You will be amazed at where poop can end up, so it’s no wonder babies will start to cry when it comes time for changing. However, you don’t need to change them during the night if you use absorbent nappies. Your child will be less likely to wake up and cry for attention, and you should also get a better night’s sleep too.
The final word
We hope you found the above advice helpful, but remember to enlist other members of your family when you need a break. Good luck and enjoy your baby!
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