The lack of sleep that invariably comes with a freshly-born bub can make everything a little fuzzy, so it’s really important as a parent of a newborn to know how to get more sleep.
Those first few weeks with your gorgeous newborn can be a rollercoaster of emotions – exhilarating, terrifying, overwhelming and exhausting all at the same time.
But getting enough zzzz’s is easier said than done. We’re so focused on the needs of our little one, that we forget that we need to look after ourselves too.
Sleep deprivation makes it so much harder to take care of a baby, plus it’s also really dangerous, especially if you’re driving. In addition, the loss of sleep can also increase a new mum’s risk of getting PND. So with that in mind, let’s look at our top tips for how to get more sleep, especially if you’re a parent of a newborn.
1. Sleep when your baby sleeps.
Most experienced parents will share this bit of advice when asked how to get more sleep. When I was a new mum, this tip bugged me. “How do I just switch off as soon as my baby is asleep? I’ve got a million things to do!” But I soon realised how important this bit of advice is. Seriously, forget about Mount Laundry or making the beds and hit the pillow as soon as your bub closes their eyes. You never know how long your baby will sleep for, so don’t procrastinate and try and steal some sleep while you can. Don’t be tempted to look at your phone, catch up on facebook or watch Netflix – getting sleep is far more important. Anything else can wait.
And don’t stress if you can’t fall asleep instantly. Even lying down for 30 minutes can restore some energy.
2. Make Sure Your Baby is Comfortable During Sleep
A newborn that sleeps well generally means a better rested mum too. My eldest was a terrible sleeper and I was a bit of a wreck as a result. One of the best ways on how to get more sleep is to make sure your baby is comfortable during sleep. If they’re too hot or too cold, they’ll struggle to go down and may wake more often. Make sure you’re dressing them in clothes that are conducive to the best sleep.
We think the new BONDS Wondercool baby range is the best investment to help your bub sleep well (and in turn, for you to get more sleep). This is an innovative range of babywear made with adaptive cooling fabric that keeps bub so comfy and it’s the only clothing approved by Red Nose for safer sleep.
Bonds Wondercool imitates the skin’s natural bodily process of evaporative cooling. As skin temperature heats up, the Wondercool technology activates to achieve cooling. When baby’s body heat lowers, the level of sweat is reduced, and the cooling effect of the fabric adapts and deactivates once cooling is complete. How brilliant is that!!!
3. Accept Offers to Help
Yes, you may be a supermum, but even superheroes need help sometimes. Many of us think that we can do it all, so when a well-meaning family member or friend offers to help, we shrug it off. But stop saying No! One of our most powerful tips on how to get more sleep is to say ‘YES’ instead and give yourself permission to let go just a little. There is absolutely nothing wrong (and everything right) about letting a trusted friend or family to watch your newborn while you get some much-needed shut-eye. Remember, sleep is not a luxury – it’s a medical requirement.
4. Outsource Where You Can
You don’t need to do it all yourself. If you are looking at ways on how to get more sleep, one of the easiest answers is to outsource! If there are tasks that you can outsource, go ahead and do that and free up your day for some vital rest. Organise food deliveries so you don’t need to cook and if your newborn drinks from the bottle, ask your partner to take turns with feeding. Get a cleaner in to tidy your home and if you have other children at home, ask friends or family to help mind them if necessary.
5. You WILL hear Your Baby Cry
Many parents are scared to sleep in case they won’t hear their baby wake up and cry. Mums tend to be very sensitive to their newborns’ cry so most mothers will wake up when their bub does. However, if you are concerned, you can always get a video or sound baby monitor so you don’t have to worry about this anymore.
6. Be Picky About Visitors
Most people can’t wait to have a cuddle with a newborn, but you should try and not crowd yourself with guests, particularly in the early days. Having visitors can be tiring, especially if you’re running low on sleep anyway. Restrict your guest list to close family and friends, who will likely help and not plonk themselves on your couch and expect to be served and entertained.
7. Eat Nutritious Meals
In the first few weeks of the newborn stage, I grabbed a snack every now and again but never made any time to eat properly. Just as you need to get more sleep, you also need all the right nutrients to keep your body powered up. If your partner is around, ask them to prepare you a healthy meal. You’ll also sleep better if your tummy isn’t growling with hunger.
8. Don’t overdose on Caffeine
A cup of coffee in the morning may be just the right pick-me-up that you need. But don’t overdose on caffeine to help you get through the day. Having too much coffee can mask your need to sleep and may even prevent you from falling asleep when you finally get into bed. A good alternative to coffee is a caffeine-free herbal tea or indulge in a comforting hot chocolate.
9. The Sleepless Nights Will Eventually End And You WILL Get More Sleep
Your newborn won’t be a baby forever so while it may feel like you won’t ever have a proper good night’s sleep again, we assure you, that you will eventually get more sleep. By three months, your baby will be sleeping longer stretches at night and many babies are consistently sleeping through the night by around one year.
10. Don’t Hesitate To Get help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or not able to cope at any time, make sure you seek help. Go see your GP as the first point of call. Also, if your baby is still having interrupted sleep at around 12 months, there is no harm in getting advice from a professional sleep consultant or an agency such as Tresillian or Karitane.
Finally, just remember that your health and wellbeing are just as important as your baby’s, so be the best parent that you can possibly be….and get some sleep!
If you need help, you can also contact PANDA, the National Perinatal Anxiety and Depression agency for support or assistance.
The Bonds Wondercool range is available in all Bonds stores and online at www.bonds.com.au. Also available at selected retailers including Big W, Myer, Best & Less, Baby Bunting and Farmers (NZ).
This article was created in partnership with Bonds. We have tried out Bond’s new Wondercool range and we couldn’t wait to get the word out about this adaptive cooling fabric that keeps bub so comfy and helps baby to have a better sleep.