Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tips for sleeping as the mum of a newborn

Sleep deprivation is one of the major negative issues of being a Mum of a newborn baby.  It's one of those things that no-one can adequately warn you about.  I know I thought it would be a breeze, after all, I spent my youth living it up at nightclubs every weekend and missing out on a lot of sleep in the process.  So what's the difference??  I think its the unrelenting nature of being a Mum.  When you are young having fun you get to sleep in on a Sunday.  You get to have peace and quiet if you have a hang-over.  You can take a nice long soaky bath if you want to.  A Mum of a new baby?  Not a chance.  It's a 24/7 job no matter how good or bad you are feeling.  So after all my experiences on sleep with a newborn baby what are the most important factors? 

  • Consider your bed-time.  Particularly with my first, I changed my bed-time from 9pm-ish to 7 or 8pm.  I knew I would be up at 10pm, 1am, and 4am for feeds, so instead of waiting for my son to have his later evening feed and then go to bed, I tried to go to bed after his early evening feed to try and get an extra couple of hours of sleep in.
  • During Bub's night-time feeds keep things as dark and quiet as possible to teach them night from day and to get them back down as quickly as possible.  You are going to miss out on a lot of sleep if you muck around putting the TV on or surfing the web during the night!
  • I always found the advice to have a nap during the day when baby is sleeping pointless.  Whether you are working or have other children or need to get other things done, I found it almost impossible to do.  So don't stress if you find yourself in the same position, get through the day as best you can and head to bed as early as you can.
  • Keep in mind you are going to have bad nights sometimes where Bub might cry a lot and not settle easily.  ALL babies do this, it's perfectly normal behaviour, and just remember that tomorrow night is another night.  Being so sleep deprived when this happens is really hard but it does pass in time.
  • How is the state of your bed and mattress??  It's true, we do spend a 1/3 of our lives in bed so its worth looking at investing in a new mattress if you need to.  I was getting back pain and not sleeping very well so we invested in a new Sleepmaker Mattress at the end of last year and it has been the best decision ever.  Having my third bub last year, my sleep is certainly very important to me and its no point being a tired sore cranky Mum if something can be done to change things!!  Plus they have a fun Mattress Selector which you can play with at home so you have some idea about the mattress you need before you have to do the horror trip of dragging all your kids to the furniture store hehe.
These are the things that worked for me... however all babies and all Mums are different and you might find other things that work for you.  Oh, and don't listen to all the Mums that say their baby sleeps through from 8 weeks... it's probably a big fat lie ;-) xx

This post is written in partnership with Sleepmaker.

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