Getting More Sleep After Bringing Home Baby
Newborn care usually means a big shift in sleep patterns.
Sleep as you know it has changed and the first few weeks home with your new baby usually means less sleep and more night time check ups.
The most popular advice we hear on the subject is something to the effect of "sleep when the baby sleeps" which sounds great in theory, but isn't so helpful in practice.
During the night, your baby needs to be fed constantly, which is bad news for tired parents. The first step to better sleep with your newborn care routine is establishing a feeding routine. Once you get a system going, partners can take turns getting up throughout the night for feedings. With a little bit of teamwork, you'll get at least five precious hours of sleep and your baby won't have a hungry belly.
If you're breastfeeding, quality hours of sleep are few and far between. The best strategy is to pump before bed, giving your partner the opportunity to bottle feed. Take turns getting up for feeding time or working feedings into shifts. Having your stored breast milk labeled properly will help you out when you're sleepily preparing a bottle.
If you're trying to get some extra shut-eye when your partner is taking over their shift, try setting up a separate room for you to sleep. Whether your newborn care takes place in a nursery, living space or bedroom, you and your spouse needs some undisturbed moments to snooze. More relaxing spaces will give you better quality sleep, even if that sleep is in short supply these days.
Take whatever opportunities arise to nap throughout your day. With a postpartum doula around it's much easier to catch those daytime naps, but regardless you should be napping throughout the day as your baby sleeps. Most parents find it easier to finish housework or errands in the beginning of the day and leave the rest of the afternoon napping and getting the baby ready for bed.
Seek Overnight Care
Don't underestimate the power of an overnight doula. Yeah, we do that! Overnight care means your baby can be tended to throughout the night while you're catching up on overdue sleep. Doulas can work with your schedule and form a customized care plan, incorporating more chances to get quality sleep throughout the week.
A good night's sleep is possible, even with a new baby.
With a little constructive time organization and some extra help, parents can get some quality hours of sleep. Restful nights mean energized mornings and with some extra energy parents can feel more confident as they navigate life with their new family.