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How Can I Get More Sleep Now That Baby Is Here?

Help! Baby is still waking every few hours and I’m exhausted. What are some ideas to sneak in extra shut-eye?

Re:

Help! Baby is still waking every few hours and I’m exhausted. What are some ideas to sneak in extra shut-eye?

The Bump Expert

You’re reading this at 3 a.m., aren’t you? Eventually, baby will sleep longer stretches -- usually around three months -- and may even sleep through the night around six months. “The first couple months, you’re going to be tired. There’s not a whole lot you can do about it,” says Kira Ryan, coauthor of The Dream Sleeper: A Three-Part Plan for Getting Your Baby to Love Sleep. “So be smart about getting sleep.” Try these tactics:

Follow the tried-and-true advice

“Sleep when the baby is sleeping.” You’ve heard it a thousand times, but seriously follow that old-school adage, says Ryan. If you’ve never been a daytime napper in the past, become one.

Feed baby -- and skip everything else

The most important thing right now is that baby gets plenty of feedings. Make that your priority and don’t stress about the dirty dishes in the sink or about waiting on guests (everyone gets it). “I would literally just feed baby and sleep,” says Rae S.

Tag team

The most important thing is that you and your partner pitch in. Come up with a plan for how you’ll do that. Natalie C. recommends creating “shifts” -- chunks of time when one parent is in charge of getting up with baby, and the other can sleep. “I was pumping every four hours but we were both able to get some uninterrupted sleep, which was very helpful for our mental well-being,” she says.

Call in extra help

Who else can pitch in? Call in a family member or friend or even hire someone, like a night nurse, postpartum doula, maid service or food delivery service. Let them tackle the pile of dirty onesies, the vacuuming or other duties while you get some extra zzzs.

Make nighttime feedings simple

Keep baby in a bassinet by your bed so you’re spending less time wandering the halls and more time snoozing. “My baby woke up like clockwork; 11:45ish and 3:00,” says Ashley K. “I planned for it by going to sleep as soon as she did at night and making sure I already had her bottle and formula by the bed ready to go.”

Create some space

Babies can be pretty loud sleepers -- grunting, moving and cooing. If you’re ready to separate a bit from baby at night, start by putting a partition -- a shoji screen or a curtain maybe -- between the bassinet and your bed, says Ryan.

When you’re ready to move baby into her own room, turn the monitor down to the lowest setting. “A big mistake parents make is putting monitor right next to your head and jacking it all the way -- every little noise will wake you,” says Ryan. “Even if you turn it way down you will hear your baby cry.”

Elena Donovan Mauer

Q&A: How can I get more sleep now that baby is here?

My doctor also recommended doing 2 to 21/2 hour feedings during day and then trying to stretch feedings to 4 hours at night.. It worked last night, we just started it. We also make sure we have play time and awaken him during the day and at night make sure it is quiet and dark other than night light and white noise so he gets the right cues.. I found it helpful.

desireebare |

Q&A: How can I get more sleep now that baby is here?

Whenever baby is sleeping, you sleep! Don't worry if the laundry or dishes are piling up or if the housework just can't get done. It's tough for the first month or so until your little bundle of joy gets into a routine along with you! So, just remember, hang in there and whenever your baby is napping, you should be too. It will get better I promise you.

kerrierageth |

Q&A: How can I get more sleep now that baby is here?

My Ped suggested every morning getting up at the same time (no matter how late you were up) and taking baby outside into the sunlight for 15 minutes. This helps them establish that now it is day time. Then open the curtains and let in as much sunlight as possible all day long. After feedings interact and play with baby for at least an hour to keep them awake and at night keep everything as dark and quiet as possible. My LO is 5 weeks old and we started this 3 weeks ago. She now sleeps 4-5 hours straight every night. You will feel like a new woman after getting 5 hours straight of sleep! Hang in there it does get better. Good luck!

ashleygingerich1 |

Q&A: How can I get more sleep now that baby is here?

If your waking during your nap to check on your baby, you need to ask yourself why? Are you afraid of Cot Death or just want reassurance everythings alright. If you have a friend you can rely on to babysit while you have a rest. Most mums have a standard they want their house to look like incase of visitors, let that slide abit. A good friend should help with maybe just doing the washing for you. Biggest mistake is not letting someone know when things are getting out of hand for you. Let others help. If you are worried about babies safety while sleeping go to www.littlemites.com.au and look at the Mi T Sleep.

cameron212121 |