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How to get enough sleep while caring for children

How to get enough sleep while caring for children

It can be exhausting being a new parent. After a stressful day of caring for your newborn baby, all you want to do is to get a good night's rest. But unfortunately, baby just wouldn’t let you rest with still crying for food and attention.

It's 2 a.m., and your baby is awake and fussing. Will you ever be able to obtain a good night's sleep?

Don't give up hope, even though life with a newborn is a never-ending experience. Many babies can sleep for at least five hours at a time by the age of three to four months. Nighttime stretches of 10 hours may be conceivable during your baby's first year. Meanwhile, a little imagination can help you get as much sleep as possible.

Recommendations for a tired parent

While there isn't a perfect formula for obtaining adequate sleep, the following tips may help:

  • Sleep when your child does. Turn off your phone, put the laundry basket away, and ignore the dishes in the sink. Calls and duties can be postponed.
  • Leave social graces at the door. Don't offer to be the host when friends and family come to visit. Instead, request that they watch the infant while you nap.
  • Don't 'bed share' when you're sleeping. It's fine to bring your baby into your bed for nursing or comfort, but when you're ready to sleep again, return your baby to the crib or bassinet.
  • Responsibilities are shared. If feasible, arrange a routine with your partner that allows you to relax and care for the baby alternately.
  • Give the art of watchful waiting a try. You may need to let your infant cry himself or herself to sleep on occasion. It's fine to encourage self-soothing unless you feel your infant is hungry or uncomfortable. If your baby continues to wail, check on him or her, console him or her, and then leave the room. Your soothing presence could be all your infant requires to fall asleep.

When getting a good night's sleep becomes a challenge

It's possible that caring for a newborn will fatigue you to the point that you'll fall asleep anywhere, at any time, but this isn't usually the case. If you're having difficulties sleeping, it can continue to compound and it is important to make sure your surroundings are conducive to rest. Maintain a dark, quiet, and cool environment in your bedroom. Late in the day or late at night, stay away from  caffeine, and alcohol. Get regular physical activity – preferably not too close to bedtime. Avoid stimulating light, such as that from devices, and noise in the hours leading up to bedtime.

Try not to be concerned about falling asleep. If you don't fall asleep in a decent length of time, get up and do something peaceful, like reading, until you do. Then return to your bed.

You can try using relaxation products such as diffusing essential oils, having a warm bath with a relaxing bath soak and a hot cup of soothing sleep tea. Or take yourself off for an hour, light yourself a artisan candle and read a book for a little while. It is important to take time time for yourself.

Identifying and resolving any underlying issues might assist you in getting the rest you require. Remember that taking care of yourself, especially getting enough sleep, will allow you to provide your baby with the greatest care possible.

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