The Sleep Coach's great hacks for new parents
This blog post has expertly been written by Cheryl The Sleep Coach.
Too many of us find ourselves sleep deprived as new parents, and often unexpectedly so. Perhaps we thought our babies would sleep, or when they don’t that there is something wrong with us, or them! Alas, everything is actually perfectly normal, and your baby is probably doing exactly what babies are meant to do.
For some great hacks for new parents, read on.
Babies don't come with a user's manual but there are some expert tricks of the trade that can help in those early weeks
1. Don't have such high expectations
It's going to take a while for you and baby to get to know each other. Don't expect to be the perfect parents from day one - and don't expect your baby to be perfect either! Remind yourself that you're doing your best and pat yourself on the back - every single day.
2. Say yes to help
One of the biggest shocks to new parents is finding time to do every day chores or activities with a newborn to look after as well. Here's my best tip: don't - get someone else to help you. If you have family nearby, or a willing friend to call on, give them a list of chores to do or just ask them to put on some washing for you. Flowers are always lovely but a home cooked meal is the perfect treat for new parents.
3. Get out of the house
Even if it's just for a short walk around the block, strapping your baby into a carrier or putting them in their pram and getting some fresh air will do you the world of good. Walking is also the perfect gentle exercise for new mums. The gentle motion will also soothe an unsettled baby.
4. Find your tribe
Being among others going through the same thing can be such a help in early parenthood. Join a mother's group or get online and get to know other new parents. Some of them may even become your best friends. But even if they don't, chatting to others who are sleep deprived and perhaps struggling with aspects of early parenthood will help you feel less alone. This is so important as having a newborn can be isolating.
5. Learn your baby's sleep secrets
Now we get to the topic every parent wants to discuss with me as a sleep coach! It's essential to our health but having a baby plays havoc with our ability to have a good night's sleep.
Newborns are programmed to walk up every few hours because they need to feed frequently and although it's gruelling for the parent - normally Mum! - this behaviour is completely normal.
But there are some things you can do, even with a newborn, to encourage healthy sleeping:
- try soothing techniques other than nursing.
- once every 24 hours put your baby down for a nap when they're drowsy rather than asleep.
- feed your baby when he wakes from a nap.
- create a sleep friendly environment. Make sure baby's room is dark, quiet, not too hot or cold.
- remember babies sleep between 16 and 18 hours in a 24 hour period, spread over day and night.
Most babies will be capable of learning gentle sleep skills or sleep shaping at 4 or 5 months, which is when it's possible to start a bedtime routine.
About Essential Me
Hi, I'm Amanda. I support women and couples during their pregnancy, birth and postnatal journey as a Doula, Ka Huna massage therapist and Pilates instructor. I'm Based in Sydney and would love to help you. Please check out my Top 10 Tips for the best possible birth experience here. I'd love to meet you for an obligation free interview to see if you feel we're the right fit. Contact me here. Thanks, Amanda x