As every new parent is well aware – numerous feedings, diaper changes, and strolling through the hallways with a crying infant may make sleeping comfortably at night almost tricky. While self-care may be challenging when you have a baby, getting enough shuteye should be a priority, according to Johns Hopkins sleep expert Grace W. Pien, M.D., M.S.C.E.
If you actually get enough sleep, you’ll be better equipped to handle your new duties as a parent, she adds. You’ll have more patience and are more likely to enjoy parenting. Pien recommends the following methods for catching up on some ZZZs.
Ø Sleep While The Infant Sleeps:
Newborns take numerous naps of between two and four hours, totaling 16 to 18 hours of sleep each day. New parents are often highly sleep-deprived, especially if their sole sleep is nighttime. Sleeping when the baby sleeps may be difficult at times due to other children in the home or our body clocks, but it’s essential to try and get some rest, Pien explains.
You can use any of these mattresses for a great sleep:
The primary difference between latex and memory foam mattresses is their ability to adapt to the shape of your body. Memory foam mattresses will adapt to each individual’s unique shape. However, latex will compress and bounce, conforming solely to the general impressions made by your body. Whichever of these mattresses you choose is entirely up to you and your sleep requirements.
Ø Know About Zero Gravity Beds:
Zero gravity beds are adjustable beds that enable your body to achieve a state of zero gravity.
For years, hospitals have utilized zero gravity beds to assist control blood flow. Apart from their many health advantages, they also help patients sleep better by reducing snoring, relieving back and neck discomfort, and assisting them in falling asleep deeper. Zero gravity beds of the new generation include contemporary comfort features such as built-in USB connections and programmable remote controls. These beds are also excellent for great sleep, but zero gravity beds are expensive.
Ø Eliminate Household Chores:
Rather than cleaning or filling the dishwasher, opt for a good night’s sleep. Friends and relatives will understand why the home is in such disarray, Pien adds. Besides, they’re paying a visit to see your infant. Allow the supper dishes to sit in the sink until the following morning.
Ø Distribute Nighttime Baby Responsibilities:
You and your spouse may take turns feeding the baby, changing diapers, and doing other nocturnal infant chores. Breastfeeding mothers may pump breast milk so their husband can give the baby a midnight bottle, enabling the mom to catch up on sleep.
Ø Place the crib close to Your Bed:
Placing the baby’s crib or bassinet close to your bed enables you to attend to the infant and then return to sleep, resulting in a more peaceful night. While sharing a bed with your infant may sound appealing, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against it due to the danger of suffocation.
Ø When artificial lighting is required at night, utilize bulbs (or filters) that do not emit blue wavelengths:
If you and your infant were to remove all sources of electric and technological light at night, you and your baby would likely sleep better. However, for the majority of us, complete blackouts are not a viable choice.
What can we do if we want to participate in evening activities such as reading? What are our options when it’s time to change a diaper?
Fortunately, not all wavelengths of light have the same impact on the internal clock. Yes, white light (produced by fluorescent and incandescent lights) disrupts sleep habits, particularly in young children.
However, it seems as if one component of white light — the blue portion of the spectrum — is causing most of the havoc. If we can block that portion of the light spectrum, we may mitigate the harmful consequences of nighttime light exposure.
A low-wattage amber bulb may shield your baby from harmful blue wavelengths while providing adequate light for overnight newborn care. Similarly, blue light filters may help reduce the risk of insomnia associated with late-night electronic screen watching.
Ø Solicit Assistance from Friends and Family:
Do not be afraid to get assistance from friends or family, whether for grocery shopping, cleaning the floor, or keeping the baby while you sleep. Additionally, friends and family members may be ready to assist with diaper changes and feedings at night.
Ø Utilize Parental Leave:
Employer rules on parental leave differ, but both parents may sometimes take time off, enabling them to balance infant care and resulting in more sleep more easily. For instance, “Mom may take time off work immediately after the baby is delivered, and her husband may take leave several weeks later, allowing mom to catch up on sleep when she returns to work,” Pien explains.
Ø Maintain Proper Sleep Hygiene:
Proper sleep hygiene may help you sleep better, regardless of whether you have a baby at home. Several strategies include the following:
Ø Avoid Caffeine:
Caffeine is a stimulant that may disrupt your sleep cycle.
Avoiding electrical devices before bedtime: While you may want to share the newest photos of your newborn on social media, using mobile phones, tablets, and laptops late at night may interfere with overall sleep time, Pien explains, adding that electronic gadgets’ light can disrupt your body clock.
Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule: As tricky as it may seem for a new parent, make an effort to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Just bear in mind that when you have a kid, you must be adaptable and prepared for midnight awakenings.
Ø Assist The Infant To Sleep:
Beginning around three months of age, many infants begin sleeping for extended periods at night — ranging from four to six hours — but this varies per baby. By six months, two-thirds of infants sleep through the night. When newborns weigh between 12 and 13 pounds, they begin sleeping for extended periods.
To assist little children in developing good sleep patterns, she recommends putting infants to bed when sleepy. Although this is a personal preference, you may want to avoid rocking the baby to sleep in your arms before bedtime since this may develop into a habit. Babies must ultimately learn to fall asleep in their bed, she explains.
Additionally, she recommends teaching infants how to self-soothe. This includes refraining from scooping up your infant every time they cry. Allowing infants to self-soothe to go back asleep on their own may help develop healthy sleeping patterns, which will enable parents to obtain a decent night’s sleep.
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