Here’s a statistic that will keep you up at night: new parents lose an average of 44 days of sleep in their newborn’s first year of life. Yes, you read that right. No wonder sleep deprivation is practically a cliché of parenthood. Plenty of factors account for newborns’, ahem... creative sleeping patterns, from undeveloped Circadian rhythms to rumbling tummies. What’s less clear is how an adult unaccustomed to being repeatedly jarred awake by a screaming infant is supposed to function.
There’s no magic cure, and there’s probably no getting around the fact that this stage will be a difficult one. Thankfully, the first year with your new baby is also filled with beautiful moments you’ll be happily remember for the rest of your life. Don’t be too discouraged—there are things you can do to make this period easier on yourself.
Please note that if you’re a new mother and can’t seem to get to sleep even when you have silence and space, you may be suffering from postpartum insomnia. In this case, please consult with your healthcare professional, as you may benefit from short-term medical intervention.
Prepare For The Worst
For many new parents, being woken up repeatedly through the night is the rule rather than the exception. This means that going to bed around midnight and hoping your baby sleeps till morning is likely to leave you with mounting sleep debt. If at all possible, go to bed as early as you can. You need every hour of sleep you can get.
More on squeezing in every bit of sleep you can get your hands on: For people without newborns, napping after a certain time or more than once per day is not recommended. Feel free to ignore these rules as a new mum or dad. Sleeping when they baby sleeps is a cliché for a reason, though we fully understand that many new parents need this precious time to catch up on work or errands.
Ask For Help
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and there’s probably no stage of your child’s life this applies to more than the first year. If you have a partner around, it’s only fair to split the workload (including nighttime feedings). Otherwise, don’t be afraid to accept the help of relatives and trusted friends. Plus, this will give your loved ones time to bond with your newborn.
Repeat After Me: This Will Not Last Forever
When you feel like you’ve reached your limit, remember that most babies settle into a more consistent sleep routine by the time they’re a few months old, and that many babies sleep through the night by six months. Of course, this varies widely and may not reflect what will happen in your home, but in all likelihood, there is a fast-approaching light at the end of the sleepless tunnel.
Of course, a properly fitted mattress is essential for quality sleep. The last thing a new parent needs is an extra barrier to a good night’s rest, so make sure to visit a local Regal Sleep Solutions store if your mattress could use an upgrade!