How To Get More Sleep With a Newborn

10 Suggestions To Get More Sleep with a Newborn

Sleep in the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.
— Thomas Dekker

Ah sleep. The amazing, elusive treat that new parents long for and new babies rebel against. While it might seem like a luxury, it is very important that as a new parent, especially if you just gave birth, you are able to get a least a few hours of sleep each day. Since babies do not always have the best sleep/wake schedule, you might be taking a nap when the sun is shinning and neighborhood kids are playing, which may be hard to do if you are a light sleeper. 

Below are our top ten suggests to help make that nap, whenever it might occur, be the best it can be.  

  1. Eye mask: Eye masks will keep any time of day dark enough for you to sleep like it is the middle of the night. 
  2. Low night lights: Low, dim lights in your home will be helpful for when the baby wakes up while it is still dark outside as they will help keep both you and the baby from fully waking up, and thus able to fall asleep faster.
  3. Ear plugs: We promise, ear plugs will not prevent you from hearing your baby. They will block out extraneous noises that disrupt your sleep, and help you enjoy those naps whenever you are able to get a few quiet hours.
  4. Black out curtains: Great in addition to, or instead of, an eye mask. The darkness of your room will make your body think its night and thus fall asleep easier. 
  5. Sound machine: Since babies are use to all the noises that occur inside your body, a sound machine will be relaxing to them and help block outside noise for you.
  6. Lower your body temperature: It may be hard to keep you house at 60 degrees with a newborn, but a cool shower prior to laying down can decrease your body temperature to help you sleep better. 
  7. Dim your phone screen: Limiting screen time for a few hours prior to sleeping can be beneficially, but also close to impossible when marathon nursing sessions occur. Dimming your screen so the brightness is not as tough on your eyes can be helpful. 
  8. Exercise: We aren’t talking a running a marathon as you need to allow your body ample time to recover from pregnancy and birth, but a daily walk with your baby can help sleeping easier when you are able to get a few hours in. 
  9. Think of your sleep needs in a 24 hour period: When caring for a newborn, you will rarely get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and that’s fine. Looking at your days as 24 hour blocks of time rather than day time and night can make getting enough sleep seem easier and more attainable. If in those 24 hours, all of your naps are close to 8 hours in total, you are doing great.  A new outlook on the quantity of sleep may be beneficial to see that you are succeeding at this parenting thing. 
  10. Postpartum Doula: Your postpartum doula can help with all of the above tips plus more. She can help you meal plan and prep, do light housework and errands, clean bottles and breast pump supplies, and/or care for your baby so you can actually sleep when the baby sleeps!