If there's one thing every new mum wants it's an extra hour of sleep! If you're feeling deprived of shut-eye, these tips may help to ensure a better night’s sleep for you and your baby.
1. Sleep when the baby sleeps
The dishes can wait. By laying down for a quick nap while your baby sleeps, you’ll rest and recharge for the evening routine. Just 15 to 30 mins can make a big difference to energy levels. Day naps have been proven to improve baby’s night sleeps too.
2. Establish a routine
Most babies find regular routines and rituals a source of security and comfort. By establishing a bedtime routine early, your baby will start to pick up on ‘sleep cues’ like a bath, massage, story and bed. Make sure you follow your own routine like removing your makeup and wearing comfortable pyjamas, to aid sleep.
3. Baby massage
Research has shown that babies who are massaged display better sleep patterns and have lower levels of stress hormones than infants who aren't. Here’s how to get started.
4. Find a room arrangement which suits you.
For the prevention of SIDS, it is safest to have the baby in your room with you for the first six months. Having a bassinet, cot or safe bed sleeper in arm’s reach means you’ll be back to sleep faster after a midnight feed. Remember though, it is safest to have baby in her own bed than in yours, particularly if you are sharing the bed with other adults or children.
Other mothers find that their babies funny sleep noises are disruptive. In this case, you might prefer to have baby in a room nearby with a monitor so you can hear when she wakes.
5. Play a lullaby
Many babies -and adults – find music soothing to help them drift off to sleep. There are special ‘white noise’ albums available, or you might prefer a favourite relaxation or chill-out record.
6. Put down that latte
Drinking caffeine past lunchtime may keep you awake at night – and some babies are affected by caffeine in breastmilk too. Try switching to decaf, or sipping on lower-caffeine drinks like tea.
7. Swaddle me up
Swaddling a baby helps them to feel snug and secure, as well as stifling their ‘startle’ reflex which can wake a sleeping baby. There are many wraps and swaddles available, but our members recommend the ‘Love to Dream’ swaddle, created by an Australian mum!
8. Block it out
Pregnancy is a good time to invest in blockout blinds or curtains. Shut out the early morning sun and enjoy that sleep in! They’re also helpful for daytime naps.
9. Recognise tired signs
Your baby is so cute, you just want to play with her all day long, right? The reality is that newborn babies become very tired even after just a short play session. Aside from yawning, common tires signs include jerky movements, grunting and rubbing their eyes. Settling your baby will much much easier if she is not over-stimulated.
10. Temperature control
While you are buying those block-out blinds, you might want to look at ceiling fans and heaters. Babies are unable to regulate their own body temperature so you need to ensure that your home stays at comfortable temperatures. Breastfeeding can cause your body to increase in temperature, which means you might be uncomfortable in the summer months if you can’t keep cool.