There’s no handbook for parenting, and just when you think you’ve nailed down your routine, your little one decides to rewrite the rules. If you’ve found this post with one eye open, gripping your third cup of coffee for the day, and trying to recall the last time you had a good night’s sleep, we hear you!
We know how magical yet tiring the journey of parenthood can be, especially when you're new to it. At times, sleep feels like a luxury. Let’s dive into some of the best science-backed strategies to help you reclaim your rest and support your family.
Strategy #1: Sleep When the Baby Sleeps
Simple and classic, yet still one of the most effective strategies. When your baby naps, use that time to catch some Zs yourself. Short naps can do wonders to replenish your energy – especially in the beginning. Once your baby begins to sleep longer, you can transition your own sleep schedule into one that works for you, allowing for time to exercise or doing something else that brings you joy!
Strategy #2: Share the Load
Remember it doesn’t all have to fall on you. Whether it's your partner, a relative, or a trusted babysitter, don't hesitate to ask for help from your people. Sharing nighttime duties can help ensure that you get a decent amount of uninterrupted sleep. Having someone support you during the day can also offer you some much needed me time.
Strategy #3: Prioritize Self-Care
Taking care of your physical wellbeing can greatly improve your sleep quality and help you make the most of the times you get to rest. Regular movement in a way that feels good for you and a diet rich in sleep-promoting foods like nuts, seeds, and turkey can set you up for a more balanced sleep. Don’t forget your mental health too! Practices like mindfulness and meditation can significantly reduce stress and aid in restful sleep.
Strategy #4: Establishing a Healthy Sleep Environment for Your Child
Your child’s sleep environment can directly affect your own rest. Room temperature, lighting and noise levels can help create a peaceful setting, encouraging longer and better sleep sessions for your child. If your child has sensitive skin, using eco-friendly hypoallergenic products can provide comfort and peace of mind. Leaving you with your own opportunity to rest.
Strategy #5: Establishing Your Own Sleep Routine
Establishing a bedtime routine for yourself, including a calming activity before sleep, can help you de-stress from the day. Focusing on your own restful sleep environment can help you make the most of your sleep hours and significantly improve your sleep quality. It may not work all the time but having tools in place to support you can help make good sleep a more regular occurrence. Remember, it’s about creating a model that fits your lifestyle, not the other way around.
Reclaiming your sleep as a new parent is about tuning in, trying out, and finding what supports your restful sleep. Your journey is unique. Trust your instincts and you'll find the rhythm that’s best for you and your baby.