Becoming a parent is a wonderful experience, and while every new day is full of adventures and new discoveries, it also contains very little sleep. When was the last time you got your usual 8 hours of sleep? We can see your cynical smile just now, you’re probably thinking that you’d be happy with even just half that, right? Well, with wise planning and some amazing tricks from the experts, anything is possible. Are you ready to finally spend some more time under your warm, toasty blanket?
Trick #1: Sleep in shifts
While it’s true that dads usually have to get up to go to work in the morning and mums get to stay at home with the young ones in the first months of their lives, you can still try to sleep in shifts whenever that’s possible. One of you can stay with the baby, while the other one can sleep in the other room or use earplugs. Breastfeeding is of course something that can only be done by one of the parents, but since babies aren’t always hungry when they wake up at night, chances are the mum will still be able to catch a lot more sleep this way.
Trick #2: Get a good mattress
Two people sleeping in the same bed is demanding enough on an average mattress but add another person (no matter how little they are!), and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. You’ll feel every single movement your partner or your baby makes and you will be afraid to move because you know they feel every single motion as well. A good mattress with memory foam and excellent shock-absorbing properties is just what you need to enable the entire crowd in your bed to sleep as peacefully as possible throughout the night. And just so that you know: we’re not trying to influence your decision or anything, but we heard babies especially love Napsie!
Trick #3: Get some help for the night
Many couples decide to hire a night nurse or a nanny for the baby, and it’s actually a great way for both parents to catch some extra sleep. Someone else will be taking care of the baby so you won’t have to worry about a thing – unless you’re breastfeeding, in which case you probably will still have to get up once or twice during the night. Still, you’ll get a lot more sleep than you would otherwise. While this option can be demanding financially speaking, you could also ask parents, parents-in-law or siblings to help you out once in a while, or you could hire the nurse or nanny for just one or two nights a week – it’ll still make a whole lot of difference.
Trick #4: Let the baby sleep in the same room – or even in the same bed
Sure, in a perfect world your baby would fall asleep in their own bed in their own room from day one, waking up once a night for a sip of water and immediately going back to sleep. But we don’t live in a perfect world – and your baby knows it! If your baby doesn’t sleep in the same room, you’ll hear them wake up a lot later than you would have if you were closer, giving them a chance to fully wake up, plus you have to get up each and every time to check on them. Sleeping in the same bed brings many benefits: your baby will feel you close to them and will be calmer, you won’t have to wake up completely to calm them down when they start crying and the mum can breastfeed without having to get out of bed.
Trick #5: Go to bed early
Babies usually fall asleep very early – and as much as you are looking forward to your “me” time, spending some time with your partner, watching your favourite TV shows, browsing the internet and talking to your friends, you’ll be a lot happier if you forget all about it and just head to bed. There’ll be plenty of time for all these things once your kids are older, and if you’ve got a chance to catch a couple of hours of sleep before the first wake-up call, you should definitely take it.