How to get Sleep with Young Children
Excerpt from Secrets of a Good Night's Sleep
Copyright ©, All Rights Reserved Dream Essentials 2015
Parents who have young children, especially newborn babies, find it extremely hard to get good sleep. Their days and nights are spent paying attention to the child’s well-being, while sacrificing their own need for sleep. Here are some tips for sleeping well:
The first thing for parents to do is to discuss their sleeping needs with each other before the child is born. Steps to minimize the problem can be taken in advance, such as setting aside some savings to hire a nanny or a babysitter. In fact, hiring a nanny or a babysitter can be extremely helpful when it comes to taking care of a newborn. If are not open to hiring one, you can always ask a relative or trusted friend to help out on a temporary basis.
Mothers who have just delivered need time to recuperate from the exhausting procedure of birthing. They can take advantage of the hospital nursery while they re-energize themselves. Hospital nurseries have trained professionals who are experienced in dealing with children.
Parents of young children and babies should avoid taking up extra responsibilities, personal or otherwise. For instance, if you are asked to attend a meeting that doesn’t need your presence, politely refuse. You can use that time to get an extra hour of sleep.
Both partners must learn to share their responsibilities while taking care of the baby. One can attend to matters during nights and the other can do it during the day. In case one of the parents has a hectic work schedule, a relative or a grandparent can fill in while the other parent gets some rest. Parents can even take up shifts on alternate days or try sleeping in separate rooms. This way the other parent can sleep peacefully without being disturbed.
Another way to cope with young children is to take a nap when the baby takes a nap. Breastfeeding mothers can also learn to breastfeed while lying down. This can help the mother take a small nap while the baby feeds.
If you are being kept awake because your baby cannot stop crying, then talk to your doctor. Though, crying is quite normal for babies, excessive crying can indicate underlying problem such as gas formation or acid reflux. Get your baby treated for such conditions if you intend to sleep a little more.
Sleep loss can also be attributed to mood changes and young mothers are highly prone to post-partum depression. If you feel depressed or low, talk to your doctor immediately and seek help.
Sometimes, it may not be just the child who is to blame. Your sleeping problems may be due to a sleeping disorder that you might have ignored before allowing it to get worse or one that cropped up recently. So, get yourself checked before you blame it on the baby.
Feed your child on time so that it can go to sleep early. By doing this, you can earn a few extra hours of sleep for yourself.
Some doctors even advice sleep-sharing, where the parent takes the child to bed with them. This is known to improve sleeping patterns for both the parents as well as the child.
Once your child gets older, try one of our eye masks for kids to improve their quality of sleep.