Is worrying about how much sleep you’ll get once your baby arrives keeping you awake at night? You’re not alone. And chances are your sleep habits will change considerably once you’re a parent – but probably not how you expected them to
Ah, sleep. Pre-baby it was on your own terms and the only interruption was your partner’s snoring or late-night music next door.
But now your baby’s here, it’s a whole different ball game. He dictates when you sleep and is the most effective alarm clock you’ve ever had. Without a doubt.
1. Good pillows are a must
The comfier you are, the easier you’ll find it to drop off and stay asleep – until your baby wakes for his next feed.
2. A cold room helps
If you’re too hot, you’ll probably struggle to sleep. Turn off the heating or invest in a fan – you’ll sleep much sounder.
3. It’s unpredictable
Sadly, the rumours of being up and down during the night are true (unless you have a miraculous sleeper on your hands). Goodbye to those eight-hour slumber sessions and hello to short, sharp snoozes throughout the night.
4. Hot baths are essential
Being a mum can be stressful and you need time to unwind before you get ready for bed – even if your baby doesn’t have plans to settle anytime soon. Run a hot, bubbly bath, put your partner/mum/friend on babysitting duty and chill out for half an hour. Sleep will come much easier as a result.
5. It’s not always in a bed
The sofa. The nursery floor. Perched on the edge of the bath while brushing your teeth. Sleep can take over anywhere, anytime.
6. Sleep machines can work
We’re talking white noise devices or apps. And not just for you – for your baby, too.
7. It’s all about shifts
Contrary to popular belief, you’re not superwoman. You can’t be expected to be the parent up with your baby every night – even if your partner has to get up for work. Encourage him to take on just a couple of nightfeed shifts a week so you can get a proper night’s kip.
8. Blackout blinds are a godsend
Especially for your daytime naps. There’s nothing like daylight to remind you that it’s the middle of the day.
9. It can be easy…
Suddenly you find yourself nodding off on the sofa, at work and even on the bus. Your eyes seems to lose the ability to keep themselves open.
10. … and it can be hard
You’ve mastered the art of settling your baby but now you seem to have forgotten how to settle yourself – which is really handy.
11. Sleep aids are allowed
If you’re struggling to get to sleep, a mug of chamomile tea can be your best friend. Or try spritzing your pillows with lavender scent to help relax you.
12. It sometimes doesn’t happen at all
There are nights where sleep just isn’t on the agenda. Whether that’s because your baby’s unsettled or you are. Either way, brush it away as the one-off it is and catch up with naps when you can the next day.
What have you learned about sleep now you're a parent? Let us know in the comments box below.