According to a recent study published in the UK Independent, new parents will get less than 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep in an average night during the first year of their baby’s life, it also found that parents sleep 59% less than the recommended eight hours a night, losing the equivalent of 50 nights of sleep in the first 12 months.
This might shock you especially if you’re in the midst of the first 12 months. Although these stats are quite alarming, it doesn’t have to be your reality. The fact is that there are many babies and parents that do get enough sleep and it’s important to remember the golden rule when it comes to parenting, no child is the same!
So, if you are sleep deprived and desperately looking for ways to get some extra sleep then consider trying one of these techniques:
1. Night time routine
Try and get into a groove of a strict night time routine and stick to it. Even if your baby is not a new-born anymore by sticking to a specific routine your child will know what to expect next and won’t resist going to bed.
2. Sleep when baby sleeps
This is almost impossible – this doesn’t happen in reality because life goes on when baby sleeps. But try and rest at least once or twice during nap times a day. Lie down and close your eyes even if it’s just for 20 minutes. This will definitely help you feel better when baby wakes up again.
3. Tag you’re it
Take turns with night feedings, if you’re breastfeeding this might not be possible but try and express milk and ask your partner to take one night feed a few times a week.
4. Guest schedule
Try and limit guest’s late afternoon and at night and during the day over your baby’s nap times. This will allow you to rest when baby is sleeping instead of entertaining visitors.
5. Ask a professional
If you’re over the new-born phase and your baby is still struggling with sleep issues, call in the help of a professional. Contact a sleep trainer to help you set out an age appropriate sleeping schedule.
6. The end is near
During the first few months it will feel like this phase will never end, but it will. This will not be your life for the next 18 years, it won’t even be your life for the next five years. So just take one day at a time.
Being sleep deprived is all part of the parenthood journey and you should just embrace every stage for what it is. There is a well-known saying that goes “the nights are long, but the years are short” and there is definitely no more accurate way to describe parenting.