After you have a baby, you’ll probably need more sleep than ever before. Sleep deprivation, whether it’s due to the arrival of a baby, can have a solution. There are strategies you can use to get the rest you need:
– Sleeping a bit more on the weekends — say, two or three hours — can be beneficial. But don’t let a little extra dozing turn into a sleep binge. Overdosing on sleep can start a whole new cycle of deprivation because then you won’t be tired at bedtime.
– Catch a nap. New parents shouldn’t try to be more productive during baby’s nap time. A 20- to 30-minute nap will refresh you without causing sleep inertia when you wake up.
– The tradeoff middle-of-the-night feedings. It may make sense to rotate nights, so one person does all the feedings while the other sleep.
That way, at least one person gets a good night’s sleep, instead of both of you getting fragmented sleep. Nursing mothers might consider pumping milk so Dad can take care of at least one nighttime feeding.
– Turn down the monitor. Newborns are active sleepers. If your baby is groaning or whimpering in the night, that doesn’t mean you need to leap out of bed.
If the baby needs you, he will cry and you can hear him without the monitor.