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Sleep tips for new parents

Sleep when your baby sleeps

  • Although babies wake up frequently during the night, they sleep lots throughout the day. So make sure you get some sleep when they do! A power nap can do a world of good, even if it’s just 20 minutes

Share baby duties during the night

  • If possible, take turns with your spouse or partner to help with the baby at night to ensure you both get some uninterrupted sleep. This may be difficult to do when you are breast feeding but your partner can help out with changing nappies and attending to the baby every now and then. You can also pre-pump breast milk and see if your partner can take care of the feeding for parts of the night

Ask for support!

  • Its important to ask for help when needed from family and friends who visit. This can be watching the baby while you nap or helping with some household chores. Most relatives and friends will understand and be happy to help. And if people offer help, learn to accept it!

Sleep hygiene

  • Good sleep hygiene also applies when you have a newborn baby! This includes:
    • Avoiding screens an hour before bed
    • Creating a relaxing environment for sleep
    • Avoiding caffeinated drinks before bed
    • Establish a wind down routine before bed
    • Stick to a sleep schedule as much as possible
  • Click here to get some more useful tips on achieving good sleep hygiene

Create a sleep-conducting environment for your baby

  • Swaddling, white noise machines and a dark bedroom can all help a baby stay asleep for longer periods of time

Help your baby develop good sleeping habits

  • It’s a good idea to allow your baby to learn to fall asleep by themselves and self soothe. So this means not picking up your baby straight away if they are fussing, and giving them some time to comfort themselves so they can fall back asleep.

Look after your health

  • Diet and exercise are all proven ways to help improve sleep and can help give you better energy during the day. Just make sure you don’t exercise just before bed.
  • Relaxation techniques can help if you are feeling stressed

Its important to remember that from 3 months of age, babies start to sleep for longer stretches at approximately 4-6 hours and by 6 months they can even sleep up to 9-12 hours at night. So this period of time of where your baby wakes up several times in the night wont last forever!

If you think you have a sleep problem, talk to your GP or health visitor. If you can’t sleep at night even when your baby is asleep or you feel tired all the time, these could be signs of postnatal depression and you should seek help from your GP.

Please visit the NHS website for further information and support.


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