Finding Time To Sleep As The Parent Of An Infant

Having a newborn baby is an exciting, wonderful time in your life. You are now a dad. You are now a sleep-deprived dad who wonders if he will ever get a good night’s sleep again. Sleep has become a more precious commodity to you than all the money in the world. You begin to have visions of being so weary you can’t even concentrate enough to have a conversation with another adult ever again. Luckily, by the age of three months, most newborns begin to sleep at stretches of at least five hours at a time. Until then, there are a few tips and tricks you and your spouse can use to ensure that you get some degree of sleep.

One tip is for you and your spouse to determine who is going to get up with the baby each time prior to going to bed. This avoids both of you having to wake up at the same time. By switching turns, at least one of you will be getting up to four hours sleep at a time. While four hours of sleep does not sound like much, it is infinitely better than two hour naps throughout the night.

Be willing to accept help. When friends and other family members offer to watch the baby, let them. You can get much needed rest, they get to enjoy the baby without you hovering over them. This works well for all parties involved.

Give an early evening bath. An early bath can quiet and calm baby and can actually help your baby go to sleep earlier and sleep longer between feedings. The act of bathing calms and soothes infants. Some parents have seen results in as little as seven days.

Sleep when your baby sleeps. Silence cell and house phones, turn off the television, leave the dirty dishes in the sink, and put all chores on hold. The chores and phone can wait. Your sleep is important right now.

Don’t assume that just because baby wakes during the night that she needs a feeding. Babies often wake up during the night and need to learn to comfort themselves back to sleep. Give your baby a few moments before going in to check on her. If the baby just whimpers a little, let her learn her own comfort methods.

Make night feedings boring for your baby. Don’t turn on the lights in the room or play with your baby. Try gradually reducing the amount of formula or breastmilk your baby receives during night feedings. By no means make your baby go hungry, just try to provide little stimulation. Baby should think of night as a time of sleep, not a time when daddy is going to play. If your baby begins to look sleepy during the feeding, place your baby back in the bed and see if your infant will drop off to sleep. Try to avoid letting your baby fall asleep while feeding.

Try placing the burping cloth or blanket that you had your baby wrapped in during the day in the crib with your infant at night. This will contain your and your baby’s scent and can often comfort a baby who wakes up and misses daddy.

Remember that good sleepers are not born that way. The trick is to teach baby to learn to calm herself to sleep. Teaching your baby proper sleep measures in the beginning of her life is imperative, otherwise, what begins as a small sleep problem becomes a larger problem the older your child grows.

Babies do grow fast, so make sure you cherish each moment of your baby’s life. By around 6 months of age, your baby will be sleeping through the night. You can then enjoy sleeping through the night for around 14 or 15 years. Then, once your child begins dating, you will be sleepless once more. But, that’s advice for another day.