Sleep is absolutely essential for both adults and children, but parents to newly born babies are simply not getting enough sleep.
Silentnight found that new mums and dads lose an average of six months’ sleep during the first 24 months of a child’s life. What is more, 10% only manage to get two and a half hours rest, each night.
How much sleep should a baby get? Well it is estimated:
- 1 month- 16 hours
- 3 months- 15 hours
- 6-9 months- 14 hours
- 12-18 months- 13.5 hours
On paper, this is very easy to write, but in reality this can be difficult for new parents to achieve. If you want to know how to get your daughter/son to sleep soundly, so that you can have a decent night rest, you MUST read on.
During the day
- Sleep when the baby is sleeping
It can seem hard to get your head down when the pots need washing and the laundry needs folding however; when the baby is asleep, this is your time to also get some rest. The chores can wait.
- Take advantage of family and friends
If you are fortunate to have relatives and friends who want to help, why not ask them to watch the baby for an hour, whilst you take a nap?
- Stick to a routine
The earlier that you can get your baby into a routine, the better. Form dedicated feeding and sleeping times and soon enough, your little one will get into a pattern.
During the night
- Don’t put baby in the bed
It is very tempting to put the baby in bed with you during feeding but this is very dangerous, especially when you are tired. Put the baby back in the Moses basket or cot after you have given their bottle, and changed him/her.
- Arrange time slots
It can be very exhausting to get up at all hours of the night, so if you can, sort a schedule out with your partner that allows you both to get enough rest. If you are bottle feeding, take turns getting up and if you’re breastfeeding, perhaps your partner could change all the nappies instead?
- Create a calming atmosphere
You can create a soothing, relaxing ambience in the nursery by making it as dark as possible at night. Don’t try to overstimulate the room with lots of toys or decorative items, the simpler the better. In the run-up to bedtime, calm the baby down with a gentle bath and turn off all distractions like the television.
Whatever time of time, be safe
The cause of cot deaths is still not known but experts have revealed certain steps which can help to reduce the risks to your little one. These include:
- Put the baby on its back.
- Don’t put loads of toys or bedding in the Moses basket/cot that can cover their face whilst sleeping.
- Don’t smoke in the same room as the baby, or go near the baby until at least 20 minutes after you have had a cigarette, as the smoke is still on your clothes and breath.
- Put the baby at the foot of the cot, not at the top.
- Never share a bed with your baby, especially after taking drugs or drinking.
So there you have it; follow these fundamental tips and both you and little one should have a sound night sleep!
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