How to get more sleep with a newborn: Tips for new mums!
Hello friends! Today I want to chat about how to get more sleep with a newborn and give you my best tips both resting and sleeping. Being a new mum is amazing and it’s such a wonderful period of your life, but it’s also one of the hardest. It’s emotionally and physically draining and everything feels new, scary and at times overwhelming. No matter how much, or how little you prepare, you will always feel like you’ve been thrown in at the deep end and it’s impossible to comprehend quite how tired you will be at times.
I really hope this post on how to get more sleep with a newborn will help you! Let’s go!
Re-set your priorities
First up, you need to re-set your priorities. It doesn’t matter if you have three loads of laundry backing up, as long as you have clean clothes for you and the baby, that’s all that matters. For this short period of your life, you need to completely change your priorities and at the top of the list needs to be looking after your baby and looking after yourself. Laundry, cooking, cleaning… all of that stuff can wait. I know this sounds obvious, but you need to keep repeating it to yourself.A clean kitchen does not matter right now!!
Also, I kept reminding myself that the more I rested, the faster I would heel. Having an empty laundry basket won’t make you feel ‘normal’ again, but sleep will. So take every moment you can to rest / sleep because the more you do, the better you will feel for it.
Make your bed as comfortable and cosy as possible
This is a big one! Make your bed as comfortable and cosy as possible so when it’s finally time for you to get some sleep, you feel more relaxed and get to sleep faster. This is a perfect time to buy yourself some new pyjamas, bed linen and maybe even an electric blanket or new throws.
Also, pillows should be changed every 2 years and mattresses should be changed ever 5-10 years depending on the quality. So if you are due an upgrade, do it ASAP as it will make your bed more comfortable. I recently got a new Tempur Cloud pillow and it’s AMAZING, it’s so flippin’ comfortable and supportive. I LOVE IT! I only wish I had got it sooner as I sleep so well on it. I’m planning on treating myself to one of their mattresses next time too!
Ask for help from friends and relatives
If you have friends and relatives in the area, ask them for help. It could be anything from asking them to hold the baby whilst you shower to asking them to bring you a home cooked dinner to eat that night. If people offer to help, say yes. If they don’t, ask them!
This is a big one… say no to things you don’t want to do. Often when you have a baby, people will want to ‘pop round’ for a cup of tea and a cuddle with the baby. If you don’t want to see that great aunt twice removed, say no! Similarly, if they invite you to their house and you don’t want to drive a newborn 40 minutes for their convenience, again, say no. Remember, you don’t need to see anyone or do anything you don’t want to do. Just. Say. No.
Furthermore, if someone mentions they have a ‘slight’ cold but they are ‘sure’ they are no longer contagious and they would love to come round for a cup of tea later. If you don’t feel comfortable with it and you don’t want to risk you or the baby getting a cold. Say no and tell them that you will see them next week. I cannot stress enough, NO is a great word to use during this time!
If you’re going to cook, batch cook
It’s very possible you are living off ready meals and take-outs at this time, don’t feel bad! It’s normal! But if you dofeel up to making a home cooked meal, then make a big ol’ batch and either portion it up and put it in the freezer, or save some for the next night or two. Sure it’s not ideal having the same meal two or three nights in a row, but this isn’t normal circumstances and if you are going to the effort of cooking from scratch, make it worth your while!
My top tip for batch cooking is to serve it slightly differently each night, for instance if you make a curry, have it with rice one night and naan the following night. Or if you make a chilli, have it with a baked potato one night, rice the next and pasta the following night. It helps mix things up! It’s also worth having some garlic bread in the freezer as that really jazzes up a boring meal.
Hire help, if you can afford to
If you can afford it, don’t be afraid to hire help. It might be really helpful to hire a cleaner for 2-3 hours a week to clean the bathrooms, kitchen and have a quick hoover around. They could also help you out with the laundry or putting away clean clothing. I promise you, a good cleaner will be able to do it a hell of a lot faster than you and for a small amount per week, you will be shocked at how much they get done and how much better you feel for it.
You might only find you need someone for a month or two before you can tackle it yourself, but it might really help you out. If you don’t have a cleaner, ask around your neighbours to see if they can recommend someone. There are also agencies you can use, but they tend to be a lot more expensive than hiring directly.
Try to understand your babies sleep and nap schedule
It might feel like your baby has no schedule at all, but the chances are, there will be patterns. Try to make a note of them, so you can figure out when your baby is naturally waking and sleeping so you can prepare yourself for when you might have some free time. Mary generally woke up in the night for a feed around 2am and was back to sleep by about 3am, so I would try to get to bed by around 10pm, so I could get a good 4 hours sleep in before the night feed.
Try to understand YOUR sleep schedule
This is another big one, I recently did a sleep quiz and researched my Chronotype to figure out what kind of sleeper I am. Not only did it make me understand the best time for me to go to bed at night, but it also helped me find my most productive hours of my day.
I did a blog post about it here and I discovered that morning is the best time of day for me to get things done, so if I need to do any chores or make arrangements, this is when I try do them. Whereas around 2pm is when I feel most lethargic, so this is a great time to take a nap or spend time watching TV and cuddling Mary.
If you want to take the sleep quiz, you can do it here! It only takes a few moments and not only will it help you see when you should aim to get to bed by, but if you do have any chores to do, it will help you figure out the best time to do them. It’s honestly super helpful, not just for when they are new born, but when they get older too.
Make night feeds as pleasant as possible
Night feeds are hard, so try and make it as pleasant as possible. My advice would be to prepare anything you need for the night feed before you go to bed, so when you wake up at 2am, it’s all ready for you and you can feed your baby and get back into bed. Personally, I used to feed her on a comfortable sofa in a warm room, wrapped in a giant dressing gown, whilst watching Sex & The City on my iPhone with airpods. The night feeds would generally take me an episode or two and it was a good comfort watch.
Ta da! And there we have it! How to get more sleep with a newborn. I really hope this post has been of help. Sleep as a new mum is REALLY tough, so I really wanted to give you my best advice that I could! If you have any more tips, please let me know!