5 ways to get parents sleeping through the night

Suffering from sleep deprivation after your baby hasn't been sleeping? Sleep consultant Boogie has five ways to get both mum and dad sleeping through the night.

Whether it took a long time, a few months or even weeks before your baby started sleeping soundly at night, finally you have your evenings for yourself and, importantly, nights to catch up on precious sleep. In this article I’m going to share some tips on how you can improve the quality of your own sleep.

However bizarre it may sound, after losing a lot of sleep when baby arrives, new parents may find it difficult to sleep through the night once the baby’s sleep is on track. Your body may be used to the rhythm of frequent waking and it will take some time before getting yourself back to having a restful night. There are, however, some things that you can do to help you sleep better.

1. Remove the baby monitor
I have nothing against baby monitors and they are brilliant when you are away from your baby and you want to keep an eye on the little one. However, it’s highly unlikely that you will miss your baby waking up crying as she is probably sleeping two doors away from you. Very often babies start crying in their sleep, but you may rush out of bed and find your little one still asleep. It’s always worth waiting for a minute or two to see whether baby really woke up or she was just making noises in her sleep. If you are really worried about not being able to hear your baby when she wakes up, then place the monitor on the floor by your bed so that any light from it doesn’t disturb you and turn the volume down.

2. When your baby gets into a sound bedtime routine, this means you have your evenings free again. It’s very easy to stay up late and enjoy ‘the freedom’. However, when you are running on sleep-debt, you should get into a bedtime routine yourself to catch up on sleep. Choose your desirable time for going to bed; this should accommodate between 8-10 hours of sleep as you are trying to clear that sleep debt from previous months. You need to consider the time your baby wakes up for the day; early wake-up means early bedtime for you. Set an alarm one hour before your desired bedtime as this will remind you about starting to get ready for bed.

3. One hour before bedtime turn the TV off and stop using any electronic devices as they send blue light that interferes with melatonin production. This can really disturb your sleep. Try not to use artificial lighting or minimise it as much as you can. It’s worth swapping lightbulbs to red, orange or yellow as these don’t interfere with melatonin and can create a calming mood.

4. Give yourself time to slow down and relax. Whether it’s taking a bath, doing some yoga or meditation or just catching up on reading. This is the time for you and you only.

5. As a last step I recommend putting some white noise on for about 15-20 minutes or listen to recordings of guided meditation to help you fall asleep.

Try these steps for at least 7 days to see whether it makes difference. Giving yourself time to prepare for bed will help you feel refreshed and full of energy in the morning to face yet another busy day with your little one.

Boguslawa Kucharska-Hodgkins (aka Boogie) is a certified sleep consultant and a founder of Sleepy Moonkeeper. She works with tired parents and their babies to put all sleep issues behind them. She advises parents in both English and Polish language. Find out more about her services here.
Facebook: @sleepymoonkeeper
Instagram: @mamasleepymoonkeeper

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