Whether you are a brand new first-time parent who is at a loss when it comes to newborn care, or you are already an experienced parent who is expecting a baby and needs a refresher in neonatal care, we are here to help you get more sleep!
Is there any way for parents to get more sleep with a newborn in the house?
Although there is no guaranteed way – nor it is normal – to make a newborn baby sleep for a full 8 hours, you can encourage healthy sleep practices to get more rest at night. One of the ways to ensure yourself a longer and better night’s sleep is to ensure that your baby has been fed until they are full. This is believed to help reduce the number of times they’d wake up through the night. Regardless, there is no one solution that can put them to sleep for hours long – at least not right away.
You still have to feed them when and as needed, change their diapers, and try replicating a womb-like environment to put them to sleep more effectively and faster. Unfortunately, the best way to get your baby to sleep is to feed them at night frequently.
Ways to Handle Night Feedings More Efficiently
Newborn babies normally feed every 2-3 hours, which could mean many nights of disturbed sleep for parents. As new parents, you’d already know that frequent feedings, changing nappies, having to burp your little one and dealing with their fussiness can make it almost impossible to get a decent amount of sleep at night. Let’s learn more about what can you do in this situation.
Use Bottle & Alternate Feeding Duties With Your Spouse
Recent research indicates that within a baby’s first year, a new parent gets, on average, less than 5 hours of sleep a night so there is no shame in using any possible item to help you get more rest if you can. This includes involving your spouse and delegating the nighttime feedings among you two. As soon as your baby can take a bottle, let your partner take over some of the night feeds so you can get a longer sleep period.
Keep Your Newborn Close to You
…such as by placing their crib in a room right next to yours. This way, you can ‘reach’ them faster when they cry and it can help prolong your breastfeeding experience, thus resulting in your baby getting full faster and you yourself getting more sleep. Not to mention, night feeds become so much easier when you don’t have to trudge around the house to get to your crying baby.
Turn off Baby Monitors
Following the previous tip, if you keep them near, you should be able to hear them cry when they are hungry. Thus, it is a good idea at this point to turn off any baby monitor devices as they tend to be active sleepers and you, the parent, do not need your sleep disrupted by the slightest movements. Give yourself some peace. When they need to be fed, you’ll know because they should be close enough for you to hear their cries.
Form Sleep Associations
To further ensure your baby will sleep well, especially in the first two months after birth, try a few different methods to make your baby associate that particular method with sleep. It could be anything as simple as dimming the light, playing light music, using a white noise machine, or using a weighted swaddle/sleeping bag to get your baby in a comfy and calm position.
To bring your baby’s body back into a ‘sleeping’ mode, bring them back to their crib or the changing station for a change after each feeding. This gives them some time to calm down until they can fall asleep independently and establish good sleeping habits, which helps spare you the efforts to coax them to sleep.
Get a Confinement Nanny
This is perhaps the best way out of all because you get to rest much longer all night long without disturbance! If you manage to express sufficient milk or your baby can take formula, you can let your local SG confinement nanny fully take over the night feedings while you and your spouse catch up on sleep.
If you are not comfortable with a stranger living 24 hours in your house, you could opt for part-time helpers or nannies. However, they usually only serve during the days and not at night. Hence, rather than getting a helper or part time confinement nanny, it is more feasible to get a full-time nanny who can be of help anytime throughout the day.
At PEM, all our nannies are experienced and professionally trained to take care of newborn matters, including handling night feeds and burping them. Feel free to browse through some confinement nanny review to see how our nannies have made many new parents’ life much easier!
One of the biggest mistakes new parents make is not feeding their baby enough during the day. At this age, it is normal to feed your baby a few times a night, no matter what your friends tell you. Newborn babies are awake all the time, so there is often day-night confusion, but one way to help sort out the day and night is to keep your newborn awake during the day while feeding.
Understandably, sitting with the baby in the dark and taking time to feed them can be challenging and exhausting, especially when you haven’t had a full 8-hour night sleep for so long. We hope the tips above can help you one way or another. The key you’d want to remember is that we want our infants to learn that nighttime is a boring period a.k.a time to sleep and that being fed earlier is better. So, while trying different methods with your little one, make sure to always keep this in mind. You’ve got this, moms & dads!