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How can I help myself and get more sleep?

By BabySleepAdmin 1 year ago

Liat Tikotzky, Ph.D

I’m always awake with my baby – how can I help myself and get more sleep?

During the first months of life babies wake regularly at night. So, as a parent, it’s completely normal to experience sleep disturbances and sleep deprivation. Nevertheless, there are a few things that you can do for yourself that may help you get some rest. For example, if you can, try to take short naps when your baby naps, to help make up for the lack of sleep at night. Likewise, prioritize your own sleep over household chores. It is also important not to be afraid to ask for help from a partner, family, or friends. If you are struggling with sleep deprivation, having someone else occasionally taking care of your baby at night can give you a good night’s rest.

Once your baby is old enough, the following are things you can do to promote the development of your baby’s ability to “sleep through the night,” which will help you sleep better as well: (1) create a clear differentiation between day activities and the night; (2) when your baby starts showing clear sleep-wake cycles, develop a consistent bedtime routine; (3) put the baby in their bed drowsy but awake at the beginning of the night and dis-associate feeding from falling asleep – babies, who learn to fall asleep on their own at bedtime, will also eventually be better able to resume sleep on their own after awakening during the night.

If your baby is older than 6 months and you are still struggling with frequent night wakings, you may consider implementing behavioral sleep interventions, including sleep training. These are very effective methods that are aimed at helping infants develop nighttime self-soothing, by, on the one hand, limiting parental involvement in settling the baby to sleep, and on the other hand, reassuring the baby that the parent is present. Regardless of the specific technique, it is important to be consistent. Parental agreement and support of each other throughout the implementation of these interventions are also highly important.

Remember that it is important to take care of yourself and prioritize your own health and sleep. By doing that, you will have more strength and energy to take care of your baby.

  Sleep Problems, Sleep Training