….let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be… Let’s talk about sleep.
I know it’s no longer 1990, but I’m still using Salt-N-Pepa’s hit song for title inspiration. You’re welcome for the throwback.
As many of you know, our relationships with our clients don’t end at birth. We go on to develop close working relationships with our families. For us, it is essential that in the early days, weeks, and months in this new chapter of life that you feel supported and empowered.
During our postpartum visits, we talk about everything. From feeding, family, pooping, peeing, sex, sleeping, and beyond, it’s highly likely that no territory will be left unscathed. Any guesses on what the most common complaint from our new families is? Yep! You guessed it, exhaustion.
While some may feel the first few months with a new babe are pure bliss, rest assured that many, many new families are feeling extremely sleep deprived…We get it! And while we have no magic cure (aside from our certified postpartum Doula services), understanding what is happening with your little one’s sleep schedule may provide you some peace of mind.
So, how much sleep exactly does your little one need? Our friends at The Baby Sleep Site have put together an easy to read bedtime chart to help get you on the right track. Although you may not be able to implement this right away, as your new bundle of joy is likely leading the way with her feeding habits, it will definitely come in handy in the near future.
As a Mom of four, trust me when I say I entirely understand the sleep deprivation that comes along with motherhood. More times than I care to remember, I’ve been told “Sleep when the baby sleeps”, but unfortunately that isn’t always an option. In fact, when the baby is sleeping, typically I am catching up on my chores. BUT, when the opportunity presents itself to get a little extra sleep on a Saturday morning, you bet, I’m taking it. You should too, you deserve it!
In addition to napping, ensure you’re practicing other good sleep habits to help you get the best night of sleep possible. A few worth mentioning are:
- Set the mood. Our brains release melatonin, an essential sleep hormone, in darkness. Begin lowering the lights in your house one to two hours prior to bedtime.
- Establish a routine. Every night, do the same thing before bed. Whether that be taking a relaxing bath complete with lavender, journaling, or reading your favorite book. This will signal to your brain “Hey! It’s bedtime.”
- If you need help establishing a bedtime routine, here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Keep stimulation to a minimum. Try to avoid frequent diaper changes (unless soiled, of course), baby-talk, looking your baby in the eyes, and even singing. Instead, try to change your baby’s diaper just before bed, “dreamfeed” if she begins waking, and keep light and noise to a minimum.
Give yourself and your new addition grace. This is an entirely new experience for the both of you and more often than not, new experiences can take some time to adapt to… Just ask my almost two year old who is currently refusing any and all normalized sleep schedule. (Hello, two year old sleep regression).
As always, light and love….and hopefully some sleep.