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Getting Baby to Sleep and Fighting Fatigue

Getting enough sleep during the first months of your baby's life means adjusting to your own new sleep habits and those of your baby. Here are a few tips to help get you both some sleep.

Monday, September 10th, 2018

Here are a few things that might help with getting baby to sleep and to help you get sleep:

Seize every napping moment
Nap whenever possible. Even if it means leaving the house in a mess and the laundry in a pile, take the opportunity to get a bit of rest. If possible, try to nap when your baby naps. At this point, your sleep really is more important than household chores. Ask your spouse, a friend, or a relative to sit with the baby while you grab a few hours of sleep.

Limit entertaining
Since you need a lot of rest at this stage, rope in your family to help you attend to visitors and to answer phone calls. If possible, invite friends or relatives who won't mind washing a few dishes or sitting with the baby while you take a nap.

Eat wisely
Since you never know when you'll have the opportunity to lie down for a bit, avoid really big meals that may make it difficult to fall asleep. Frequent light, healthy meals will keep your energy levels up without interfering with your ability to sleep.

Cut down the caffeine
An occasional coffee or caffeinated soda may give you that boost you need to stay alert, but if you rely on caffeine to keep you going it may be harder to fall asleep when you actually have the chance.

Exercise early
If you're trying to get back into an exercise routine, schedule your workout in the morning, when it will give you an energy boost. Late afternoon or evening workouts may keep you up. Always talk to your doctor before starting to exercise after giving birth.

Keep some breast milk in the freezer
With a reserve supply of expressed breast milk your spouse (or a willing friend) can feed the baby while you rest.

Five ways to care for a light sleeper

If your baby is an irregular sleeper, read on for a few ways you can help with getting baby to sleep as well as teach them that night time is sleep time.

1. Make sure baby's warm enough
Infants' tiny bodies don't conserve heat very well, and a chilly baby will have difficulty falling and staying asleep. Put baby in cozy pyjamas with feet and long sleeves to prevent her from becoming chilled.


2. Keep the shades down and the house quiet in the evenings
Encourage your baby to think of nighttime as sleep time. If you have other children, this is a good time to talk about playing quietly when baby is sleeping.

3. At night, keep lights low and noise to a minimum
If you sing or talk to your baby during late feedings, speak in a whisper and sing in low, soothing tones.

4. Don't rush in at every little sound
A baby's sleep is naturally restless, with many minor awakenings. If left alone, she may lapse back into sleep easily.

5. Avoid late night diaper changes
Changing a diaper late at night is often just enough to rouse your baby from sleepy to alert. To keep her comfortable and dry without late night changes, use ultra-absorbent disposable diapers (or two cloth diapers) during night time hours.

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