Having a baby in the house does not mean you’ll never sleep again. But there are few things you can do for yourself (and for your baby when he/she arrives!) that will positively affect nighttime sleep.
Here are our top five tips:
1. Keep a consistent wake time.
Did you know that a consistent wake time plays a role in your nighttime hormones? Remaining consistent with both bedtime and wake time will help you achieve those natural bedtime hormone levels. (And these days, ANYTHING to wrangle those hormones, right?! This will help!)
2. Daytime sleep affects nighttime sleep.
Of course, we want to ensure that our babies have consistent nap opportunities. But the biggest thing is to not let those naps last too long or too late. Think about it. If you nap too long or too late, do you have trouble going to sleep at night? Of course you do! Sweet babies are no different. Generally, naps should be under two hours and end by 4pm.
3. Light is for shorter stretches of sleep, and darkness is for longer stretches.
We want to create a sleep environment that allows our body to know that it is nighttime. Our hormones respond to light, whether it is the sun or artificial light. Keep the room as dark as possible. (Bonus tip: Turn off all electronics 30 minutes before bedtime. NO ONE needs to google “butt rash” at 10 pm anyway. THAT will never make you sleep easier – trust us!)
4. Movement matters.
You may not feel like you have tons of extra energy these days. (After all, you ARE growing a human!) But just in case, you’ll want to make sure extra energy gets burned off in the late afternoon or early evening.
When your baby arrives, you may notice increased fussiness as you get closer to the evening hours, so you’ll want them to exercise. Aim for around 30 minutes of movement (tummy time, play mat, wiggling with mom or dad, etc.) after dinner.
5. Use a sound machine.
In infants, white noise helps the body get into and stay in that restorative REM sleep. It relaxes the body and minimizes additional stimulation. And for you, a white noise machine will get you to sleep faster and help you stay asleep. (And when you’re ready for it, we’ll teach you a tip using your sound machine that will help you lengthen evening stretches of sleep once baby arrives. It’s amazing!)
Ultimate takeaway: SLEEP MATTERS. Here at Moms on Call, we just use the natural rhythms of life to produce more predictable results. Basically, sunshine, exercise and a solid routine will get the job done.
But please don’t believe the lie that having a newborn means you’ll never sleep again. If you fear how lack of sleep will affect you once that sweet blessing arrives, understand your baby is not different. Your baby needs sleep too!
Sleep is one of the main topics we cover in our online course, and with our guidelines and tips, you could have a story like Nelly’s:
“We are the envy of all new parents. No one believes the twins sleep 10-11 hours a night, and everyone wants to know my secret. And my secret is simply Moms on Call.”
In fact, just for fun, watch this bonus video (It’s less than two minutes long!) on creating the right sleep environment for your baby. This is a sample of what you’ll find inside our online course – we break down what you really need to know in a simple, flexible and fun way.