One of the most challenging aspects of parenting babies and young children is managing sleep…or the lack thereof! Adjusting to life on limited sleep while helping your little one to develop healthy sleep habits is a huge job in the early years of parenting. We have compiled a list of some of the most challenging aspects related to sleep for both parents and babies, along with ways to conquer them!
This is so much easier said than done, but hear us out! Once your little one is fast asleep for a nap or for the night, it is one of the only windows of opportunity to catch up on your to-do list. Tasks such as laundry, getting groceries (or scheduling a grocery pickup), doing laundry, spending time with older children or your spouse. These are all things that need to be done to keep life running smoothly and we understand how important it is to keep up so you don’t burnout upon falling behind! We do recommend however to arrange for at least one block of time each day that is uninterrupted! If your baby naps on and off throughout the day, designate a couple of those nap times to get things done and leave one open for simply resting. If your little one goes down easily for bedtime, block out some time to just focus on resting after! No texting, no scrolling, no checking emails. Just rest! Whether you choose to take a nap or just take a long bath, find some way to calm your mind and body to help yourself reset. Caring for young children is a lot of work and parents must be diligent in blocking out their own rest time so they can feel their best!
While it is not always realistic to schedule life around a baby's sleep time, we do encourage parents to make healthy sleep a priority for their baby! While it is sometimes unavoidable to miss a naptime or have a bedtime pushed back due to conflicting circumstances, do try to have a routine and stick to it to encourage your little one to be able to get the rest their little bodies need. Set regular nap times and bedtimes so your baby’s body becomes accustomed to regular sleep and do what you can to set the stage for good sleep! Think of a dim room, sound machine and a predictable sleep time routine.
To follow up on bullet #2, don’t worry if you occasionally find yourself having to adjust a window of sleep due to circumstances out of your control! A common struggle of parents who have a young baby along with older children is balancing baby nap times around the schedules of older children. For example, if your baby is napping when your older child needs to be picked up from school, that is a tough predicament for a parent to be in! While some parents find a carpool to help out with driving their older child or opt for an afternoon nap in the car for the baby…find a way to make conflicting schedules work! Always do your best and have grace with the rest! Living life around a little one’s sleep time is tough and sometimes you have to bend a little to find what works best. If you know you have a conflicting event during a nap time on the weekend for example, try to get the baby down a little earlier the day of or time the driving close to nap time so that they can get some shut eye in the car on the way to said event. While this is not ideal, it is a reality from time to time and it is helpful to have some resources to draw upon when sleep time is interrupted!
If you find yourself reaching for caffeine all day or unable to think clearly or even remember important details day to day, your body could be telling you to slow down. While parents, most often mothers, are determined to do it all on their own, there is no shame in getting some help so that you can rest! If you are exhausted, try working out a schedule with your spouse so that you can switch off catching up on missed sleep and help lighten one another’s load. Paying attention to your own body can help so much where sleep and rest are concerned.
During the day, get up and get out! Make it a point to get some fresh air and sunshine for both you and your little one(s). Doing so will naturally help you all to regulate your body’s sleep clock. Go for a walk around the block, visit the park…no matter the weather, bundle up or dress for the heat and get out whenever you can! Fresh air and sunshine during the day naturally encourages a restful sleep at night by sending signals to your brain! Also, pay attention to diet and get your exercise! While it may feel easier to grab a latte and just push through, nourishing your own body is the very best way to ensure you have enough energy to pour into caring for your little people.
This last tip is for the whole family! In the evening, it is so important to have a predictable routine that encourages and signals to the body that it is time to rest. Eat a nutritious dinner, take a warm bath, dim the lights and avoid screens (for you and your little one!) Before bed, read to you little one, turn on some white noise and keep their room quiet. Once they are asleep, do the same for yourself! Especially if you have an infant who may wake through the night, we suggest getting yourself calm and rested once the baby is down. Do some reading of your own, try listening to white noise or ocean waves and give yourself permission to fall into a deep sleep.
Interested in reading more about Tips for Getting Baby to Sleep!? Check those out right here: Goodnight baby! 5 amazing baby sleep tips - Organicbabyfood.shop ! If you have any sleep tips of your own that you would like to add, leave them in a comment below. Wishing you all lots of sweet baby cuddles and regular rest!
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