Bringing home your baby may sound glamorous, but typically it’s anything but.
Being a mama myself to two young boys aged 7 and 9; I have been there and done that.
I have walked in your shoes and struggled through this not so glamorous newborn phase.
This phase where you are a constant milk machine, diaper changer, and baby bouncer. This phase where you don’t sleep and if you do it’s with one ear open and one eye peeled. This phase where you don’t have a second for yourself, not even to use the washroom and take a breath.
I want you to know that you are not alone.
That you, many others and myself have lived through this phase and are alive to talk about it today!
You will get through that dark tunnel and live to tell your story on the other side.
Now, that being said it doesn’t make it any easier and I know you wish there was a quick fix to make it all better instantly.
To help I will offer you 4 tips to help get you back to those long restful nights, along with a happy, more well-rested baby.
4 Tips To Beat The Newborn Brain Fog
1) DON’T CREATE BAD HABITS
As new parents, we often are learning as we go.
We aren’t exactly sure what to do and with this learning curve, we often make mistakes.
One thing I find most important for new parents to remember is that “every habit you make will be a habit you will later have to break.” What do I mean by this?
Well, let’s take sleeping with your baby for an example.
If you decide to hold your baby to sleep day and night, this will become a habit for your baby. This will be the only way he/she knows how to sleep.
Therefore, when you decide you’ve had enough and want your bed back, you will have to break this habit.
This habit is a tough one to break. It can be done, but if you start at the beginning with good sleep habits, you won’t have to later break the bad ones.
2) GET INTO A ROUTINE
Creating routines from the get-go is a great way to help create good habits, ensure that your baby gets optimal sleep both day and night.
This will help create a less fussy and happier baby, which will, in turn, make you a happier parent. Routines sometimes feel daunting and suffocating, but in actuality, routines are what give you more freedom. Routines will give you more predictability throughout your day, more time, and more sleep.
3) SLEEP BEGETS SLEEP
There is a myth that parents sometimes fall into where they believe if they keep their baby up all day, they will sleep all night.
NOPE! Not going to happen.
When our babies become over-tired it actually keeps them from sleeping. They wake more during the night, are harder to settle, and have shorter stints of sleep. In order to ensure your baby gets good sleep, you will want to be sure that they get enough daytime sleep to help them get enough nighttime sleep.
Routines will be the key to making this happen.
One extra tip I want to give you is to be sure your newborn is back to sleep after every 1-2 hours of wakefulness.
It seems like they will hardly be awake and yes, they are practically going back to sleep right after they wake, feed and change. But, if you follow this rule of thumb you will notice a big difference in your baby’s sleep patterns.
They will fall to sleep easily, wake rested and sleep longer at night!
4) EARLY BEDTIME
Early bedtime is the most important factor in regards to success for your newborn now and as he/she grows.
Our kids have a circadian sleep rhythm and this rhythm happens to better align with an early to bed, early to rise schedule. This is not always the parent’s favourite schedule, but if you stick to early bedtimes you will have well-rested kids whom cooperate more and battle less.
This good night’s sleep ensures they develop at their optimal level, reach their highest potential, have school success and are happier kids overall.
If you have older siblings who are also waking in the night, fussy at bedtime, or waking super early in the morning, try adjusting their bedtime to an earlier time as well!
Good Luck With Your New Sleep Plan!
Tia is a Parent Consultant and works with families at Kidcrew Medical hosting workshops and consulting one-on-one. Tia is a mother to two young boys aged 7 and 9 years. She has a Masters in Early Childhood Education and was a teacher before starting her own business, Tia Slightham – Parenting Solutions Inc. Tia is Certified in Positive Discipline and trained in Positive Parenting Solutions. She has worked with kids and families for over 15 years.