A newborn baby turns your life upside down and night into day. A classic quote sums it up nicely: “I wish I was as tired as I thought I was before I had children”…… Nothing really prepares you for the disturbed nights – except perhaps the uncomfortable sleeps late in the pregnancy – but you have no choice and must get on with it.
So what can you do to make sure you can go back to sleep easily?
There are a couple of things that can help:
Bedside Bassinet – Consider investing in a bassinet that sits by your bedside. This means you can hear your baby’s breathing and it is easy to reach over and touch him/her, which is reassuring and lets you stay relaxed instead of wondering is all is OK. You will also hear baby’s soft cries straight away and can tend to him/her quickly. No doubt this keeps baby more relaxed and sleepy and instead of getting up, you can easily pull baby close for feeding.
There are many models on the market of varying costs and looks. My favourite is the Bednest. It is one of the most expensive, I know but I feel you really get something for the money as it has so many features. You can read more about it here.
Lighting – You need some light to see what you are doing but you need to keep it dim and soft. Otherwise your brain switches on to full alert and you might struggle to get back to sleep. There are many, many lamps on the market and all have their pros and cons. There is however a new one to consider: it is called the Meelight and is shaped like a bar of soap crossed with an egg, round and smooth. It can clip onto your top so the light is always in the right position AND you have your hands free to tend to your baby. Should you need to walk through the house, you can do so without swtiching any of the lights on. You can also leave Meelight on in the room as a night light for older kids who are scared of the dark. If you want to know more, please click here.
The Meelight also works very well in conjunction with a bedside bassinet. Although baby is close, you might like a bit of light, particularly to see that baby attaches to the breast properly, and its dim glow will not disturb your partner who is (hopefully) asleep.
It is also important to keep your change station tidy and stocked so you can do a routine nappy change without having to think too much.
If you do decide to have a bedside bassinet make sure you choose one that also works as a free standing unit in case your partner (or you) can’t sleep for baby’s noises – it is amazing how loud they can seem when everything else is dead quiet. That way you can move it into the nursery if necessary.
You can’t avoid some lack of sleep in these early months and combined with everything else, you will feel exhausted at times. However, knowing it’s not forever, will help see you through and so will some practical things like the ones mentioned above. And remember, DO NOT turn on your phone while feeding. The sharp light is bound to wake you up to full alertness. Rather close your eyes and let your mind wander.