How to get a good night’s sleep when you’re a mum

Apr 16, 2014

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How much do you get a night? Are you getting enough?

Will you ever have a lie-in again?

We’re talking about sleep, of course; one of the most discussed topics in baby groups and playgrounds across the world.

 When you have children, your previous eight hours can seem like a distant dream. So how can you try to get a good night’s sleep as a parent?

 Here are some tips to help you feel more rested and refreshed – from pregnancy through to the toddler stage.

  • How to get a good night’s sleep…when you’re pregnant

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! I bet you’re glowing and full of energy…maybe. With many extra demands on your body, most mums-to-be can feel anything but.

Unfortunately, pregnancy is also a time when you’re likely to be uncomfortable in bed with an achy body, big bump, intense dreams and leg cramps.

 To support you and your bump, you can buy special pregnancy sleep pillows. Or prop yourself up with normal pillows (but leave enough room for your partner!)

 If you have problems with your joints and hips at night, make sure you tell your midwife who might be able to recommend exercises or even refer you to a physiotherapist.

 Pregnancy insomnia can be incredibly frustrating so nap when you can in the day. Don’t pack your pre-baby maternity leave with too much, and make sure you relax as much as possible.

  •  How to get a good night’s sleep…with a newborn

Life with a new baby is amazing, topsy-turvy, demanding, intense, and emotional. Babies have no sense of night and day and will wake every few hours. This means you’re likely to not get much sleep for quite a while.

 There’s a whole host of sleep tips you can try for the baby, from swaddling, to white noise apps, and even driving then round in the car. But make sure you focus on you, too.

 The advice that everyone will tell you is to sleep when the baby sleeps; but when you spend all of your time looking after them, priorities for free time are likely to be having a shower or eating. But take the advice; you’ll feel so much better and more refreshed if you nap during the day.

 Try and share the load with your partner where possible, even if only on weekends. You can’t do it all yourself, all of the time; you’ll be exhausted.

 It can be hard at first to cope with the brain-numbing sleep deprivation, but it does get better – honestly.

  • How to get a good night’s sleep…with a toddler

 When you reach the toddler stage your baby will be sleeping through the night, leaving you refreshed, revived and revitalised. Right? While this is true for some lucky mums, more often than most toddlers still have sleep issues, we’re sorry to say!

 It’s normal for young children to still wake up in the night. Teething, brain development, even night terrors are all likely to disturb your toddler’s sleep. (and, as a result, yours).

 Make sure you go to bed early, to get as much sleep as you can before they wake up…again. And leave your phone downstairs. It’s so easy to have an early night, then just check your email, Twitter, Facebook, and Twitter again – and before you know it, it’s midnight. Limit the distractions; be strict with yourself.

 Share the lie-ins with your partner; we have one each on weekends, baby permitting. It makes such a difference.

 And remember that as with newborns, this time will pass – and before you know it they’ll be a teenager who never wants to leave their bed.

Gillian blogs over at A Baby on Board about London life as a new mum, covering everything from baby clothes to beauty products. She lives with her two year old daughter Eliza and husband Alex in south London

 

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