The Importance of Sleep for You and Your Baby
Sleep deprivation and motherhood seems to go hand in hand – especially the first few months; your routine probably consists of walking around the house gathering laundry, tidying the kitchen and of course feedings and diaper changing. It’s no wonder that most new moms feel like a real-life zombie as they go about these daily chores.
While taking care of baby is a 24-hour responsibility, getting enough sleep is essential for your health, as well as your family’s. Here are some tips on how you and baby can get some restful zzzzz’s.
- Atmosphere: Your baby will sleep better in a calm, quiet atmosphere. Try not to clutter the room with too many pictures, books, clothes, etc. lying around (it doesn’t have to be perfectly neat, of course). The crib should not have toys or other items that can distract from baby getting a good night’s sleep.
- Lighting: Large windows allow sunlight to filter in during the day, which always makes for a cheery room; but when it’s time for a nap, the blinds should be thick enough to keep light out so baby can sleep. Soft ambient lighting at night, such as an LED nightlight, is perfect for giving baby just the right amount of light.
- Music/sounds: There are many items on the market that can lull baby to sleep with soft sounds and music. Some even come with lighting.
- Crib: You’ll need to choose the crib, bumper pads, mattresses and accessories carefully, as these items are the most important for good sleep. Companies like Moonlight Slumber offer a variety of mattresses and accessories that are both safe and comfortable. The right mattress can have your baby sleeping through the night sooner (which is a great thing for you)! The crib is where your baby will learn good sleeping habits so make sure it’s as comfortable as possible for your baby.
- Bedtime bath: Think about how relaxed you are after a long bubble bath; it’s the same feeling your baby gets after his bath. A few drops of lavender or other calming oil will help relax your baby and have him off to dreamland sooner.
It may feel as if you’re never going to get a full night’s sleep again; but take heart in knowing that the newborn phase will pass, and your baby will sleep through after a few months. In the meantime, here are a few things that may help you get your much-needed sleep:
- Atmosphere: Just as with baby’s room, the atmosphere in your own room should have a calming effect. You can do this by reducing the clutter as much as possible. Spending just 15 minutes a day decluttering can make a huge difference. You can also try placing plants in your room such as lavender or aloe vera; these are thought to help you sleep better.
- Scents: Essential oil diffusers, incense sticks, and other scent diffusers can have a huge effect on your mood, instilling a calm and relaxing environment. This will help you sleep better, so you wake up feeling refreshed and energized.
- Mattress: You spend up to one-third of your life sleeping, so it makes sense to have a mattress that supports you! Everyone is different as to how firm or soft they like it to be, so do some shopping and try a few out before choosing one that is right for you. The same rule applies to your pillows.
Sleep deprivation can cause serious health consequences, so it’s important to get enough shut-eye to keep you and your baby happy and healthy.
When choosing your baby’s crib, remember that this is where they are going to spend a lot of time for the first couple of years. Investing in a quality mattress, along with accessories such as crib bumpers, blankets and side pillows will ensure your baby gets a healthy start in life, and develops good sleep habits that will last a lifetime.