Getting Some ZZZ's After Your Baby's Birth

Picture of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

by Penny Simkin, PT; et a

Helpful Information: Getting Some ZZZ’s After Your Baby’s Birth

Recipe for Sleep in the First Weeks after the Birth

Many first-time parents use the following approach to get an adequate amount of sleep until their babies begin to sleep for longer stretches.

  1. Ask yourself how much sleep you needed before pregnancy to function well. Six hours? Eight hours? That’s the amount of sleep you now require every day.
  2. Because feedings and baby care prevent you from getting this amount of sleep in one stretch, you’ll need more time in bed to meet your sleep requirement. Stay in bed until you’ve slept enough (meals and trips to the bathroom are obvious exceptions). Each time you wake up, keep a mental note of how long you slept.
  3. Don’t brush your teeth, shower, or dress until you’ve met your sleep requirement. If you require eight hours of sleep, it may take from 10 PM until noon (or later) the next day to get out of your pajamas!

Notes: You may find that having your baby sleep with you (or in the same room) makes it easier to get enough sleep, because you can care for your baby quickly. Also, if you have other children, this approach may require the help of another adult who can care for them while you sleep.

Excerpted from: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide, Fourth Edition

© copyright Parent Trust for Washington Children with permission from its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

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