“Sleep, what is sleep?” is something we often hear parents say in a joking manner; however, it’s no surprise that consistent sleep deprivation is not healthy and is definitely not sustainable.
New parents aren’t prepared for the lack of sleep when bub arrives, many are so focused on best practise birth routines that quite often sleep deprivation tactics are not discussed. It’s a huge adjustment and unlike any other experience, particularly for first time parents. Feeling overwhelmed and anxious is normal when caring for a newborn, however there are simple and effective ways to build a toolkit that can help reduce ongoing anxieties.
We spoke to a certified sleep consultant, Kelly Martin, who has been working with new parents for over 4 years and has shared her expert tips with us on how to introduce best practise sleep routines for you and bub.
The first step is always the hardest, especially when there is an overwhelming amount of information and advice readily available.
Parents are given ample insight into different birth choices but the information they receive regarding newborn care is often quite limited. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first bub or your fourth, being armed with different approaches to improving your own, and your baby’s sleep, is key.
It’s important to have realistic expectations as your bub adjusts to their new environment, there are so many methods to soothe your bub it’s hard to know everything and you’re not expected to.
Take a deep breath, use trusted sources and begin building your knowledge.
- Create your network
Information overload naturally comes with opinion overload.
New parents have a lot of anxiety and questions running through their head. People will be wanting to help you and share their experiences but keep in mind that all babies are different and what works best for you and your bub needs to take priority.
How well your baby sleeps is not a competition. Sleep doesn’t come easily and naturally to all; some babies struggle, especially in the first three months as they adjust from ‘womb life to room life’.
Developing your close-knit network whom you trust and turn to for support, is central to adjusting to the changes. Whether this be family, friends or even your doctor, never be afraid to ask for help.
- Invest in support tools
As well as your support network you need quality support tools to assist you in understanding your baby and their needs.
Many parents are turning to certified sleep consultants for additional support in creating healthy and sustainable sleeping habits for themselves and their babies. Sleep experts can provide practical tips and advice based on the science behind sleep, which can play a positive role in how your little one sleeps.
Another tool which can provide parents with peace of mind are baby monitors. The brand-new Owlet Smart Sock 3 tracks your baby's heart rate, oxygen levels and sleep patterns, only notifying parents when the metrics leave preset levels.
Becoming a new parent comes with many challenges; it’s important to be kind to yourself and equip yourself with the right resources and tools to support you during the next phase.