Sleep Strategies for New Parents

babyThere’s tired, and then there’s newborn baby tired. If you’re a parent then you are familiar with the difference. Sleep deprivation is a serious thing – it is used as a form of torture in some places. But it’s not something you must concede to living with while going through those first few weeks with your tiny overlord.

Here are some sleep strategies you can use to make sure you’re balancing parenthood and your need for rest appropriately.


If you were the parent who carried the child then the chance that you’ve had a good night’s sleep in a few months is pretty slim, so you’re already starting from a deficit. Now, you’ve got this little person who is depending on you and wants to stay up later than your old college roommate. It can be overwhelming! Right now, take a deep breath and know that there are ways to keep everyone in the house happy and rested.

How to Cope

You’re here –in the newborn trenches. It’s very important that you find some way to balance the disruption and fatigue that this little bundle of joy has brought with it. Your life will never be the same and you’ll probably find that you wouldn’t have it any other way. In the meantime, make sure to:

  • Find support. You cannot do this alone nor should you. Find family, neighbors or friends who are willing to help you during the day so you can get some sleep. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – if you ever needed it, now is the time!
  • It may seem impossible, but take the time to care for you. Take a shower, change your clothes, eat healthy and brush those teeth! You need to take care of yourself if you are expected to care for someone else.
  • Be nice to yourself – negative self-talk isn’t going to get you anywhere. You can do this!

Maximizing Sleep

You need sleep in order to stay healthy and to function. You’ve probably heard it a million times but it bears repeating: Sleep when your baby sleeps. This may seem like a big task, especially with other children to care for, but since you’ve asked your family and friends to help then you should be able to manage.

Don’t try to stick to your old sleep schedule. Those days have gone the way of the Dodo bird. This means that you may find yourself going to bed at six in the evening. If this is the case, just roll with it: You do what you must to get the sleep you need.

Having a new baby is one of this life’s greatest gifts, but it’s also one of the most challenging things you can ever do. So, embrace it and remember to take a moment to look around and appreciate the chaos that has come into your life with this little miracle. And for the love of all that is holy – get some sleep.

a baby’s hand – 26/366 by David D is licensed under CC BY 4.0

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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.