Get Better Sleep—Even With Your Newborn

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation


Six ways for new parents to get more sleep

After being awoken by yet another 2:00am wail from your newborn, you may feel like you’ll never get another good night’s sleep again. But it won’t last forever: Typically, by three months, most babies can sleep for at least five consecutive hours a night, and by six months, most can snooze anywhere from nine to twelve hours at a time. In the meantime, these strategies will help you get more zzz's.

Sync Your Sleep Schedules.

It may take some adjusting—since you’re probably not used to such an early bedtime—but going to sleep when your newborn does means that you can catch a few extra winks while your baby snoozes.

Work in Shifts.

Making a schedule with your partner will guarantee that at least one of you will get a good night’s sleep. Try trading off baby duty—or at least alternating who does the first early morning feeding— every other night and taking turns sleeping in on the weekends, too. To ensure solid slumber, you can even sleep in separate rooms to avoid disturbing one another when you get up for feedings or changings.

Share a Bed.

Instead of walking back and forth to your baby’s bassinet, some parents opt to bring their newborn to bed with them. It’s called co-sleeping, or bed-sharing. There are pros and cons to this practice.

Eat Smart.

Munching on a power snack while you’re awake with your baby in the middle of the night can help you stay awake—and feel better in the morning. Try healthful foods with a mix of good fats, proteins and carbohydrates, such as an apple with peanut butter, yogurt, or skim milk.

Accept Help.

When family members and friends offer to babysit, don’t hesitate to take them up on the offer. A few newborn-free hours can get you exactly what you need: a peaceful nap.

A Little Crying is Okay.

You don't have to jump out of bed every single time your baby starts to cry. Sometimes your little one could be settling down or just fussing for a bit. The bottom line: Your child may stop on his or her own in a minute or two. So it’s okay to wait it out for a few minutes. If the crying continues, then it could be a sign of hunger or a wet diaper.