When your support team offers help - accept it. Whether it's taking the older children out for fun, cooking meals for you, doing laundry, cleaning the house, watching the new baby while you take a nap, go out for errands or have date night with your partner, etc. – ACCEPT THE OFFER. Remember, your child's grandparents, your in-laws aunts, uncles, trusted family; friends, trusted babysitter - are people you can count on to help you with the baby. Make sure they all know and always practice the ABCs of safe sleep. If you are not sure they understand, sign them up to be a Safe Sleep Ambassador with Columbus Public Health.
We call it sleeping like a baby for a reason. Keep your baby alone, on their back, in a crib. Babies should never sleep with an adult or child on a couch chair, air mattress or bed. Share the room, NEVER the bed.
If possible, have the baby’s crib in your room, so you can Share the Room, and NEVER the bed. If you are concerned that you won't hear your baby or if the baby’s room is far away from your bedroom, buy a monitor and keep it near you. Remember that your baby is safe when you practice the ABCs of safe sleep.
If your baby cries for a few minutes before you hear him or her, it will be OK. Also, you want your baby to learn to go back to sleep by himself or herself and letting the baby cry a bit, is okay.
Ask your partner, your husband or a member of your extended team - mom mom-in-law, aunt, uncle or other trusted partners - to alternate baby duties with you so that you can make up for missed sleep with short naps during the day. Even 15 minutes of sleep can be beneficial to body and mind.
If your baby takes a bottle, ask your partner to take on some of the feedings. If you are breastfeeding, you may consider pumping and giving someone else a turn to feed. Try to divide up all your household responsibilities as best you can. Learn to delegate tasks to others to avoid burn-outs. Whether it's running errands or attending an older child's activities, ask a member of your trusted team - your husband mom, dad, mother-in-law, father-in-law, aunt, uncle or others whom you trust - to help.
Nighttime feedings are part and parcel of being a new parent, but you don't have to go it alone. Taking turns with feedings will give you more time for uninterrupted rest. Whether you're breastfeeding or feeding from a bottle, do get help from people close to you so that you aren't the only one waking up at night.
Prepare your baby for bed. Change your baby's diaper before the nighttime feed to minimize arousing them. And unless your baby has pooped or soaked through his or her diaper, you probably don't want to change your baby at all in the middle of the night, to keep him or her in that sleepy state - especially if your baby is only waking to eat.
It's natural for well-wishers to drop in and see the new addition to your household. However, it's important to pick and choose who to welcome so that you aren't bogged down by hostess demands. Some visitors are considerate and offer to lend a hand while others demand that you give them the same attention you did before you had your baby. Say 'yes' to those who come with a helping hand and learn to say 'no' to those who may not be as helpful during this time.
Since infants sleep for short stretches at a time, new moms can expect to wake up 2-3 times a night. As you'll be waking up often, getting to bed early lets you stay off your feet and enjoy some extra sleep. Even if you can't fall asleep early, you can use the time for yourself and relax.
A bedtime routine is anything that prepares you for sleep. Turning off gadgets, taking a bath/shower to de-stress, and listening to calming music are a few examples. Do whatever it is that calms you. Try to stick to your bedtime routine each night so that when it's time for bed, you can fall asleep more easily.
One day -- maybe tomorrow, your infant will sleep through the night. And so will you. Some babies sleep through the night earlier than others. If your baby is crying all night, talk to your pediatrician as there may be a medical reason that can be treated.