tips for new parents to avoid sleep deprivation

8 Tips for New Parents to Avoid Sleep Deprivation

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Sleep deprivation, in general, is the reason for so many critical health issues such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, impaired glucose tolerance, depression, hypertension, anxiety, and so on.

And when it comes to new mothers, sleep deprivation can do much more than these. New mothers often experience postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety. On top of that, if new moms don’t get enough sleep, their mental and physical condition will fall.

We know the consequences of sleep deprivation for the new parents. That’s why we have some useful tips here that can help you get your necessary sleep while keeping the newborn sound and safe.

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8 tips for new moms to avoid sleep deprivation

1) Never Miss a Chance to Nap

After birth, most women experience the baby blues. Anxiety and lack of sleep is very common in this time period since you need to be there for your newborn every second.

But, as a new parent, you need to understand the value of your own health. It’s understandable that you can’t have a long and uninterrupted 8-hours of sleep.

So, seek out every chance when you can get some sleep. See your little fella’s sleep routine and try to synchronize. Even if it is for as short as 20 minutes, take the chance and get a nap.

Naps are not enough to replace a good night’s sleep. But if you go for a nap with the mindset of relaxation, a 20-minutes nap is good enough to take out the stress, reducing your anxiety level.

So, from today, make up your mind and never miss a single chance to nap whenever you can.

Remember, just because you are physically strong enough to deal with sleep deprivation, doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need it. Your mind and body need that rest.

Related: What to REALLY expect with your Postpartum Recovery

2) Create a Sleep-Inducing Environment for the Baby and Parents

Sleep hygiene, environment, comfort, bed, space sharing, disturbance. If you have the time and chance, but still can’t fall asleep, chances are you don’t have the right environment for sleeping. 

Try practicing good sleep hygiene. Prepare your body and mind for sleeping by taking a warm bath a few hours before bed. Dim the lights in your room and keep all electronics out of your reach at least 2 hours before bed. That way, your body knows it’s time for bed.

Besides, you need to ensure maximum comfort for your sleep. Consider getting a nice bed or a suitable recliner. For instance, parents who are short in height can consider buying a nursery glider for short parents in specific.

Take all disturbances away before sleeping. Get rid of any sound or lights in the house that interrupts your sleep.

Even if you are having issues with space-sharing, tell your partner that you need some extra space in the bed. You can separate your beds for a while too.

8 tips to handle no sleep as a new mom

3) Say ‘Yes’ to Help

It’s not a very common thing to have people at your home who offer some help with the kids. But if you are lucky enough to have a family or friends like that, stop being stubborn.

Yes, it bothers you to accept help and be depending on others for your child, but it’s okay. You are a human, not some machine. Even machines do need to recharge. Don’t they?

So, from now on, whenever a family or friend offers help to soothe your crying baby or feed them, accept it with grace.

Take a nap or get some rest, meanwhile, your baby can bond with the other members of your family.

Related: 18 Tips on How to Soothe a Crying Baby

4) Share the Responsibilities

There are tons of responsibilities to run a household. If you just became a parent, share all the responsibilities with others.

For instance, if you have other children, you can decide who will take them to the school and who will cook for them. And take turns in taking care of the newborn.

Try to get at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep when your partner is taking care of the little one, particularly if you are bottle feeding. I have lots of bottle feeding tips to make feeding easier at night for both parents and tips to keep bottles warm at night, so you don’t have to get up and prepare the bottle every time.

Every little responsibility becomes a burden for the parents of a newborn. So, keep yourself free from responsibilities as much as you can. If you and your partner can’t manage all the households, then ask a family member to come over for help – there’s no shame in that.

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tips for new moms to avoid sleep deprivation

5) Don’t Hesitate Using Parenting Gadgets

Parenting has become much easier with modern technology.

Often parents get worried about the little one when they are sleeping in a different room from the nursery, but you can use a baby monitor to keep your worries away for example. If that was not in your newborn baby checklist, it’s time to buy one now!

There are so many different options out there: with just audio, with video as well, with WiFi or no WiFi, with temperature reader, etc. We started with just an audio monitor, thinking that was going to be enough. But now we’ve ended up having 2 video monitors (one for each one of our daughters) that can also read the room temperature! It’s so much nicer to relax on the couch in the evening, being able to see that they are OK.

And don’t fear not hearing your baby crying. According to some research, mothers tend to get attuned to their baby’s crying.

>> Motorola Baby Video Monitor on Amazon <

If you breastfeed the newborn, you can also use a breast pump to save the milk for later and so that your partner can feed the baby while you are getting your share or sleep. Or, if you just fed the baby and there’s no one to keep him occupied, don’t be worried: you can use a baby bouncer or a glider to soothe your baby and enjoy a short nap meanwhile.

Another one of my favorite items that’s actually saved my sanity with my second daughter is a white noise machine. This machine creates a comfortable environment that calms the baby, helping them to fall asleep faster. Plus it is great to cover up the noise of the toddler running around the house when the baby is sleeping (you know what I mean if you have a toddler and a baby at home!).

I used the Hushh Portable White Noise Machine, which was awesome. I could also take it with me in the car or in the stroller!

>> Hushh Portable White Noise Machine on Amazon here <<

These smart parenting gadgets will buy you some time for your precious sleep. So, get comfortable with using gadgets to take care of the baby. And you don’t need to feel guilty for that.

6) Consider Sleep-Training

The term ‘Sleep-Training’ sounds like a nightmare for a lot of overprotective parents. We are well aware of the fact that no parents want to leave their babies unobserved while they are sleeping.

However, if your baby is constantly waking up at night, know that there’s lots of “gentle” sleep training methods that don’t involve leaving your child to cry-it-out in their crib or bassinet. Plus, studies have shown that sleep-training your baby at a very early age helps to build a better sleeping pattern for the baby himself. Little babies usually are ready for sleep training at 4 to 4.5 months of their age.

I would actually recommend any new parent to start sleep training their child from the moment they hit the 4 month sleep regression! At that age, baby are still young enough not to be too aware of certain sleep associations (such as you rocking them to sleep), and they will not need or want them so desperately to scream for them for too long.

On the other hand, when the baby reaches the 6 months old mark, they will become way more aware and extremely hard to settle if you don’t give them what soothes them to go to sleep!

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Yes, the first few days of sleep training can be exhausting and worrisome. But, once you start seeing a pattern in your child’s sleep every day, you can shape up your sleeping pattern and schedule accordingly. A consistent sleeping pattern is as important as the length of sleep.

However, there’s no rush. Each baby is special. So, if you feel like your baby is not ready yet, or maybe you yourself aren’t ready yet, take the time.

tips to avoid sleep deprivation as a new parent

7) Cut off Caffeine from Your Diet

If you are a good sleeper and have no trouble falling asleep anytime, then this tip is not that essential for you to follow. However, there are some new mothers who get trouble falling asleep and, if you are one of those or have sensitivity to caffeine, then you should cut off the caffeine completely from your diet. Caffeine is not your thing, mom!

As a new mom, you need to seek out each of those chances to sleep. So, your body needs to be prepared for sleep all the time.

Caffeine keeps you awake even if you are tired and feel sleepy. That’s not what you want. Is that?

Not to mention that large amounts of caffeine can dehydrate your body and lower your breast milk production, causing a drop in milk supply. And … too much caffeine can also affect your baby via the breastmilk, causing irritability and sleep problems, or even colic. Watch out!

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8) Stick to a Good Diet & Exercise Plan

A clean diet is important for everybody. And when it comes to a new mom, you are eating to feed your baby. So, you want to keep the diet healthier than ever.

Eat homemade meals, vegetables and fruits, and a lot of liquids. Healthy foods will help you recover from the delivery stress. Water and liquids will help boost your milk production on the other hand.

Another very important thing to remember is a routine exercise. It’s exhausting for a woman to hit the gym right after delivering a baby. We know that.

But little movements, easy exercise, and yoga can help you get back your physical and mental strength. It helps with your sleeping too. Besides, it’ll help you fit in your pre-pregnancy clothes once again. So, don’t take it for granted. 

Related: 14 Drinks that Increase Milk Supply

Final Thoughts

Welcoming a newborn at home is such an overwhelming experience. It can come with a lot of postpartum baby blues, sleep deprivation, stress, and never-ending worries for your child’s safety. Not to mention the exhaustion if you have a colic baby.

It’s totally normal. You need to know that you are not alone as a parent of a newborn who’s experiencing all these.

But, taking care of yourself is equally important as it is to raise a child with proper care. Adequate sleep is a priority, not a luxury. Follow our tips to get the most of it.

For more tips and guides on how to survive the first few months with a newborn, check out these related articles:

For more tips and guides on how to improve your baby’s sleep and survive the sleep regressions:


Are you a new mom who’s struggling with sleep deprivation and have some questions about any of the above? Or have you gone through it and have more tips for new parents struggling out there? Then please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!

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8 tips to avoid sleep deprivation as a new parent

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