Insomnia is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy, and sleep fatigue is one of the most common postpartum complaints. Here are 5 tips on how to get plenty of sleep after baby arrives.
Incorporate a “sleepy diet”
Incorporate foods in your diet that can help induce sleep including lean proteins such as fish and poultry and bananas with potassium. Nuts such as almonds or walnuts contain melatonin (the sleepy hormone).
Child sleep tip: Adding bananas to a child’s diet can have the same effect. As a Pediatric Sleep coach, this is something that I always recommend as part of a healthy diet of solids that support sleep.
Create a healthy wind-down routine
Just as we recommend having a bedtime routine for our children, we must do the same for ourselves. Start by turning off screen time at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Second, incorporate meditation or quiet time. This is a time for you to let go of the worries of the day and relax.
Guided meditations can easily be found on smart home devices or phones. Maximize your sleep as you get through that newborn fog, and while you may not immediately get longer stretches with an infant, you can form healthy sleep habits that will help you in the long run.
Utilize your “village”
Finding a village can be difficult and asking for help can be daunting. Creating a postpartum plan to include getting even two hours of extra sleep can be the recharge you need. If you have a willing partner or friend or family member that can care for the baby two or three mornings a week, you may be able to get a little extra shut eye. It’s okay to ask for help!
Be creative with your sleep schedule
I avoid the advice “sleep when baby sleeps,” but encourage finding creative ways to get a little more sleep. In the beginning, you may find your newborn can sleeps later. Time their bedtime with yours for the first few weeks. Aligning bedtime with your newborn can help maximize your 12-hour nights (though the night might be fragmented). The first eight weeks postpartum can mean a 9-11 PM bedtime. As your child gets a bit older and starts to develop a longer stretch of sleep, moving up your bedtime and theirs can help extend sleep schedules.
Educate yourself on Infant Sleep
Listening to a course, finding a sleep expert, or reading a good book can calm the anxiety around building a sleep foundation for your newborn and yourself. Be cautious about Facebook groups on sleep without certified experts as administrators as you may get poor advice. The best knowledge and education can be found from pediatrician and your local certified expert