Sleep deprivation can be a normal part of being a parent but it’s important to prioritize your own sleep to keep your energy levels up. One of the key parenting tips is to sleep while your baby sleeps, but what happens when your baby is transitioning? Often this can occur at different stages as they get older.
If your baby is going through the 18 month sleep regression, for example, you may need to make changes to your routine to ensure you both get enough sleep. The transition from baby to toddler can be challenging as they’ll start learning to rebel and testing different limits. Once you’ve got your baby into a better routine, here’s how to ensure you get enough sleep yourself.
Get an Early Night
It might be worth just taking yourself to bed early. You could plan your schedule around going to bed and getting up earlier. You can aim to take care of chores during nap times or while your baby is at daycare. This way, you’ll get into a routine of going to sleep at your child’s bedtime and hopefully be able to sleep for longer.
Share Nighttime Duties
If possible, share nighttime duties with your partner. You can alternate feeds, for example, especially if you’re bottle feeding. You could take it in turns to tend to your child if they aren’t able to sleep. It’s worth pointing out, however, that the bedtime routine should be consistent. This will help your child associate specific activities with going to bed.
Try Relaxation Techniques
If you’re having difficulties getting enough sleep while your baby sleeps you could try some relaxation techniques. Simply taking a warm bath can be very effective. Alternatively, you could try breathing exercises or listening to a guided meditation for sleep. You could even invest in self-massage tools such as an acupressure mat to use at bedtime.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Exercise and sleep are connected. It’s important to try and maintain an exercise routine as this will keep your energy levels up during the day, and allow you to unwind in the evenings. You could make time to go for a walk each day, for example, or try a workout video online. Regular exercise can help you feel less tired and improve your sleep routine.
Ask for Help and Support
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support if you need a rest. You could ask family members or friends to babysit while you take some time for yourself. There are also plenty of online resources available for support with parenting issues. You could share experiences with other parents or read expert advice on learning how to adapt to your baby’s ever-changing sleep patterns. It can take time for babies to transition from two naps to one, or change their nighttime routine, so get all the help you need.