woman in bed suffering from sleep deprivation with a newborn

Sleep Deprivation With A Newborn + Newborn Sleep Tips

Being a new Mum is exhausting. And sleep deprivation with a newborn is something that we ALL go through. You can read all the parenting books in the world, but nothing can really prepare you for the sheer tiredness that you’ll feel when you’re up for the 7th time during the night. Read on for tips on how to feel a bit more awake (even if you don’t look it!)

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Sleep deprivation with a newborn is rough, and before we get started, I just want to say something

You’re doing an amazing job Mama! It’s hard work being a new Mum, but it does get easier.

I’ve been there, got the T-Shirt and spent many a morning watching the sun come up while my newborn lays wide awake beside me. I feel you!

These little things that we’ve brought into the world really do like to test us sometimes.

But did you know that there are things you can do to make sure that the sleep deprivation with a newborn doesn’t get you down too much.

Sleep is precious, especially when you’re a new Mum.

In this post, I will give you my tips and advice on how you can try to get a little bit more sleep and feel more rested while getting to grips with being a new Mum. Our sleep is just as important as our little one’s sleep, and we sometimes tend to forget that.

The first few weeks with a newborn

A sleep deprived Mum with a newborn, trying to get some sleep

Sleep is one of those basic needs we humans need to survive and it’s recommended that we get between 7-9 hours a night. Really?! When you have a newborn, you’re lucky if you get one hour’s sleep uninterrupted. Becoming a mum is exhausting.

My sleep deprivation started when Cupar wasn’t even born yet, I remember all too clearly laying in bed with agonizing rib pain and hip pain and not being able to get comfortable. You name it, I had it, and all of this was while my darling other half was snoring away beside me.

The first few weeks with a newborn were tough because I was trying to deal with the pain and recovery from giving birth, while also trying to get to grips with breastfeeding and getting into a new routine with a newborn. But, when the first few weeks are out of the way things do tend to get a little bit easier.

You get used to your little ones’ sleep patterns and, believe it or not, you do start to get used to waking up multiple times during the night to feed, change or comfort your baby.

It all starts to become second nature.

Sleep deprivation with a newborn DOES get easier (believe it or not)

Now that we’re nine months in, I feel like we’re in a pretty good routine with two naps during the day and a few night feeds during the night.

One of the main things to remember, and that I didn’t pay much attention to at first, is that you have to look after yourself as well as looking after your baby. You can’t expect to become a super mum straight away! You need sleep and rest as much, if not more, than anyone else.

So how much sleep do new Mums get?

For a little insight into how much sleep new parents get, have a look at our daily sleep routine below. You’ll notice that it’s not too bad:

  • We wake up around 7/7.30am
  • The first nap of the day is anywhere between 9 am and 11 am. Cupar will sleep from 40 minutes to 1.5 hours (it does vary)
  • The second nap of the day is usually around 3 pm. Again, Cupar will sleep from 40 minutes to 1.5 hours
  • Bedtime is around 8/9 pm (this can vary hugely from 7 pm to 12 am!!!)
  • Wakeups during the night for feeding are usually 12 am, 2 am and 5 am.

The above is just a rough guide of how Cupar’s sleep goes during the day, and obviously, if we’re out and about then the naps can go out of the window!

I didn’t do anything special to get Cupar into this routine, in fact, I’ve been very relaxed and anti routine since having him! He’s just kind of fallen into this pattern himself, which is great.

I’ve never been a fan of sleep training, so I was always going to avoid it as much as I could. Newborn sleep tips can be helpful if you’re struggling though.

I am going to start a proper bedtime routine soon when I go back to work. I think it will benefit both of us, and it will mean Cupar will get used to going upstairs and getting into bed for sleep rather than passing out on the sofa for a few hours and then getting woken up when me and Aeron go to bed.

Read on below to see some of my hints and tips for managing sleep deprivation with a newborn:

Sleep when the baby sleeps

A newborn sleeping

Everyone always says this, but it is the one that you should listen to the most! When your baby falls asleep, take that opportunity to grab some shut-eye yourself. Who cares if the hoovering needs to be done, the washing basket needs to be emptied, or the house needs to be tidied? They can all wait. What matters is that you get some much needed sleep.

Once I started realising that I needed to look after myself and sleeping when Cupar slept, I started to feel a lot better. I’ll curl up on the sofa with him beside me in the Moses basket and sleep for 2 hours sometimes.

After a night of interrupted, broken sleep, those 2 hours on the sofa are amazing! Then, when me and Cupar wake up all refreshed we have the energy to play and have some quality time together.

Newborn sleep tips – If you take the time to sleep when the baby sleeps, then it could benefit both of you in more ways than one. Newborns like to have their Mamas close to them. They’ve just spent 9 months with you, and they’re not ready to let you move too far just yet.

If you’re sleeping next to them when they wake up, they’re likely to feel comforted and go back to sleep a lot easier than if you’re in the next room getting some cleaning done.

Make sure you eat properly

This one is important because what you eat can affect your energy levels. Also, this one is especially important if you’re breastfeeding, as breastfeeding takes so much out of you. You might be tempted to survive on coffee and chocolate, but it’s not going to help you in the long run.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you have a friend or relative that is willing to take your little one for an hour or two, then definitely accept that help. Even if it simply means someone holding or playing with your baby while you get an hour’s nap on the sofa, you’ll find that every little bit of sleep will help.

Clear your mind before going to bed

If you know that your baby usually wakes up 2 hours after you’ve gone to bed, the last thing you want to do is spend those 2 hours stressing and thinking about all the things you need to do the next day. I find it helpful to write everything down in a reminder app on my phone and set the alarm to go off sometime the next day.

Even simple things like ‘do a load of washing’ help. That way I’m not laying in bed thinking, I’ll have to do some washing tomorrow, I’ll have to buy some more milk, Ooooh, I better text Sarah and see how she is. Similarly, you can also write down anything that’s on your mind in a notepad app and leave it to deal with at a later time, though it is easier said than done, I know).

Now you can hopefully fall asleep with a clear head ready for the next wake up in 2 hours time!

Have your baby close by

If, like me, you spend the whole time that you’re in bed wondering if the baby is too hot, too cold, still breathing, or tangled up in blankets, then why not move them closer to you. I know that some people don’t have space, but if you do, it may be enough to stop you worrying and allow you to get some extra sleep.

Try putting the moses basket or cot within reaching distance, or invest in a Next 2 Me crib. This way, you can get up to check on the baby without having to move very far, which means that there is less chance of you disturbing the baby, and more chance of you getting back off to sleep quite quickly.

I hope some of the tips in this post have helped you in some way, even if it’s just that you’ve realised you’re not alone. Lack of sleep is hard, but it does get easier, or rather, you get used to it!

As long as you can remember to look after yourself as much as you can so that you have the energy to look after your little one, you’ll be OK. And, don’t forget, we’re all in this together!

Woman and baby sleeping to prevent sleep deprivation with a newborn

Do you have any tips for managing sleep deprivation with a newborn? Let me know what’s worked for you.

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