For new parents, how to cope with baby-related sleep deprivation can feel like the biggest challenge in the world. Broken sleep can affect both the mental and physical health of parents, while also harming a baby’s development. It’s therefore important to avoid severe baby-related sleep deprivation and to ensure that a newborn baby waking in the night doesn’t lead to trouble for the whole family.
The Sleep Deprivation Struggle
When dealing with a newborn baby, sleep deprivation is driven by hunger. They have small stomachs and need plenty of nutrition to help them grow, so want feeding every few hours. A survey by The Lullaby Trust found that 59% of babies under a year old slept for less than four hours at a time, meaning that their parents could never get a solid night’s sleep.
This can be devastating for parents. The lack of sleep leads to a loss of focus and irritability, which in turn leads to accidents and conflict in the home. For some, negative moods lead to anxiety and depression. It becomes impossible to stay on top of the rest of life while exhausted. It’s not uncommon for the parent of a newborn baby to mutter “sleep deprivation is killing me.”
Pot-partum depression is a particular problem, one that can affect a parents’ mental health and their relationship with their children. If severe sleep deprivation makes it harder to cope, that can worsen the depressive effect.
Evidence of the impact of sleep deprivation on babies is less clear. While their lack of sleep may be linked to pain sensitivity and trouble feeding, the cause and effect relationship hasn’t been fully worked out. But there is growing evidence that a baby with trouble sleeping may experience problems with self-regulation, which will have a negative effect on the development of language and social skills.
Tools to Help Babies Sleep
Given the hazards of baby sleep deprivation, it’s important to find ways of helping a baby to sleep.
The first step is to create the right setting to help the baby sleep. A cool, dark, quiet room will help them to settle, as will a regular routine that lets the baby know when bed is coming and starts to settle them down.
As a parent of a newborn, you should try to get rest when you can. This might mean saying no to other opportunities and social commitments in the first few months, making more space to grab some precious rest. Speaking of opportunities to rest, it’s good practice to nap when the baby does, even if that means letting other tasks slide. Tempting as it is to try to plow through housework in this peaceful moment, you’ll be more productive and healthier if you’re well rested.
If there’s more than one parent in the house, then consider alternating who gets up to do the feeds each night. Getting solid sleep one night will help you to cope without it the next.
Your own mental state will make a big difference, so make sure that you have a relaxing environment to settle down in. Create your own relaxing space to sleep, comfortable and with low lighting. While struggling with a newborn baby’s sleep deprivation, it might not be possible to deal with all of the chores, but try to keep evidence of them out of your sleeping space, so that you can relax when you lie down.
Baby Monitors for Better Sleep
Peace of mind can be incredibly helpful, so it’s worth investing in a good baby monitor. That way, you can check up on the sleeping baby without disturbing them. You’ll sleep secure in the knowledge that you’ll be woken if there’s a problem in the night.
A baby monitor is more than just a practical device, it’s a connection to your baby that will make it easier to leave them alone while you get some rest yourself. It’s worth investing in the best baby monitor you can, for example the Paris Rhône 2K HD video baby monitor with smart app, so that you can sleep soundly knowing that the device will work through the night.
A monitor allows you to keep an eye and ear on your baby in real time, often making use of your home’s wifi to ensure a reliable connection. Modern monitors let you see as well as hear your baby, thanks to video and audio feeds, and some can even provide you with safety alerts. The Paris Rhône baby monitor has auto focus, intelligent obstacle avoidance, and intelligent screen alignment, to help it keep watch over your precious newborn.
Many parents have found relief through better sleep practices and the support of baby monitors. By creating the right atmosphere both for the parents and the baby, and by picking the best baby monitor to help keep an eye on their child, they’ve been able to get some rest.
New parent Lana N said “I’m no longer wondering if the baby is crying. No longer having to run upstairs to check.” Nathalie O said “It is very helpful to have this monitor, it gives you peace of mind to check if your baby is ok while doing other tasks.”
Do you have any recommendations for how to cope with a baby’s sleep deprivation and the struggles it created for you? Share your tips and experiences in the comments section, and maybe they’ll help someone else reach the peace they need.
Better Rest for the Whole Family
The limits of their bodies and their needs as they grow mean that newborn babies will always sleep less than their parents would like, and getting proper sleep can be a battle. But that quality sleep is vitally important, so invest in tools like baby monitors and in following some of the simple steps above, to get the rest you need and escape the cycle of newborn baby sleep deprivation.