New parents and sleep – what is it and how to get more?

Blog: What is Sleep?The lovely people at Raising Children Network just sent me an email with links to an article on the new parent’s need for sleep.

Thanks for rubbing it in.

If sleep were currency I would be broke.

I don’t think I’ve slept a full 8 hours since I became a mummy 12 years ago.

Which means I’ve been cranky for more than a decade with no-one to blame. (Because you don’t blame a baby. They’re far too small and cute with their big eyes and chunky rolls of baby skin!)

And just when I got one sleeping through the night I went and had another baby …

What’s the research?

So the clever peeps at RCN advise we need about 7-8 hours of ‘good quality’ sleep a night to feel properly rested. (Or in my case 18-20 hours because I’m sure I was a cat in my last life!)

Of course it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out new baby + new parent + new lifestyle + same busy lifestyle and schedule = NO SLEEP.

So if you are a zombie parent operating on empty like me – fear not, RCN does offer some nice tips:

Before bed: Start a regular routine – pin point a bed time for bub and you and stick to it. Avoid drinks or snacks before bed that will stimulate you – that means no caffeine or choccie fixes! Wind down by reading – choose a book over the iPad though for maximum benefits.

In bed: Don’t panic if you don’t nod off immediately. It’s pretty normal to think about the day that was and plan for what’s coming. Avoid frustration and just let your mind wander – it will settle and you will drift off eventually.

During the day: Sleep when your baby or toddler sleeps! Forget the housework, switch off the phone and lie down! If you have help – take it; let grandparents stop by and watch baby (or go out for a walk) while you nap.

Read the full article here.

Want to know more?


Kath has three boys who enjoys writing and catching up with other stressed out mums in her spare time. Usually she’s racing against the clock to make her boys (+ husband) arrive any where on time! She feels great when two out of the three make it out of the house with shoes on!