Up all night? Expert tips to help your newborn sleep.
  1. Up all night? Expert tips to help your newborn sleep.


    By Dr. Amelia Bailey, Ob/Gyn

    We teach our children how to do everything: eat, talk, play.  But do we remember to teach our children to sleep? That’s right ... sleep, while a natural part of our biorhythms, is still a behavior that needs to be cultivated.  Here are a few ways to ingrain this important skill starting from the time they're an infant.

    Start young.

    As soon as your baby is born, he desires a schedule.  Early on, that timetable is most closely attuned to feeding intervals; but sleep is a normal part of each full cycle of eating, interacting, and resting.  Granted, your little one may seem to fight you on this every step of the way. Remember that they are learning how to do every skill necessary for survival while becoming accustomed to multiple new stimuli.  Be flexible with the clock, but try to adhere to a predictable order in each cycle: feed, play, sleep, repeat. The amount of time taken to complete each cycle may fluctuate, but the pattern should be the same so your baby knows what she is expected to do next.  It is one of your first forms of communication with her.

    Up all night expert tips to help your newborn sleep

    Have a wind-down routine.

    Your body takes time to go from “full steam ahead” to “sleep” mode, and your baby’s body is no different.  Establish a set of steps that takes about fifteen minutes and signals to your newborn that sleepy time is nearing. There isn’t one right routine, so you may want to experiment a little at first. 

    What might a routine look like?

    At my house, I would give the baby a bottle at 6:30pm while we snuggle, then close the blackout curtains, turn on the sound machine, change her diaper, put on pajamas, and talk for a few minutes before setting her into her crib with her pacifier around 6:50pm.  She usually fell asleep by 7:00pm. Over this time, she had received non-verbal clues (physical, auditory, and visual) that it was her bedtime. Your child may need more cues or fewer, so tailor your evening routine to what works for your family. For example, your infant may fall asleep after a bath and massage with lotion whereas mine did not. You are the parent. You will learn your baby’s preferences quickly.

    Up all night expert tips to help your newborn sleep

    Be consistent.

    Once you establish a time and routine, stick to it.  Of course, illness and unforeseen circumstances will lead to occasional disruptions, but you are responsible for adhering to the schedule you set for newborn as frequently as possible. Type a document that you can easily update and print for other caregivers so they are prepared to follow the same rituals.  This will help your baby and the caregiver, both of whom want an easy night.

    Up all night expert tips to help your newborn sleep

    When to see a doctor?

    Certainly, if your baby cries like he is in pain when you lay him flat or has bouts of projectile vomiting, you should call your pediatrician for a gastrointestinal evaluation. A small percentage of babies have sleep disorders, so if you implement a routine and your baby still is sleeping poorly after a couple months, you may want to have her evaluated for that.

    Up all night expert tips to help your newborn sleep

    Sleep isn’t just for your baby.

    You need it too. Lack of sleep affects every area of health: intellectual, emotions, and physical well-being. For example, the immune system is less capable of fighting off infection when we are tired, which is certainly important if you have older children in school.  Create a relaxing place to rest in order to fall asleep faster and have more restorative sleep. A bed and pillow that support your body in any sleeping position as well as comfortable pajamas and bedding are essential. Top that off with a white noise machine and lavender sheet spray, and you are setting yourself up for success!

    Sometimes following these tips is hard. You want to snuggle longer, your little one does not want to go to bed yet, requiring you to put in more effort that night. Or activities and plans keep you out later than anticipated. That is okay. No one is a perfect parent; we are all just trying to do our best for our loved ones. Give your baby the gift of sleep, and your hard work will pay dividends.  Good luck!

    Pregnant? New parent or have small kids? Tired? Get tips and info on our special site for exhausted moms. 

    Ready to start sleeping better?

    moms need sleep

    Up all night expert tips to help your newborn sleep

    Dr. Amelia P. Bailey is a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility (REI) specialist in Memphis, Tennessee.  She is the Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery for her practice and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  She completed residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, where she served as Chief Resident, followed by a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  While in Boston, she was a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School and conducted joint research projects between Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    As an REI, Dr. Bailey treats patients who are having difficulty conceiving or who have complicated gynecologic conditions and follows women throughout early pregnancy.  Her expertise in sleep and women’s health, including pregnancy, stem from professional as well as personal interests.  As the mother of two young children, she knows how important it is to get a good night’s rest and has used the Reverie Sleep System throughout both of her pregnancy and postpartum periods with excellent results.



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  2. Why you need a power bed if you're a mom or mom-to-be
  3. Why you need a power bed if you're a mom or mom-to-be


    If you're pregnant or already a mom, you know that sleep is both the sweetest thing and the hardest thing to get at the same time. What if there was something that would help you get comfortable, something that would make your life a little easier every day and every night?

    You may have heard about power beds or adjustable bases before. Your grandma might have had one, and if so, you may be picturing an old clunky medical-looking device that sounds like a dying power drill when it moves. Well, it's like the power beds of old have aged backwards and got their braces off: today's models seamlessly blend into your Insta-worthy bedroom and are quiet when they move. They connect with your phone, some have massage, and they have life-enhancing, marriage-boosting positions like anti-snore. These aren't your grandma's power bases anymore. And let me tell you: they make every minute in bed more comfortable.

    Why you need a power bed if you're a mom or mom-to-be

    SIX POWER PERKS FOR PREGNANCY AND BEYOND

    Find comfort with unlimited adjustability.

    Pregnancy is nine months long. That's 275 nights and 2,190 long hours if you're trying to get comfortable. A power bed gives you individual degrees of customizability: it's like having a couch that can be turned into a chair, a chaise, or a lounger at the touch of a button. We recommend zero gravity (which raises your feet and head to induce weightlessness) for side sleeping.

    Give relief to your swollen feet.

    Sure, during the day you might be cramming your new sausage feet into the last pair of shoes that still fits, but at the end of the day, you just want sweet relief. Forget the tipsy stack of throw pillows: with a power bed you can easily elevate your feet with a power base to reduce the swelling.

    Why you need a power bed if you're a mom or mom-to-be

    Get the support you need after delivery.

    Your body is absolutely amazing—pregnancy is proof, but having a baby still does quite a number on a lot of areas down there. If you had a C-section, your body is recovering from both childbirth and a major surgery. In either instance, you can probably use all the help you can get. A power base gives remarkable support for your stomach and abs while getting in and out of bed for the umpteenth time.

    Feed your baby comfortably.

    Power beds turn your warm bed into a nursing chair in the middle of the night and make nursing or bottle feeding ten times easier. You can even get split or split-top mattress options so you can be feeding while your partner is still silently in anti-snore position next to you.

    Why you need a power bed if you're a mom or mom-to-be

    Experience stress-relieving massage.

    If there were ever a stage of life to get extra stress relief from long days, the early stages of motherhood would be a perfect time. Many power beds come with massage options that have proven circulation-enhancing benefits.

    Why you need a power bed if you're a mom or mom-to-be

    Have a bed that fits your lifestyle.

    You probably use your bed for more than just sleeping: it might be your living room for reading or watching your favorite show, it's a table for breakfast in bed, it's the best spot for snuggling with your partner and your growing family. Power beds make those sweet, normal, everyday moments a lot more comfortable.

    Being a mom is no easy feat, and power bases make it just a little bit easier. 

    Pregnant? New parent or have small kids? Tired? Get tips and info on our special site for exhausted moms. 

    Ready to start sleeping better?

    momsneedsleep.com

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  4. Dads Need Sleep Too
  5. Dads Need Sleep Too


    Any new dad will tell you that there’s nothing more magical and life-altering than the arrival of your new baby. Among the major adjustments new fathers face, the most taxing is a severe alteration to their sleep schedules.

    During the first 24 months of your child’s life, you will lose an average of six months of sleep. But it’s the first three to six months that will really be grueling with your newborn waking up every two to three hours demanding to be fed or have their diaper changed. Lucky for all you zombie dads, there are some easy ways for new fathers to cope with sleep deprivation.  

    Dad need sleep

    Give Yourself More Credit

    Most people assume that in a co-parenting couple, it’s the mom who loses more sleep during the earliest days of a newborn’s life. That assumption is especially understandable when you consider a woman’s role in breastfeeding and the fact that infants awaken at night every two to three hours. Alas, leave it to science to disprove our educated guess.  

    Studies have found that dads get less sleep than moms and experience more confirmed fatigue during the day. But before you text your wife this link announcing your plans to sleep in tomorrow, we should note that the same study showed that while new mothers received more sleep over the course of the day, that rest was disturbed more often. The takeaway is that you are both exhausted and it’s your duty as a new dad, partner and employee to find ways to cope.

    If you’re surprised to learn that you’re getting less sleep than your better half, consider this: it’s not just women who have strong neurological reactions to an infant’s cry. The sound of a baby crying (even one that’s not your own) triggers a heightened emotional response that’s almost impossible to ignore.

    It Takes a Toll

    Your newfound sleep deficit affects everything from your relationship to the U.S. economy. When you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you have a harder time reading emotions, making misunderstandings with your partner more frequent and harder to resolve.

    And remember our mention of the economy? Researchers in 2016 found that the U.S. economy loses $411 billion a year due to insufficient sleep. When you aren’t sleeping well, you’re an unproductive employee.

    Dads need sleep too

    You Can Make It Better

    The good news? You will get through this and eventually your baby will sleep through the night. Until that happens though, it’s important to find ways to cope. Here are some ways to improve your sleep:

    1. Take turns with the baby.

    Unless you’re bottle-feeding, you won’t be able to pitch in as well as you’d like when it comes to night feedings. Do your best to establish a routine that ensures you are both getting sleep. Maybe that means sending your better half to bed early while you stay up late until the first feeding, or rising early to let mom snooze.

    This is also a great time to start using that extra guest room if you have one. Whichever one of you is on deck can rest in the spare room to ensure your better half is getting uninterrupted sleep. You’ll soon discover what works for you both, but the important part is to communicate openly and be consistent.

    2. Get a white noise machine.

    Newborns make noise when they sleep, even when they’re not crying. Adding a white noise machine to your sleep routine helps ensure that you don’t awaken to every little squeak and sigh. Still sleeping with the baby in your room? You’re in luck—white noise machines benefit the quality of baby’s sleep as well.

    3. Take a cat nap.

    A 20-minute nap can work wonders in restoring your brain functions midday, making you a more productive employee. If your office has a nap room, use it. If they don’t, consider having a conversation with your boss about dedicating some space to a little shut-eye.

    Dads need sleep too4. Avoid the midday caffeine boost.

    Caffeine has a half-life of five to seven hours in humans. If you have a cup of coffee after 3 p.m., your body won’t fully be rid of the caffeine until 1 a.m. or later. Foregoing that extra cup of coffee in the afternoon may feel painful in the moment, but will pay off later when you’ve fallen asleep faster. If your brain’s really struggling to let go of its afternoon reward, try filling the void with a short afternoon walk or treat yourself to a square of chocolate.

    5. Put your phone down.

    Your phone’s blue light messes with your melatonin production, reducing your body’s urge to fall asleep. Additionally, being on your phone means you’re more likely to be checking your email, which gets you thinking about work and worrying over tomorrow’s responsibilities. The best thing you can do is put your phone down and save it for the next morning.

    Dads need sleep too

    Armed with a little extra knowledge, we hope that you start catching some extra sleep and reap the rewards in all aspects of your life. Keep up the good work, dads, and enjoy this special time with your little one. Before you know it, they’ll be 15 years old and sleeping until noon every weekend.


    Pregnant? New parent or have small kids? Tired? Get tips and info on our special site for exhausted moms. 

    Ready to start sleeping better?

    Dads need sleep too




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  6. New study shows 3D-Wave™ massage helps people feel more alert
  7. New study shows 3D-Wave™ massage helps people feel more alert


    A recent Michigan State University study showed that Reverie’s 3D-Wave massage goes well beyond the obvious feel-good benefits during the massage. Namely, using it for 30 minutes at bedtime can help you wake up feeling happier and more alert. And those effects last well into the day.

    A quick recap on the massage itself

    Our 3D-Wave technology is truly revolutionary. Using the scientific principle of resonant frequency, we developed a more dynamic massage with a circular motion not found on other massage furniture. It’s also gentler and quieter. No crude shaking of the bed or bruising shiatsu. Just a travelling, zen motion that increases blood flow and circulation. And because we’re Reverie®, we designed it so you can adjust it to your own needs. Up to four wave patterns at your beck and call, plus 10 levels of intensity. We have a short video explaining more here.

    New study shows 3D-Wave™ massage helps people stay more alert

    The methodology, in human-speak

    So here’s how the study went down. Male and female college students were studied for approximately 24 hours. One group of participants slept with a 30-minute 3D-Wave massage at bedtime, and the other group did not. Both groups were given cognitive tests before going to bed to establish a baseline and also given standard physiological tests throughout the night to track their sleep quality.

    Upon waking, they were evaluated across several measures. They were asked about their quality of sleep, and given another cognitive test. They rated their initial alertness and mood. Once they left the clinic and went about their normal lives, they were then texted every two hours throughout the day and asked to keep rating their  alertness and mood.

    New study shows 3D-Wave™ massage helps people stay more alert

    What happened?

    The group that had the massage was compared to the group that didn’t. And the results were heartening. People who had used Reverie 3D Wave™ massage the night before woke up feeling happier. Better yet? The effects were not fleeting. Those who had 3D-Wave massage were more alert throughout the day and also in a better mood.

    New study shows 3D-Wave™ massage helps people stay more alert

    What does it mean for you?

    Sleep is a complex thing. It is different for all people, and at Reverie, we view it as a puzzle to be solved on many fronts. For a long time, we’ve felt massage helped, and now we have some objective proof. Massage is just one of many things we invest a lot of energy into to help you succeed at great sleep.

    There’s really no way to go wrong with our 3D-Wave massage. It feels amazing, and many of us who sleep on the bed ourselves feel strongly that it helps us fall asleep. This study also supports the idea that it will help you feel happier and less tired all day long. At Reverie, this truly makes us happy. Our tagline is “Sleep well tonight. Live better tomorrow.” We mean it, and hope that you experience life-changing sleep every night.

    For our data hounds:

    Here’s the science behind the study:

    - EEG, EOG, EKG, respiration and oxygen levels measured to determine sleep quality.

    - Stanford Sleepiness Scale to measure alertness.

    - UNRAVEL computerized place-keeping test to measure cognitive fitness.

    - PANAS test to measure mood.

    This study was funded in part by Reverie and by a grant from the SCIP/TCA program from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

    Pregnant? New parent or have small kids? Tired? Get tips and info on our special site for exhausted moms. 

    Ready to start sleeping better?

    momsneedsleep.com exhausted moms

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  8. New Parent? You Have Permission to Nap
  9. New Parent? You Have Permission to Nap


    Unless you plan on becoming a Navy SEAL, the sleep deprivation you experience as a new parent will likely be the most severe you ever encounter. Need proof? During the first 24 months of your child’s life, a survey revealed you’ll lose an average of six months’ sleep.

    One of the best things you can do for your overall wellbeing during this incredible period of your life is to take daily naps. For most of us, the last nap we had was some time during our senior year of college, but for new moms and dads, we encourage a short daily nap as often as possible.

    Sleep makes everything better

    The recommended amount of nightly sleep for adults is seven to nine hours. Whether you’re doing all the nightly feedings yourself or dividing them up with your better half, you’re not going to meet that nightly quota during the first few months of your child’s life. That means you’re going to be exhibiting signs of sleep deprivation.

    A person deprived of sleep experiences more than just a tired body. In one study published by the Journal of Neurobiology and Circadian Rhythms, researchers found that sleep-deprived individuals had trouble identifying facial expressions of happiness and sadness.

    It’s not only your capacity to recognize other people’s emotions that suffers. When you’re not getting enough sleep, your ability to express joy in your face and voice is also impaired.

    Enter the benefits of a nap.

    Napping does a body good

    A short cat nap (we’re talking no more than 20 minutes) improves your mood and cognitive abilities. Naps do everything from restoring alertness to reducing accidents and creating feelings of rejuvenation.  

    New Parent You Have Permission to Nap

    Get the timing right

    Most experts recommend taking either a short 20-minute nap or completing a normal adult sleep cycle, which lasts 90 minutes. Anywhere in between or over that timeframe, and the napper will awake in a groggy state, which for our purposes is not what we’re after. Unless you’re certain your baby will snooze for an hour and a half, you may want to play it safe and set your alarm for 20 minutes.

    If you’re a stay-at-home parent, then the best advice is to nap when the baby naps. Both stay-at-home and working parents should try to avoid napping past 3 p.m. as it may affect your ability to fall asleep later that night.

    Ditch the stigma

    Napping is viewed as somewhat taboo in American culture, often creating perceptions of laziness. If you’re a stay-at-home parent, then you may feel guilty or judged for napping instead of doing the housework, and if you’re a working parent, then you might worry that your boss and coworkers will think you’re slacking off.

    The truth is you’re going to be a more productive and relatable person if you nap during the first couple years of your child’s life. You are 100% allowed to let the dishes and laundry pile up during this time in your life, but you must take care of yourself in order to take care of your baby.

    New Parent You Have Permission to Nap

    Ask for help

    We know, we know. As a new parent, you want to feel like you have it all together (or just mostly together). But here's a little secret: nobody does! It's totally OK to ask for help. Call a friend or family member to come over and hold your adorable baby while you take a nap. They'll likely be thrilled you asked, and it gives you some much-needed rest. Think of it this way: if your friend called you with this request, you'd be happy to help. Know they would do the same for you.

    Happy napping, everyone!

    Pregnant? New parent or have small kids? Tired? Get tips and info on our special site for exhausted moms. 

    Ready to start sleeping better?

    momsneedsleep.com exhausted moms


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  10. The New Parent’s Guide for a Better Night’s Sleep
  11. The New Parent’s Guide for a Better Night’s Sleep


    Between the constant feedings, dirty diapers, and that growing pile of laundry that’s threatening to establish itself as your home’s overlord, you just aren’t getting enough of that sweet (oh-so-sweet) sleep you want.

    By now you’re probably rolling your tired eyes and grumbling, “Tell me something I don’t know,” but hang in there, moms and dads. We have five simple strategies new parents can use to improve their sleep.

    What it really means to sleep like a baby

    Babies actually have a sleep cycle that’s in overdrive. At three months, babies need a hefty 15-16 hours of sleep. Babies will sleep (an often sporadic) 10 hours at night and 5 hours during the day napping. Plus, the average newborn spends 50 to 80 percent of their sleep time in REM and takes only 50 minutes to complete a full sleep cycle. In comparison, adults spend 20 percent of their sleep time in REM and complete a full sleep cycle in 90 minutes. Translation: your baby’s brain races through sleep like a NASCAR driver, while yours is cruising the parking lot in first gear.

    A newborn’s speedy sleep pattern is also affected by their small tummies, which cause them to digest breast milk and formula at a rapid pace. That’s the reason they wake up every two or three hours feeling hungry. During the first few months when you’re keeping their schedule, you experience sleep fragmentation. These constant breaks in your sleep cycle cause you to spend less time in deep sleep and more time in light sleep. Likely coming as no surprise—this is a recipe for exhaustion.

    How to maximize the sleep you’re getting

    Things will eventually improve. Your baby will start sleeping through the night and the new parent anxieties that keep you up will lessen. Until that time comes, you’ll want to take some steps to ensure you maintain some semblance of rest.

    1. Nap when the baby naps

    It may sound trite, but one of the healthiest things you can do as a new parent is accept that you can’t do it all. Let your dishes and laundry pile up, and go take a nap. Even if you can’t complete a full sleep cycle, the extra rest will do good for your body and mind.

    2. Give your bedroom an easy makeover

    While changing your wall color and buying new bedding would be nice, this isn’t that kind of makeover. Instead, consider making some alterations to your bedroom’s light, noise and temperature levels.

    You can make daytime naps easier by installing some blackout shades or wearing a sleep mask. We also recommend getting a white noise machine to drown out the buzz from the outside world.

    As for the temperature, it’s better to be on the cooler end of the spectrum. Our bodies’ core temperatures drop to initiate sleep. When we’re too warm, this process is slowed or stopped altogether. Ensure that you’ll drift off faster by keeping your bedroom’s temperature between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

    3. Let’s talk about that baby monitor

    Baby monitors are great, don’t get us wrong. But when your baby hits that four month mark, they’re starting to sleep in more regular sleep cycles. Consider separating from the baby monitor at this point, if even for just a night to start. While a monitor can be a helpful tool in feeling connected and safe, it can be an unnecessary sleep stealer once your child has established more consistent sleep. In regard to SIDs-related safety, check out a sensor pad or a device like Owlet instead for added peace of mind.

    4. Go for a stroll

    Try putting your baby in the stroller and heading out for a brisk walk (weather permitting, of course). Fresh air has a way of lifting spirits, and the sunlight will help regulate both you and your baby’s circadian clocks. Plus, adding movement to your day is great for your sleep and will help make you feel more alert during the day.

    5. Be aware of your caffeine consumption

    Because caffeine has a half-life of five to seven hours, it takes your body anywhere between 10-14 hours to fully be rid of it. A cup or two of coffee in the morning will likely not affect your sleep at night (and let’s be honest: sometimes it’s the only way to make it through the aforementioned sleep deprivation), but think about giving yourself a cutoff mid-afternoon.

    While a good night’s sleep may seem like a distant memory, remind yourself that this won’t last forever. In the meantime, take care of yourself and rest when you can. Sleep does wonders in making you the parent, spouse, and friend you want to be.


    Pregnant? New parent or have small kids? Tired? Get tips and info on our special site for exhausted moms. 

    Ready to start sleeping better?

    momsneedsleep.com exhausted moms

    Read more »
  12. How to Make Sleep a Family Priority
  13. How to Make Sleep a Family Priority


    Families share everything. From their genes down to their sense of humor, children take their cues from their parents. But there’s one personal trait that we may not realize is affecting our families. You guessed it—our sleep habits.

    In order for your household to function at its best, sleep has to become a family priority. Let’s talk about the importance of sleep for your family and discuss how you can improve it for everyone.

    How much sleep should everyone be getting?

    For adults, the recommended amount of nightly sleep is seven to nine hours. For children, it depends on their stage of development. Here’s a breakdown of the number of hours of sleep required per day, including naps:

    • Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours
    • Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours
    • Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours
    • Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours
    • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours
    • What happens when your family misses its sleep quota? 

    You know that not getting enough sleep will make you irritable, but one study suggests that sleep-deprivation causes adults to dole out harsher punishments.

    How to Make Sleep a Family Priority

    As for your kids? On top of the damage it does to their cognitive abilities and physical health, sleep-deprived children are cranky, more likely to behave badly, and often exhibit signs of hyperactivity and lack of focus (sleep deprivation is sometimes confused with ADHD in kids). Combine that with a tired parent’s short fuse and you have a recipe for more family feuds. By making a good night’s sleep a family initiative, you may be able to improve the emotional environment of your home.

    FOUR TIPS FOR A HEALTHY SLEEP ROUTINE

    1. Put the electronics to bed.

    The cues start with you. A survey by the National Sleep Foundation found that if a child’s parents slept with one or more electronic device on (e.g., smartphone, tablet) the child is more likely to do the same. The same survey found that both parents and kids sleeping with their devices exhibit poorer sleep quality than those who keep their devices off or out of the room.

    Pro tip: Set up a communal charging area in your home where you and your kids can plug in devices for the night. You’ll know they’re sleeping without their devices and getting better rest because of it.

    2. Eat dinner earlier.

    Young children take more time to digest their food. They need to eat at least two hours before bedtime to sleep well.

    3. Enforce your bedtime rules.

    Setting rules and sticking to them will make a big difference for everyone. Set a caffeine cutoff for 2 p.m., and set definite cut-off times for television, computers, and video games.

    4. Develop a consistent routine.

    Getting everyone to sleep at the appropriate time every night is a good start, but following a consistent bedtime routine signals to our brains that we’re going to sleep soon, allowing them to shut down even faster.

    How to Make Sleep a Family Priority

    Lay out clothes for the next day, brush teeth, and end the night with a wind-down activity such as reading together—which we recommend as both a great activity that’s been tied to academic performance and also as a relaxing activity to prepare the body for bed.

    As with everything else in your life as a parent, setting a good example of healthy sleep habits starts with you. It might be a challenge to reverse some bad habits (we recommend trying one new thing at a time) but the payoff is worth it. After all, healthier and happier families is something we can all get behind.


    Pregnant? New parent or have small kids? Tired? Get tips and info on our special site for exhausted moms. 

    Ready to start sleeping better?

    momsneedsleep.com exhausted moms

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  14. 3 Parenting Tips for Creating Sleep Balance with Your Partner
  15. 3 Parenting Tips for Creating Sleep Balance with Your Partner


    Tell someone that you and your better half are expecting, and the first thing out of their mouth will be, “Congratulations!” The next will probably be, “Sleep while you can.”

    With newborns waking every two to three hours during their first three months, parents are coming up short on the seven to nine hours of nightly sleep recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep interruptions are the most severe with newborns, but can carry on in the following years as little ones navigate potty training, nightmares and the urge to climb in bed with their parents.

    For co-parenting couples, striking the right sleep balance with one another can be difficult, but it will be one of the most important things you can do for the sake of your child, your relationship, and your overall health. With that in mind, here are three tips to help parents strike a healthy sleep balance.

    3 parenting tips for creating sleep balance

    1. Divvy up the newborn night shift

    Many couples choose to put the responsibility of night feedings on one person’s shoulders, particularly if that individual is a stay-at-home parent or breastfeeding mom. But with most babies not sleeping through the night until the six-month marker or beyond, this can be extremely taxing.

    Studies have shown that sleep deprivation affects our abilities to interpret how our actions affect others and the other way around. So, unless we want to see our spouses become insensitive, socially-inept zombies, it’s probably best to split up the night.

    Approach night feedings with shifts. If one of you is naturally a night owl, let that person stay up later to tackle the first feeding while the other snoozes. Then swap so the night owl can sleep until morning. Another alternative is to switch on and off nightly, with one person getting a full night’s rest, while the other answers the baby.

    For breastfeeding mothers, these ideas may mean pumping ahead of time and getting your baby used to taking a bottle. No matter which method you choose, remember to be flexible with your routine, and acknowledge that from time to time, one of you may need to lean on the other for a little extra sleep.

    3 parenting tips for creating sleep balance

    2. Talk it out

    If your current sleeping setup isn’t working, make time to talk about it with your partner. Have the discussion when you’re both rested (more on that to come) and when you’re free from distractions (yes, your children count as distractions.) This will give you both a leg up in your abilities to listen and express yourselves.

    Resist the urge to frame the conversation around who does more on less sleep. Instead, explain the ways in which you’re struggling and ask for help. Odds are your partner has also been holding in strong feelings on this topic, so be ready to hear them out.

    Since parenting takes teamwork, try thinking of this conversation as reworking the playbook you and your teammate have been running. It’s not getting us the results we thought it would. How do we adjust so we can both feel like we’re winning?

    Lastly, be ready to have a conversation about sleep balance a few times over the course of your child’s life. Your kiddo’s sleep schedule will continue evolving as they grow. Keep the lines of communication open with your partner and you’ll both sleep happier.

    3 parenting tips for creating sleep balance

    3. Sleep more. Bicker less.

    Yet another motivation for striking a sleep balance, studies have shown that lack of sleep leads to more frequent and severe conflicts among couples. When you and/or your better half aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to bicker and have a harder time resolving the issues.

    If something’s bothering you, sleep on it and say your piece after getting some shut-eye.

    Bonus tip: Take turns sleeping in or napping on weekends.

    It may sound like a no-brainer, but Saturday and Sunday are the only days of the week where one of you can catch up on sleep while the other watches the kids. Try alternating weekends, or have one of you take Saturdays, while the other gets every Sunday.

    There’s no one-size-fits-all for sleep-deprived parents, but we hope these tips have given you some new ideas to try or inspired you to have a conversation about sleep balance with your partner. Just remember: you both deserve empathy, and you both deserve a good night’s sleep!

    Pregnant? New parent or have small kids? Tired? Get tips and info on our special site for exhausted moms. 

    Ready to start sleeping better?


    momsneedsleep.com exhausted moms



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