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

    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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  2. New Parent? You Have Permission to Nap

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

    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 »
  4. 3 Parenting Tips for Creating Sleep Balance with Your Partner

    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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  5. Sleeping with a Newborn Baby: An Ob/Gyn Gives Advice

    Sleeping with a Newborn Baby: An Ob/Gyn Gives Advice

    By Dr. Amelia Bailey, Ob/Gyn

    Congratulations, and welcome to motherhood for the first, second, or greater time. It is the hardest job you will ever have but it comes with the greatest benefits package. For me, the most difficult part of the newborn period is sleep deprivation. My daughter needed to nurse every 2-3 hours for one week, and every feeding felt like an eternity. My husband is very helpful, but he needed sleep once he went back to work. And even though there were very special bonding moments with my little girl during the night, it still felt very lonely being the only person up multiple times while extremely fatigued and hormonal. I know you have been there, too, my friend! So, what can we do to maximize sleep time and to make the most of the little sleep we can get? Here are my favorite tips for sleeping with a newborn baby, all of which I have been using since the birth of my second child just a few months ago.

    sleeping with a newborn baby

    Sleep When You Can

    Everyone says it, and it sounds so easy to sleep while your baby sleeps. But it’s hard! You have bottles and/or burp cloths to wash, visitors to entertain, and a precious bundle to stare at for hours and hours. All of these threaten to rob the much-needed sleep of a new mom. First, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Have family or friends come to hold the baby, change diapers and/or do household chores while you take a nap. If you do not have people who will help in this way, and you can afford it, go ahead and hire someone. Many night nurses or postpartum doulas will come to your home to help during the newborn period. And it doesn’t have to be for a long time, either. We hired someone to help for several nights around week 6 when my exhaustion and my baby’s crying were at their peak. These people are angels in disguise. If you don’t feel comfortable with help overnight, hire someone to assist during the day so you can nap. Sleep is a necessity after having a baby, not an option. You’ll be better able to function after some rest.

    Sleep Well

    Once you’re able to sneak away, make sure your sleeping environment is perfect. Hang blackout curtains, use a noise machine and wear comfortable pajamas. You can finally enjoy sleeping on your back again! If you had a c-section, keep an extra pillow in the bed so you can place it over your abdomen as a brace when you cough, laugh, or sneeze. An adjustable bed is amazing for post-C-section recovery because it raises you into a sitting position (for nursing or getting into and out of bed) preventing you from overworking your abdominal muscles until recovery is well underway. The adjustability of a bed is also helpful after a vaginal delivery, especially if you had tears since you can find the sitting angle at which there is minimal vaginal pain.

    Another tip: set yourself up for success by having everything you need near your bed. On my bedside table, I had two pacifiers, two burp cloths, a nursing pillow with pocket that held gas drops and vitamin D (important to give babies that are exclusively breastfed). Other stuff on the table? My journal of my baby’s activity (I was so tired that I couldn’t remember which side I nursed on the last time), plus water and snacks for me. I also had a basket with all diaper changing supplies, because walking across the room to the changing pad was too much sometimes.

    Sleeping Babies

    A sleeping baby is a thing of beauty. They need the same things we do to rest: a dark and quiet room at a comfortable temperature. Babies also need a bedtime routine, a nonverbal way of telling them that it’s time to settle down. Our routine was going into the bedroom, turning on the noise machine, swaddling, turning off the lights, and rocking for 5-10 minutes until she showed signs of sleepiness (yawning, closing her eyes, breathing slowing down a bit). Then I placed her in a co-sleeper and patted her leg until she was nearly asleep. There are plenty of variations on this theme; find what works for you and your baby, because you will be doing it multiple times a day for several months.

    You get to decide where your baby sleeps. Recent recommendations say that sleeping in a separate area (bassinet, co-sleeper, crib) in the same room as parents is best. However, that must be balanced with your ability to rest. My babies were both very noisy sleepers. As long as they were in the room, I could not sleep, which was not safe for me or them. So, they slept in a co-sleeper in my attached bathroom. I was near enough to hear a cry or cough but far enough away to not hear every grunt and sigh. This is a very personal decision that you should make with input from your pediatrician.

    Mommy Guilt

    A special word for all moms: let the mommy guilt go. Whether it be about breastfeeding,sleeping in the same room, asking someone else to care for your baby, or balancing this baby with other children–just do your best, then move on! This is a beautiful time but also a tough time, and it will pass quickly. Take a deep breath, get rest when you can, and try to savor the quiet moments with your newborn. If you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed, seek help immediately; you can’t and shouldn’t deal with these emotions alone. As one of my favorite people used to say to me, and this is advice definitely worth taking: be kind to yourself.

    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

     

    AmeliaBailey

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

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