Explore a Topic:

* Rest when your child sleeps
* Establish a regular bedtime routine
* Share out the tasks
* Accept help
* Light exercise
* Put your child to sleep in his bed

Coping with Sleep Deprivation

To say that new parents will be tired and sleep-deprived when you have a child is an understatement. It is not something one can really prepare for as no one knows your child's habit nor how your child will behave. This lack of sleep or broken sleep affect parents differently but its is an issue that needs to be addressed. The situation can be improved with a bit of planning and help.

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Rest when your child sleepsi

It is important to take this advice to heart and apply it as soon as possible. Although this may vary from 5-10 hours depending on the person, adults generally need approximately 7-8 hours of sleep to feel well-rested.i It may not always be possible to sleep when your child is sleeping but you could try resting or doing relaxation exercises that you may have learned during your antenatal phase. Power naps can be very refreshing and rejuvenating to the body and mind. Set your mobile phone to silent, check and respond only to important or very necessary messages. Avoid going online to do research or logging into your social media as this usually takes up more time than intended.

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Establish a regular bedtime routineii

It will be helpful to maintain a daily sleep schedule and consistent bedtime routine. Maintain the same bedroom environment every night and throughout the night - your child will sleep best in a room that is cool, quiet and dark. Working towards this will enable you and your spouse to have restful evening and earlier night.

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Share out the tasks

Plan out with your spouse so that one of you can have a slightly earlier night while the other cares for your child. The person who sleeps earlier could have the early dawn shift. This way, each parent will be able to have a few hours of restful sleep and consider taking turns to avoid burnout.

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Accept help

Do ask for and accept help from friends and relatives. Having someone to look after your child for a few hours while you have a short nap will help you feel more refreshed. Remember - accepting help is not a reflection of poor parenting skills nor inability to cope.

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Light exerciseiii

Exercise is known to assist in sleep and a walk your child is good for both you and child. It allows both of you to have some fresh air, gives you a break from just being at home and helps in bonding.

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Put your child to sleep in his bediv

Put your child to sleep alone in his own bed. On top of it being safer to him, it will also allow you to have a better quality sleep. Have realistic expectations, help and support, you will soon be appreciative of the few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

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i. https://raisingchildren.net.au/guides/first-1000-days/looking-after-your...
ii. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/children-and-sleep
iii. https://www.acog.org/patients/faqs/exercise-after-pregnancy?ismobileset=...
iv. https://www.handinhandparenting.org/article/moving-your-child-to-his-own...