This Post is sponsored by the Better Sleep Council. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
When I was pregnant with my first child people would always tell me “Get all the sleep you can now, before that baby comes!” It was the big piece of advice parents would share with us, and being new to the game, we really didn’t understand what that meant yet.
Oh, those were the days! You quickly learn how valuable sleep is and just how much you take it for granted. With a five year gap between our first child and our new baby, we had almost forgotten just how hard those first few weeks with a newborn are.
Now that we’ve survived the settling in phase, we’ve almost got our sleep routine sorted out as well. Better sleep benefits everyone. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s just as important for me to get enough rest as it is for my little ones. A tired and cranky mama might not be quite as loud as an exhausted baby, but just as grumpy!
May is Better Sleep Month, the perfect time to think about sleep habits and how you can get more sleep. I’m sharing a few tips that have helped us transition from tired parents to waking up happier and feeling more refreshed. You can check out the Better Sleep Council for more great ideas on how to “sleep like a kid” and get the sleep your body needs.
A few things that have helped us get into a better sleep routine, even with a baby:
Eat Dinner Before Dark
Eating an earlier dinner means you’ll have plenty of time to properly digest and avoid food issues that could keep you awake at night. Try to avoid late night snacking, caffeine and alcohol in the evening.
Dim the Lights
We installed dimmers in each room so that when evening time rolls around we can turn the lights down. We’ve even set it up with our smart home system so that it happens automatically at the same time every night. It’s a great signal to our five year old that bedtime is near. Once the lights lower we all shift into a quieter mode.
Time to Unwind
Settling down after a busy day is different for everyone. For us it’s bath time and books. A warm bath always helps calm the kids down and get them ready to drift off to dreamland. We cuddle up and read a couple of stories and my five year old is fast asleep after that. Afterwards I rock the baby, finish his final feeding and softly settle him into his crib for the night.
Turn off Electronics
I know, I know! It’s so tempting to just hop on social media and just scroll through once the kids are asleep. Or turn on the tv and catch up on your favorite shows. We avoid watching tv in our bedroom at night and we make a point to turn off our electronics and unplug a couple of hours before bedtime. Lighting from electronics stimulates your brain and keeps you from shifting into sleep mode. Try to banish using your phone, tablets, and TV from the bedroom.
Stick to the Same Bedtime
Sometimes it’s hard to stick to our routine. Whether it’s my son’s sports games, travel or just a late night we occasionally break from our regular schedule. Unfortunately, you can easily tell when we’re off our routine. Everyone is a little more irritable and a little less friendly. So we make a big effort to try and stick to the same bedtime as much as possible. Our bodies know when it’s time to rest. Getting at least eight hours of sleep isn’t always possible but we make it the goal for most nights. Don’t be tempted to stray from your bedtime. Make sleep a priority and you’ll feel better all around.
The best piece of advice I could give any new mom is to try and nap! You won’t always be able to get a solid sleep in. Late night feedings, changes in baby sleep patterns, nightmares and sick kids are a part of life. They are going to steal sleep from you. Try to find a little piece of the day when you can rest and rejuvenate, even if it’s just a quick twenty minutes. Ask for help from your partner, family and friends so you can have a few moments. Let the laundry go or give up something less important so you can find time to catch a few more winks. Better sleep will make you a better mama!
Have you found this to be true, too?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Better Sleep Council.