The importance of sleep
Sleep, of course, rapidly becomes the Holy Grail for new parents. Newborn babies do a lot of it – up to 18 hours a day at first – but their parents don’t.
Make the most of any chance to rest (napping when your baby does if possible). Go to bed early if you will be up for the night feeds, leaving your partner to give a late evening feed while you sleep.
By around three months, you might find a bedtime routine – bath, story, cuddle, for instance – helps encourage good night-time habits. Make sure your baby has a safe place to sleep (in your room is recommended for the first six months), that it is not too hot or cold (around 18°C is the ideal room temperature) and that you always place him or her on their back to sleep.
As the months pass your baby will sleep more. And so will you! And remember that should your baby fall into a pattern of poor sleep, it needn’t last. “I remind parents you can break a bad habit in three days,” says Amy Ransom. “If one day is hard, it doesn’t mean they all will be.”
Some days seem tough, but they will pass. Babies cry. Hunger, tiredness, a dirty nappy, wind, being too hot or cold are some of the reasons, but sometimes you might not know why. It doesn’t mean you aren’t doing it right.
“You need to value yourself and not take it all too seriously, as well as give plenty of love,” says Amy. “That is what makes a good parent.”
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