Did you know that the average British parent loses a whopping 780 hours of sleep in the first year of their baby’s life? And that the average new mama gets just four hours of sleep a night?
Those are among the findings of new research by Tommee Tippee into the sleep habits (or lack of them!) of new mums and dads – and as a new mum myself I can’t say I’m surprised!
At the time of writing it’s been six weeks since we welcomed the arrival of baby number four, and because I’m exclusively breastfeeding that means it’s been six weeks since I last slept through the night. Resulting in one tired mama!
So, in a bid to come to the rescue of exhausted parents like me, Tommee Tippee has teamed up with sleep expert Dr Katharina Lederle, who worked with Tommee Tippee on the research and has 5 top tips for surviving sleep deprivation with a new baby.
They also very kindly sent us a Sleepee basket and stand and an Ollie the Owl Light and Sound Sleep Aid from their growing Sleep range in a bid to help us get the best nights sleep possible with a newborn in the house.
The super stylish Sleepee basket (£79.99 or £99.99 with stand) comes in three colours, is easy to clean and has The Lullaby Trust seal of approval.
As well as the contemporary design (it’s so refreshing to see a different take on the traditional moses basket) I love the fact it comes with handles so you can pick it up and move it about while they’re sleeping, because I still don’t like leaving Violet where I can’t see her.
There are little holes in the side to help maximise airflow and regulate your baby’s temperature, and the stand rocks to help get them off to the land of nod.
As you can see this one is super comfy and peaceful in hers!
The Sleep Aid (£39.99) plays soothing sounds, gentle lullabies and has dimmable lights and is a clever bit of kit featuring Cry Sensor technology which automatically responds to help settle your baby if they stir. If they do, it plays soothing sounds for 20 minutes to help get them back off to sleep – without you having to get out of bed!
And with a baby who wakes every two to three hours during the night I need all the help I can get!
If you do too, as well as making sure they have everything they need for a peaceful nights sleep, here’s Dr Katharina’s advice for surviving sleep deprivation with a newborn.
5 top tips for surviving sleep deprivation with a new baby
1. Try & have regular sleeping times during the week & weekend
“In having young children, you’re very likely to have the same waking times, so it’s important to watch your bedtimes,” says Katharina. “There will, of course, be many times when your child wakes during the night, needing you and disrupting your sleep. This is all part of parenthood!”
2. Get regular light exposure & lots of light in the morning
“Daylight helps reset your body clock and boosts your alertness,” Katharina says. “In the evening, dim the lights and set a cut-off time for looking at your LED devices. Avoid looking at your phone during the night.”
3. Use stimulants such as caffeinated drinks strategically
“Avoid caffeine after lunch; it can be tempting especially if you already feel tired from your child keeping you up the night before,” advises Katharina. “However, caffeine can affect your sleep the following night, thus creating a vicious cycle.”
4. Create some ‘me’ time
“Being a parent often leaves little time for yourself,” says Katharina. “There’s a lot you have to juggle and fit in, and feelings of being overwhelmed can develop quickly. Alternating childcare can help to create little time pockets for yourself, allowing you to do something relaxing or to have a short nap (unless it’s already the evening!) During the day, when the baby sleeps, can you take a moment to yourself – no matter how short – and do something self-caring? It could be as simple as savouring a sip of water or taking a few slow breaths.”
5. Acknowledge there is a baby in your life!
“And with its arrival there will be a lot of change,” says Katharina. “Disrupted sleep as a parent is unpleasant but normal. Allow yourself to be tired; the more you can embrace it as part of being a parent, instead of being annoyed about your ‘slowness’ and ‘forgetfulness’, the more valuable energy you’ll save. This energy is better dedicated to the things that matter. Always seek out help if you’re struggling – turn to your paediatrician, midwife, family, friends, sleep specialist and employer for support.”
Have you welcomed a new baby recently and do you have any top tips on the sleep front? I’d love to know what they are!
We were gifted the Tommee Tippee Sleepee basket & stand and sleep aid featured in this post.