If you are new to this whole “daddy” game or just about to enter the fray, be warned; sleep is optional. Your new baby has absolutely no logic of time and, therefore, if junior isn’t happy, nobody’s happy.
Your new baby has needs and these needs are going to happen and literally all hours and any and all times of the day or night.
If you have never been through the beginning stages of an infant, you have no idea what you’re in for!
It can be trying, hard, and exhausting, but most of all…
it’s worth it.
But no matter how “worth it” it is, you still need sleep.
So, what should you do to alleviate the lack of sleep in the house? You may be surprised that it’s not nearly as hard as you think.
For moms, combating sleep is a task and that doesn’t mean dad isn’t involved.
Things have definitely changed and I’m sure there are dads out there that have to go through the day playing mom due to the society we live in.
First of all, you’re going to have to share feeding duties. You can not expect your wife to have all of the fun waking up at 2am after having only gone to bed 20 minutes before, can you?
If your wife is breastfeeding, it takes tons of energy out of her. Waking up with her to make sure she doesn’t accidentally fall asleep and drop the baby is highly suggested. Especially in the first 4 weeks of bringing baby home.
The more you share responsibility, the easier it will be for both of you to set a routine and get more things done (including sleep).
Next, make and keep a schedule! This holds true to keeping baby on schedule and it sure does wonders for my business.
It’s easy enough to just go with the flow, especially at first. But, at the end of the day, winging it only causes more chaos the longer you allow it.
If your body knows you are going to wake up at 2am, 3a.m and 6am, every day, sooner or later it will actually become accustomed to it. Once that happens, it will become easier to fall back to sleep.
Remember to breath! Relaxing just before pre-planned bedtime can do wonders to the mind and soul. Personally, I enjoy a beer but my other half prefers some wine.
Another helpful bit of advice is to eat just a bit more healthy. Get plenty of fresh foods, fruits and veggies, and lay off the convenient burger and fries!
I know, it is not the easiest thing to do, but at least try. Not to mention the price for fruits and vegetables these days. Sometimes we just can’t blame ya, but if there’s a will, there’s a way.
And dads, if you do decide to drink that beer at night, be sure to have a glass of water after. This will help keep your body hydrated, thus easier to fall asleep and wake-up when needed.
If you know you’re going to get carried away and beer turns into “beers”, then you might want to skip the whole beer thing.
The Nap: Taking a nap is a magical thing, so don’t be afraid to do it.
If you’re home with baby and he/she’s sleeping, ignore those dishes and take a 30 minute power nap.
Power naps are the best. Remember now, there is a difference between napping and actually sleeping, so don’t get them mixed up.
For me, if I “napped” for over an hour this will mean nothing but more headaches for me. There is a very fine line with my naps and if I go past 30 minutes, I will wake up feeling worse.
In the beginning phase of your child’s life, you can expect a whole bunch of napping and a lot less beauty rest. Once baby is on their own schedule, you can get back to putting them cucumbers on your eyes.
Dad, this advice is not just for you. It’s for mommy, too. Make sure she naps when baby naps. Those dishes will still be there later.
A big mistake my other half does is not taking advantage of when baby falls asleep. Rather than catching up on some sleep, you’ll find her on Instagram.
Do you think this is going to leave all the duties for me?
So if you think looking at photos of what your BFF ate for lunch is worth it, then by all means, stay on Instagram all night.
Once you hear that crying alarm go off, don’t think that dad is going to pick up your slack or vise versa. Get rest when you can as it is now about baby.
Create a routine and you will be in sync with baby. In a couple of months, baby will be on a regular sleep pattern and this time, both of you can get that well deserved rest.
For some of you, this whole parenting thing is a breeze, but that’s not the case for most. Follow these tips and you should be good to go.
And, if all else fails, feel free to call in the experts:
That’s right…the grandparents.
Whether it be yours or hers, there is no way Nana and Paw-Paw wouldn’t miss a chance to spend a night with the little one if given the chance.
Grandparents, by sheer definition love to be “grand” in baby’s eyes so asking for a little help from them is not only going to give you and the misses a little break, but will likely be a treat for them as well.
These days, the grandparent role is not as strong as it used to be, so consider yourself lucky if you have this option.
Most grandparents can’t even enjoy retirement with how things are as they find themselves out looking for more work, just to make ends meet.
So put that into consideration before you call in the “G” team as each household is different.
So, there you have it! Just a few of my little suggestions to get a bit of rest while caring for a newborn. I know you have jobs to factor in, as well, but helping mom with baby as much as you can will help keep the home from turning upside down.