After much anticipation, your bundle of joy has arrived. And as you scroll through congratulatory messages pouring in, you’re probably pouring yourself endless cups of coffee at 3am to fend off the delirium that is the telling sign of freshly-minted parenthood. Whoever invented the term sleep like a baby had it wildly wrong – although they sleep for an average of 14 hours a day, an infant’s sleep cycle only lasts 1 -2 hours. And leaky and wet diapers can shorten even that leaving your baby uncomfortable and cranky. Which means, you’re up every two hours or so at night rocking, cooing, feeding and changing diapers (and probably praying) so your little one slips into sweet slumber and you’re not dead-eyed at that work meeting.
When you were expecting, you definitely didn’t know to expect the crushing exhaustion of sleep deprivation from bidding adieu to the recommended 7 hours of sleep for adults. Or having to do laundry at 4am to clean onesies soiled by ill-fitting, unreliable diapers.
While veteran parents might joke about wearing your weariness as a badge of honour, experts suggest the exact opposite and recommend rectifying your baby’s sleep pattern so you’re a well-rested and effective parent who isn’t running on fumes. According to research, by the time a baby celebrates its second birthday, parents lose around 6 months’ worth of sleep. In fact, mothers are at high risk of insomnia and postpartum depression when their babies’ incessant wails punctuate their sound sleep.
Have a go at these tried-and-tested five tricks to put an end to your nightmare.
1. Consistent bedtime routines
Infants are creatures of habit and a bedtime ritual turns certain activities such as a soothing warm bath or a massage into cues for them to settle down for the night. Location matters too; at the first sign of a yawn or drowsiness, place your baby in the crib so they associate it to falling asleep.
2. Adjusting nap times
It’s very tempting to let a sleeping baby lie and not wake them up during the day, so you can catch some shut-eye too. But you’re only setting yourself up for failure, warn experts. Too many long naps during the day can hinder the amount of sleep both you and you baby clock in at night. So, limit their daytime naps to two or three hours in the day. Do this by waking and feeding them before trying to keep them awake for a short period.
3. Great nappies equal longer naps
Strategic diaper changes are key to both you and your baby sleeping better. When you’re up in the middle of the night to feed them, change their diaper first, so the feeding will see them drift right back to sleep. Investing in absorbent quality diapers, such as the award-wining Pampers Night, ensures the discomfort of wet bottoms isn’t what robs your baby of sleep.
The first diaper designed for night-time wetness protection and uninterrupted sleep, its special Away Liner and Air-Dry Channels incorporate a super-absorbent German technology that pulls away wetness and mess from their sensitive skin and prevents any pesky leaks so your baby sleeps soundly throughout the night.
“I have been using the new Pampers Night for more than a month and love it,” says Saba Shoeib, a lifestyle blogger, influencer and mother of boys. “It surely has made a huge difference in our sleeping pattern for my boy. He sleeps much longer.”
4. Sound of silence
While newborns sleep for around 16 hours a day, much of it is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep — that light stage of sleep where they dream and are sensitive to being woken up by the slightest of sounds, even an inopportune sneeze. Instead of talking in whispers after 6pm and tiptoeing around the house, use a white noise machine in the nursery to drown out disturbing ambient sounds. Combined with drawn curtains and dim lighting, it mimics the lulling environment of the womb - and promotes sound sleep.
5. It’s a wrap
Swaddling your little one into a tight little blanket burrito isn’t only great for viral TikTok videos but actually serves a greater purpose. It replicates the safety, warmth and cosiness of a mother’s womb and in turn helps infants sleep longer and better at nights. A snug swaddle also helps babies from startling themselves awake.
For more information on Pampers' products, visit Pampers.ae