A new addition to the family is obviously quite a blessing. A baby is the start of a new life, a continuation of the family tree, and a person who you will teach to be a kind and caring individual. But your little bundle of joy is also going to be the cause of many sleepless nights - quite literally - for the first part of his or her life.
Babies don’t immediately begin sleeping through the night and, since they can’t fend for themselves, they’ll cry for help. Because new parents are on alert at all times, they can easily fall victim to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is a serious matter that can lead to decreased performance and alertness, accidents, stress, and a variety of medical complications. Being alert is crucial in parenting a newborn. Children can affect sleep cycles by not having their own set schedule, waking up in the middle of the night for various needs, or going to sleep late and waking up early (before you are awake yourself).
While some parenting-related sleep deprivation is unavoidable, there are ways to help combat it. Sharing nighttime duties between parents, taking naps while the children do, getting a sitter, and establishing nighttime routines, are all ways to help make sleep easier and provide opportunities for parents to catch a few Zzz’s during the day. It takes some period of adjustment, but getting into regular habits can help increase the amount of quality rest for everyone involved.
The Better Sleep Council refers to sleep deprivation as Zombieitis because it truly can make you feel, act, and look like a zombie! Have you ever helped a zombie parent find a new mattress?
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