Bringing your new arrival home is a time of beauty and wonder. It’s a shame that work and other commitments get in the way, as you’ll find that all you want to do is spend hours and hours playing with this cute little human you helped to create.
Maybe not at 3:30 in the morning though.
At night, your baby will still be up for hanging with you, but you’ll need at least some sleep to prevent you falling asleep at your desk the next day. When my first child had just been born, I remember having to pull over on the freeway as I found myself falling asleep while driving home from work. Winding the windows down and blasting out the Best of James Brown perked me up enough to get me home that day, but things could have easily ended very differently. Sleep deprivation can be no joke, so be sure to arm yourself with some of these survival tips until you get to the utopia of the ‘sleeping through the night’ stage.
Take it in Shifts
While it’s not always possible, you should ideally try to take it in shifts with your partner to comfort your little one during the night. This can be tricky if the mother is breastfeeding, but if your baby is bottle fed, or on a mixture of the two, then your help here will be invaluable. As the old adage goes, a problem shared is a problem halved.
Even if you’re taking it in shifts and it’s your night off, you may well find that your baby’s cries wake you up anyway. For such cute little things, they sure can be NOISY! If your partner doesn’t manage to ease the crying straight away, then you can often find yourself unable to get back to sleep.
That’s where the humble ear plugs will help you out. By deadening the sound entering your ears, you stand a much better chance of a full night’s sleep. Noise-cancelling headphones are another option, but unless you just lay on your back, you’re unlikely to find them comfortable enough to sleep in.
Caffeine is Your Friend Here
You’re going to need a lot of coffee, my friend. Regardless of how well you manage it, your sleep’s still bound to take a hit at some point. When that happens, you’ll need to find ways to get you through the day. Coffee is the obvious choice, but it’s not always possible to be carrying a hot drink around. In these instances, reach for caffeinated mints.
Which saintly person came up with the idea for caffeinated mints? They’re an absolute lifesaver. I would say that they must have been invented by a new parent, but let’s be real here: no sleep-deprived parent is coming up with great ideas like that anytime soon.
Some babies find a little white noise comforting at bedtime. Think about it, do you think it was completely quiet inside that tummy for 9 months? Rushing blood, sloshing fluids, and the dull sounds of the outside world were the norm not so long ago for them. A white noise machine will just play a gentle static-like sound that may well help you to sleep too.
Of course, the temptation here is just to find an 8-hour-long YouTube video that does the same thing, but unless you want an advert for car insurance to wake you all up at 2am, then you’re best to opt for the real deal.
It may seem at times that there’s no end in sight, but I promise that your little one will eventually sleep through! If you’re a new dad struggling for some sleep (or you just feel sorry for one!), you should check out our New Dad Survival Kits that include caffeinated mints, ear plugs, and a whole wealth of other essential items to help get you through the tricky months ahead. Good luck!
Robbie Meechan is a parenting and lifestyle blogger at paternaldamnation.com. We're excited to have him as a guest blogger here at DadGifts!