How can a new mom get more sleep?

Congratulations on your new baby! You're thrilled to be able to finally see her after all those months of waiting, but waking up a couple times in the middle of the night can hamper your ability to care for her (and yourself) as much as you'd like. Here are some tips for getting more sleep to help you return to yourself faster.

You've probably heard people say, "Sleep when your baby sleeps." This means taking naps during the daytime, even if you haven't napped since you were a preschooler. When the baby nods off – finally -- unplug the phone and put a note on the door announcing "please do not disturb."


Ask your husband if he would consider taking over one of the night feedings. If he doesn't fancy getting up at 2:00 am, maybe he'd want to take the 11:00 pm feeding while you go to bed early. If you're nursing, you can pump milk in advance, or let the baby take a bottle of formula for that feeding; just show your husband how to warm it to the right temperature first. Maybe your husband wouldn't mind taking off a day from work if his employer offers paternity leave. The trick is to let your husband take care of the baby most of the time that day; don't keep jumping in to take over! He'll be able to bond with the baby and develop his child care technique, and you’ll get some much-needed rest.

Finally, to make sure that the sleep you get is quality sleep, stay away from caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods and nicotine. Make sure your bedroom is comfortable (not too hot or cold) and that you've got as many pillows as you need to coddle your body. You deserve it, Mom!