When children are young, they will not sleep all the way through the night. Some babies are better than others. Some will sleep through in about six weeks but others will continue to wake in the night even once they start school. It is a good idea to make sure that you are prepared for this and there are some things that you can try to help.
Going to bed early can be a big help. If you go to bed early and put baby down early, then you will be able to get some sleep in before they wake for their late evening feed. This will really help you to be able to cope through the night with being woken up multiple times. It is worth calculating how many hours of sleep you are getting and that will help you to decide what time you will need to go to sleep in the evening so that you can still get a decent amount. It is often recommended that we get 7-8 hours of sleep a night but with a baby waking every few hours for at least an hour that is unrealistic at this point, but if you can aim for six hours then you will be doing pretty well.
It might be useful to get some naps in the day when you can. Although we are often told to sleep when baby is asleep, that is often unrealistic as there are jobs to be done then and there may be more than one child in the house to look after. However, if you have a partner living with you, then it might be possible for you to take turns in napping so that you can both get a chance to catch up on your sleep. You might even be able to invite a friend or family member round so that they can look after the child while you take a nap.
You will find that your energy levels are low if you are not sleeping well. However, it is important to resist the urge to have lots of caffeine and sugar to counteract this as this will just lead to a quick peak in energy and then a huge slump. It is better to east foods that release energy slowly such as proteins and wholegrains so that you will have more consistent energy through the day. Also try to make sure that you are getting all of your key nutrients and eating regular healthy meals.
Having exposure to morning light is supposed to help our bodies realise it is morning and set up our circadian rhythms. It is supposed to help us to be able to know when it is the right time to sleep and to have a better sleep when we do fall asleep. It is worth having a go to see whether this will work, even if you just put your head out of the window when it gets light. It could be better to go outside though and even have a walk as that will help wake you up and give you more energy as well because light exercise can rejuvenate you, although if you overdo it, you will feel tired.
When you are woken up in the night by a crying baby, you may find that you are too tired to think straight. You may wonder what could be wrong with them and perhaps try a few things but not everything as you are not alert enough. It can therefore be useful to have a checklist so that you do check everything. Make sure you include, changing nappy, checking clothes are dry, feeding, winding as even these obvious things can be overlooked in the middle of the night.
There are people that you can employ to look after your baby at night so you can get some valuable sleep. This is an expensive option, but could be favourable if you really need your sleep and can afford it. If you cannot, then there might be some cheaper alternatives. It might be possible for relatives or friend to have the child for the odd night so that you can have a good sleep. Just having one really good sleep can make a really big difference. You will have to be sure whether you employ someone or ask someone you know, that you fully trust them as you may not sleep well if you end up worrying about whether the child is being well looked after.