Whether you’re a new parent or veteran, the struggle for a good night’s sleep starts early – and sticks around forever
Sleep might be the first and biggest challenge new parents face. And just when they think they have things figured out, their kids decide the current program is no longer acceptable. From sleeping through the night to night terrors to ensuring your kids are sleeping enough for their age, getting a good night’s sleep is a never-ending struggle for parents.
If you’re struggling with healthy family sleep routines, we’ve found some news sources to help you and your family find a path to better sleep. After all, healthy sleep habits start early in life and can ensure your kids grow into happy, successful adults.
If you make your way to the end of the post, we’ve found a sleep research study that offers to pay participants to sleep. Sounds like a dream job, right?
Parents & sleep – the struggle is real… and long
Every new parent knows that their sleep suffers when they have children, and there’s evidence that it may not get better for a while. The struggle seems to be the worst for first-time mothers, who sleep an average of an hour less in the first three months after giving birth compared to before they were pregnant. The take home message?
- Sleeping through the night for an infant (defined as 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep) isn’t a regular occurrence – even at 6 months of age.
- Sleep is variable in children (and in adults), and sleeping through the night in infants should be thought of as more of a process than a milestone.
- Parental sleep in the first year of an infant’s life is a challenge and it doesn’t improve for many years. Read more: com
11 reasons your baby won’t sleep and how to cope
Sleep. No one in your home is likely getting much of it, especially during the first few months. And even once your little one is sleeping through the night, baby sleep problems can still crop up from time to time. Dealing with nighttime disruptions is simply part of being a parent.
Most issues related to a baby not sleeping are caused by temporary things like illness, teething, developmental milestones or changes in routine — so the occasional sleep snafu likely isn’t anything to worry about. Still, persistent sleep problems that make it hard for your baby (and you!) to get the rest you both need could be a sign of a bigger issue. Read more: whattoexpect.com
What parents need to know about baby sleep music
First-time parents desperate for their baby to sleep through the night might turn to baby sleep music to aid in the process. Dr. Mona Amin, a pediatrician, mother and founder of PedsDocTalk, a podcast and social media platform that helps moms and dads navigate caregiving decisions, said sleep music for babies is typically described as “white noise” for a reason. “Meant to mimic the womb, it can be beneficial for many babies for sleep in the first three months of life. Because it mimics the sound of amniotic fluid in the womb, it can be a comforting thing to soothe babies.” Read more: today.com
Is the Western way of raising kids weird?
Sleeping apart from our babies is a relatively recent development – and not one that extends around the globe. In other cultures sharing a room, and sometimes a bed, with your baby is the norm. This isn’t the only aspect of new parenthood that Westerners do differently. From napping on a schedule and sleep training to pushing our children around in strollers, what we might think of as standard parenting practices are often anything but.
The key to thinking outside the Western box might be to remember that babies are not out to manipulate us, no matter how tempting it might be to see it that way at 3am. “What we really need with babies is to stop thinking about them as hard-to-please bosses,” says Debmita Dutta, a doctor and parenting consultant in Bangalore, India. “They’re helpless little beings that have come into this world, and we must look at them with empathy and compassion.” Read more: bbc.com
Sleep research – how to get paid to sleep
This could literally be a dream job — making money by sleeping, including a night in a five-star resort. “The chosen candidate will spend five nights sleeping in different environments set up by our team including one night in a luxury 5-star resort,” the posting says. The candidate will be required to write a report about their sleep experience each night, and about how each of the specific sleep environments affected their sleep quality. All entries much be submitted by March 31. Read more: cnn.com
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- Expert sleep advice for the whole family
- The joy and benefits of reading before bed
- Does your child have an undiagnosed sleep disorder?