One of the things that you as a new parent are going to have to get use to is less sleep at night, this is just a natural thing when you have a new baby in your house, as you are going to find out your new baby will need your attention constantly whether its day or night. This demand will be constant during the day and up to five times during the night. It can be very tiring and very challenging to all in the family.

We take a look at some ways to cope with the nightly demands of a newborn baby.

Having you baby sleep with you is one way of making your baby sleep for longer period of time, not all will subscribe to doing this. Having your baby in bed with you instead of in their baby cot bed will soothe and comfort your baby ensuring that you get a longer sleep than normal.

Taking turns with your spouse to look after baby during the night is another way of reducing the workload on just one person, this way both of you are sharing the feeding burden, which in a small baby can be significant. In preparation for this you may well need to pump some milk if you are breast feeding. This may not work if your spouse is working during the week and starting work early but could be a viable option for mum to rest at the weekend. Or you could try one night on and one night off with your spouse to reduce the your workload during the day and night.

Another method to reduce the fatigue during the night is to take regular naps during the day, try to take a nap when your baby is sleeping. This can be difficult as you may not feel tired when baby does but napping during the day will surely help with night time fatigue.

Sleep training is another way to improve. This method is not practical on newborn babies as they need feeding every two to four hours during the night. Babies prefer to sleep during the day mainly with a bit of sleep during the night. To stop this try keeping your house very busy during the day with lots of sounds and keep the curtains open and the rooms bright. When you feed your baby during the daytime make sure that you then play for a while until she looks as though she is tired, at that point put your baby down to sleep, but preferably in a room with normal levels of noise. When putting your baby to sleep at night time make sure that the room is as dark as possible, during the summer months put up blackout curtains to maintain the level of darkness in the room. The interaction with your baby at this point should be minimal, and only wake your baby if they need feeding. The idea behind this regime is to get the baby use to playing during the day and sleeping during the night.

If this fails then the last resort would be to try feeding your baby at night as quickly as possible and then place her in bed as soon as the feed is over. Snuggling and feeding the baby then placing her back in the cot will help her learn to fall asleep on her own and for longer periods of time.

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