The Mumsnet Guide To Sleep: Tips For New Parents
6 min read
Last Modified 3 March 2021 First Added 9 May 2018
Having a baby is one of the biggest changes you’ll ever experience in life. Now that you’re responsible for a little one, you may struggle to rest easy at night. But between night feeds and early starts, there are ways you can ensure the little sleep you’re getting is truly restful.
Dreams have teamed up with Mumsnet to find out what problems new parents face when it comes to catching zzz’s.
Whether you struggle to drift oﬀ or ﬁnd yourself waking up throughout the night, there’s nothing as frustrating as being unable to sleep. Mumsnet users shared their best tips and advice to ensure you sleep easy.
For some parents, it was all about the pre-bedtime routine. One user said:
‘I have a bath before bed using lavender bubble bath or a bath bomb. I’ll also use lavender fabric conditioner and a deep sleep pillow spray which help me to relax me too.’
While another user advised:
‘Two things really help me drift off: a cup of herbal tea or warm milk before bedtime, and my hot water bottle.’
And this user finds focusing on relaxation helps them drift off:
‘I ﬁnd controlled deep breathing helps me drop off a lot easier. 4-8-7 breathing works best for me – breathe in for four, hold for eight and breathe out for seven.’
For others, the advice was more directed towards having a comfortable sleep environment to optimise their chances of a really good sleep. Users suggested blackout blinds, a cool bedroom and bringing a pair of fluffy socks to bed in case of cold feet. One savvy parent said:
‘My personal top tip is a super king duvet on a double bed – no more ﬁghting over who has more quilt – there’s plenty for everyone.’
And, finally, it’s always important to remember to establish a sleep schedule where possible, as this contributor knows:
‘Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends – this goes for everybody in the family – old and young.’
While it may seem impossible at first, your child should naturally fall into a sleep pattern that suits their feeding times, providing they are healthy and have no illnesses that may be waking them up.
Kathryn Pinkham, Dreams’ resident sleep expert, and founder of The Insomnia Clinic shared some extra tips to help new parents get their precious eight-hours.
This is a good way to top up on sleep if you are not getting enough at night. However, it is important to limit how much you nap during the day as this will impact upon your ability to fall asleep at night. Try not to sleep after 3pm in the afternoon and where possible, limit your naps to around 20 minutes.
If you are feeling tired and worn out it is easy to focus on sleep as being the cure. However, having a new baby is mentally challenging and often increases our stress levels. Don’t underestimate the power of resting. Take some time to simply sit and breathe.
This won’t last forever. Your baby will begin to sleep well in the future and you will get back to going to bed at a normal time. If you are feeling stressed, take time to write down your concerns or share them with someone else as you are less likely to ruminate in bed if you are taking steps to manage your worries.
For more Mumsnet approved tips and advice on pregnancy sleep, take a look at the Parents Guide To Sleep.
One thing that could be holding back your sleep quality is your mattress. Dreams have collaborated with Mumsnet to create a mattress designed by parents, for parents. After six months of surveys, focus groups and idea sessions, they have managed to produce not one but two different mattresses. These have been made with parents in mind every step of the way, aiming to solve the problems they face and give them the great sleep they deserve.
Understanding that a lot of parents suffer from back and joint pain from carrying little ones around throughout the day, a medium firm mattress became an ideal choice. With 2000 individual pocket springs, the Mumsnet Spirit mattress fits the natural curves of the body. This provides pressure relief, ultimate support and comfort.
One of the most common suggestions that parents gave was using natural materials. The mattress is made using naturally derived latex rather than any sort of memory foam. Latex is dust mite resistant and hypo-allergenic, meaning it’s perfect for children or parents who suffer from allergies. Latex also reduces heat build-up, so it’s great for pregnant women or those who are co-sleeping and provides extra comfort.
Of course, one of the biggest priorities was cleanliness. Both Mumsnet mattresses have been treated with an environmentally friendly component which protects against bacteria and dust mites. This should ensure a healthy sleep environment for years to come.
Shop the mattress here.
This is a firm mattress, providing just as much support as the Spirit mattress but with a firmer feel. Just like the Spirit mattress, it also has 2000 individual pocket springs and a natural latex layer, so you’ll feel all the same support and health benefits from these.
However, the Mumsnet Kindred mattress also has a variety of different natural materials that make up the mattress interior.
There are more anti-bacterial fabrics such as wool (which is also fire retardant!), alpaca and bamboo. In addition, the mattress is made with a number of fabrics that wick away moisture from the body. Cotton, bamboo and Tencel all draw moisture away from you but don’t hold on to it. This means that even if you sweat a lot during the night, your mattress will remain clean and dry. Therefore, your sleep space will stay cleaner for longer.
The climate control elements of this mattress, along with the extreme comfort that these materials provide will ensure a cool sleep on summer nights and a cosy sleep on winter nights.
Shop the mattress here.
Here’s what happened when a group of Mummy bloggers played ‘Never have I ever’ all revolving around sleep! See whether you answer the same as them.
Visit our Children & Parents section for more tips on sleeping when you have kids!