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It’s hard being up with a baby. It might feel like ages since you last had a good night's sleep. It’s natural to feel like your baby sleeps less than everyone else’s. Dealing with lack of sleep is the hardest part for many new parents. Here are some tips from other parents that might help.

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Tips to help you cope

Tip #1: Sleep when they do

Try and sleep whenever your baby does. You might not have been a napper before, but now is a good time to start.

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Tip #2: Take it in turns

If you live with a partner or family member, take it in turns to get up and look after the baby.

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Tip #3: Ask for help

Friends or family could take your wee one for a walk while you try and have a power nap.

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Tip #4: Breastfeed lying down

Why not try feeding in a lying down position during your night feeds so you can get some comfortable rest?

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Tip #5: Try and get outside

Photo of a happy baby in a pram

Getting out of the house in the fresh air and daylight – especially in the morning – is great for supporting your body clock (and your baby's developing one) as well as your mental health.

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Tip #6: Sleeping in the pram

If your baby has fallen asleep in the pram why not go to a park or cafe for a sit down and a rest? Take your headphones so you can listen to something for a little ‘you’ time.

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Tip #7: It’s okay to say you can’t make it

If your baby is asleep during the day and you have plans, don’t worry about cancelling. Don’t put pressure on yourself to get out of the house, people will understand!

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Tip #8: Have an early night

Go to bed earlier than usual and fit some extra sleep in. Your baby’s sleep will improve, but until then get the extra rest when you can.

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Tip #9: Prepare your meals beforehand

Making big pots of food and freezing them saves you time in the evenings when you could be resting instead. Find some mealtime inspiration here.

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Tip #10: Take each day as it comes

Things will get easier, so just get through one day at a time.

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What the professionals say

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“Sleep disruption on top of all the stresses of new parenthood can make everything feel overwhelming. Try not to judge your ability as a parent by how much your baby sleeps, or compare them to other babies. Do what works best for you and your baby.”

More information

A lack of sleep can have a real impact on you, your mood and your wellbeing. If you’re struggling to get rest and you are worried about how you are feeling, give your health visitor a call.

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Sleep problems

If you’re worried about your baby or child’s sleep, remember, you’re not alone – there is support out there, starting with your GP or health visitor. The following organisations can also help:

Cry-sis offer help and support to parents with babies who cry excessively or have sleeping problems. They have a helpline you can call on 08451 228 669.

Sleep Action offer advice and support to parents and carers, or to young people themselves, for any child aged 18 months to 18 years with a sleep problem. Visit the Sleep Action website to find out more and get in touch.

Twins Trust have advice on sleep if you have twins, triplets or more.

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