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Sleeping With a New Baby in the House

Our health and wellbeing is dependent on eating and drinking healthily and having a good night's sleep. A new baby should be a joy, but let's face it, sleepless nights and a crying baby can have a profound effect on the best of us.

Sharing the responsibility with your partner can make those first few months bearable. There are various ways you can overcome the problems of anxiety, depression and sleep deprivation, and remember it doesn't last forever, although it may seem to be the case at the time.

If mum is breastfeeding this doesn't mean that dad can't take over some of the feeding times. By expressing mother's milk and storing it in the refrigerator, it's always available for dad to use giving mum a breather.

Try to work your own sleeping around baby's feeding times. For instance if mum is doing the early morning feed say around 4.00 a.m. then dad could take the midnight feed allowing mum to get to bed earlier. There are always ways around this system and it can of course be varied. The most important thing is to try to make sure that both mum and dad get sufficient rest so they can enjoy their baby.

Try to get into a regular routine, and if possible grab a few moments of rest whilst baby is asleep. For the first few months everything will be topsy turvy so just accept it and give yourself and your baby the attention that's required.

It's absolutely essential you try to eat properly during this time, as your health is of prime importance. If you are unwell and irritable it will have an adverse effect upon baby.

Helping each other and acquiring help from others where possible will make those first few months easier.

Always call a doctor or go to the surgery if you feel that there is something wrong. Babies cry if they are uncomfortable or hungry, but they also cry when they are unwell, and as a parent you are far more able to distinguish between a normal cry and an unusual one.

Be aware of signs such as:

  • Refusing to feed
  • Diarrhoea
  • Yellow looking skin
  • Coughing
  • Rashes
  • Unusual drowsiness
  • Turning blue
  • Head swaying
  • Bruising
  • Feeling too hot

This doesn't mean you should panic every time baby has a slight cold. The problem is, sleep deprivation can cause a parent to imagine all sorts of illnesses when in fact there are none.

Both mum and dad need their rest, and working out a routine that will fit in with each other gives you both time to relax and enjoy each other and your newborn. It's not an impossible task but it is an essential one.

There is often a period during the day, or night, when baby is particularly restless. A regular routine will eventually help to overcome this problem and bring normality back to the home.

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