Finding the right routine for you and your partner to manage night wakings with a newborn can make a huge difference in your postpartum experience. Here are some tips to help your craft the perfect postpartum sleep schedule.
1. Postpartum Sleep for Exclusive Breastfeeding
If you are exclusively breastfeeding, utilize support for burping, getting the baby latched, or if managing night wakings alone. Don’t hesitate to give additional responsibility to the partner not breastfeeding (breakfast, bath time, morning prep).
2. Light Sleepers with the Baby in the Room
Don’t hesitate to explore a routine that gives the light sleeper a chunk of sleep at night away from baby. This may look like a postpartum sleep schedule where one partner gets up baby up early or brings baby to bed late to give the light sleep some restorative sleep alone in the bedroom.
3. Customize the Sleep Schedule for Out of the Home Working Parents
Always lead with honest communication about big projects and give space in the schedule to accommodate any additional sleep one partner may need during the week. If this partner isn’t doing night wakings, add additional home responsibilities for the stay at home parent to rest during the day.
4. Recovery Nights in a Postpartum Sleep Schedule
Play with the idea of having one weekend night where each parent does all of the night waking. This will give a full night of restorative sleep to the partner. Using guest rooms is great for this. Then the following night, the partners switch. This can be done in more minimal terms by having each partner take turns to “sleep late” while the other partner gets up with baby.
5. Working for the Weekend
Shifting the routine on the weekends to make space for things like date nights, time for connection with friends. Making sure both partners feel like they have something to look forward to on the weekend. This can include a restorative sleep night or even a morning to sleep in. Shifting the schedule for the weekend can help break up the postpartum “fog”.
6. Postpartum Sleep Schedules can build off of what you already do.
If one partner is naturally a night owl, have them take more responsibility at that time. Breaking up the night into “shifts” that align with the natural sleep habits of the care giver. Try to build off of the natural sleep routine as much as possible.
Remember to reevaluate your sleep schedule throughout your child’s constant growth and development. Addressing things like sleep anxiety and nighttime routines postpartum can make a huge difference in your quality of sleep.