9 Ways To Get More Rest In The Fourth Trimester

Having a baby can be amazing, and amazingly difficult. One of the most common questions we hear from the new parents we meet is how to get more sleep, or at the very least, more rest. We talk about this a lot in our Fourth Trimester Course, because looking after yourself is so important – especially when you have a newborn baby.

We asked our online community how they carved out more time to rest when their babies were born – we hope this list gives you some inspiration!

Rest when you can

“Don’t try to plan your day – just rest or sleep whenever / wherever the opportunity arises.” – Lucy

“Rest! all the time! as La Leche League say – never stand when you could sit, never sit when you could lie, and never lie when you could sleep.” – Lyzzi

Keep expectations realistic

“Redefine ‘rest’.” – Alex

“I found this time that realigning my expectations has vastly improved my mood.” – Vicky

“Relax and go with the flow. Don’t plan the day or have any expectations- just see where you end up, and if you’re showered/dressed by tea time – awesome, if you’re wearing the same pyjamas that you’ve been wearing for 3 days – so what!?” – Nikki

Huddle down…

“Ban visitors completely for a while and just be a new family for a week or so. Longer if they are energy drains. For us, it was so important both times that we had time to enjoy our new babies before family started traipsing through. If you feel the same don’t feel you can’t say ‘no visitors please until x date’.” – Alex

…Or throw open the doors

“People talk about banning/minimising visitors but actually I love that side of things but I would go to them. It meant a) the house didn’t need to be tidy b) people wait on you much more in their house c) I could get up and leave when I/baby had had enough! Oh and d) being around people relaxed me!” – Nichola

Invite ignorance

“Don’t look at the time during night feeds! When I stopped doing this and adding the hours up that I’d been awake for every night, I felt so much better!” – Angela

“Don’t time night feeds either (if breastfeeding) with apps like Feed baby or similar. There’s no pattern (or if there is it will change very soon). So don’t torture yourself, knowing this information is not necessary or helpful!” – Rachel

“If you have a Fitbit (other devices are available) make sure you take it off at night – looking back at the lack of sleep only makes you feel worse!” – Charlotte

Ask for (and accept) help

“Accept your partner can take a turn, even if baby is unsettled. It’s hard to not intervene and think you can settle baby better yourself… But your partner needs to find his/her way and mum needs a break.” – Emily

“Give partner a sling- my other half loved my little boy falling asleep on him from 2weeks old.” – Anne-Marie

“If your baby is unsettled, see if a friend/relative will walk them round the block in a sling/buggy – they’ll probably be happy to have time with the baby, the fresh air will help settle the baby, and you can have 10 minutes quiet time. ” – Nikki

Change your scenery

“Fresh air!” – Karen

“Go for a walk. Fresh air is wonderful.” – Emily

“Definitely getting out of the house every day for me, I don’t know if it is the fresh air or the change of scene but I sleep better and rest better when I’ve been out and about. I walked 8 miles the other day back from the soft play, stopping at parks, cafes and restaurants on the way. It was marvellous.” – Alex

“I always felt better after making it outside, even just for a ten minute walk with baba and loved carrying them in a sling.” – Jackie

Re-evaluate your sleeping arrangements

“Co-sleep or attach cot to your bed. We tied ours to our bed with cable ties and put a rolled up towel in the space. That meant much less getting up at night.” – Ruthie

“A safe bedsharing/cosleeping arrangement.” – Lyzzi

“A family nap has worked.” – Louise

[For info on safe bedsharing, check out the LLL Safe Sleep Seven here]

Talk about how you’re feeling

“Don’t be a martyr – rest when you need to, and admit it when it’s hard. Struggling doesn’t make you a bad parent.” – Nikki

Are you a new parent in need of more coping strategies? Check out our Fourth Trimester Course and Fourth Trimester Groups.