(MayoClinic.com) It's 2 a.m. and your newborn is crying. Will you ever get a good night's sleep again?
Although life with a newborn is a round-the-clock adventure, don't lose hope. By age 3 months, many babies can sleep at least five hours at a time. By age 6 months, nighttime stretches of nine to 12 hours are possible. In the meantime, a little creativity can help you sneak in as much sleep as possible.
While there's no magical formula for getting enough sleep, these strategies can help:
The rigors of caring for a newborn might leave you so exhausted that you could fall asleep anytime, anywhere — but that's not always the case.
If you have trouble falling asleep, make sure your environment is suited for sleep. Turn off the TV and keep your bedroom cool and dark. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol late in the day or at night. In addition, don't agonize over falling asleep. If you're not nodding off within a reasonable amount of time, get up and do something else until you feel sleepy. Then try going back to bed.
If you think you have a sleep problem, consult your health care provider. Identifying and treating any underlying conditions can help you get the rest you need. Remember, taking good care of yourself — including getting adequate sleep — will help you take the best care of your baby.
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