Not that this will surprise you, but apparently new parents face sleep deprivation for up to six years. Getting a lie in becomes a special treat when you can catch up on some much needed sleep. But how to do this when you have smallies? Here are some tips for getting a sleep in when you have young kids:
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My youngest daughter was an early riser from the get go. It was usually 6am, which wasn’t too bad on a weekday, but on weekends it felt like it was sooo early! So we had to come up with some tactics to get enough sleep between us.
Recent research, published in the journal Sleep, looked at data collected from German parents with participants followed for up to six years.
Not unsurprisingly, the team found women reported a decline in sleep satisfaction in the first year after the birth of a child. The first three months after the birth of a first child were particularly hard on mums, who lost just over an hour of sleep compared with before they became pregnant. Fathers fared a bit better, but were also short on sleep.
Interestingly, the research found that the impact of the first child lingered for both parents. Even once the impact of subsequent children was taken into account, women were still relatively sleep deprived – both in terms of quality and quantity – for up to SIX years after their first child’s birth!
Here are some tips for getting a sleep in when you have young kids.
Swap Lie Ins With Your Partner
This is an easy one. Take it in turns to swap lie in days with your partner, so that you can both get a chance to enjoy the extra snooze.
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Buy a Light Up Alarm Clock
Buy a sleep training light up alarm clock like this one available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com which acts as a night light, but also features multiple colours and facial emotions to teach your kids when it’s time to go to bed and wake up.
(If you click our links and buy we get a small commission)
Try This Trick on Your Child’s Alarm Clock
I love this trick from mum of 4 Becky at Your Modern Family who taped the number 7 onto her child’s alarm clock over the minutes. When they come out of their room the first few days early (and they will), she advises to take them back to bed and say “You can come out at 7:00, when the number of the clock matches.”
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Give Them a Snack
Our daughter always seemed to be ravenous when she woke up, so we got in the habit of bringing up a banana and a tub of Cheerios or Shreddies to our room so that she had something to munch on when she first woke up. It also usually took her a while to work her way through the munchies.
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Make Use of The Tablet or TV
I have to say that having a TV and DVD player in our bedroom was a godsend, as we would pop on her favourite DVD to watch we while got to snooze.
Alternatively, use a tablet with headphones for added peace. I’m all for limiting screen time, but there are times when it just helps!
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Have Your Kids Share a Room
Maybe if your children are of suitable ages, you can put them in a shared bedroom so they can play together when they wake up instead of expecting Mum or Dad to pay them attention. Your older child can help keep the younger one amused for a bit.
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Teach Them How to Make Cereal for Themselves
Obviously they have to be old enough, but you can teach your child how to go to the kitchen and make themselves some cereal and then play with their toys afterwards.
One of the easiest ways to get a bit more sleep is to co-sleep with your child. I could never do the co-sleeping all night (I’d end up clinging to the edge of the bed!) so we used to allow our daughter to come into our bed first thing in the morning when she woke up early, and we’d all go back to sleep (hopefully!).
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Make Sure They’re Getting Enough Sleep
Make sure your child’s bedtime routine is a calm, settled one and that they are getting enough sleep overall. This could be why they are rising early too, you may need to adjust bedtime or cut down day time naps and see if that helps them sleep a bit longer in the morning.
Do you have any other tips or tricks that you have used for getting a sleep in when you have young kids? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!