If you find yourself super jealous of anyone who slept longer than 2 hours overnight… you might have a newborn.

Sleep deprivation is the name of the game as a new parent. 

While you might not get the 7-8 hours you’re used to anymore, there are some things you can do to help your baby sleep for longer stretches at a time and ways to (kinda) gracefully handle sleep deprivation yourself.

Hire a Postpartum Doula to Sleep with Your Baby Overnight

Did you know this is an option? I wish I’d known about it!

A postpartum doula can provide a much-needed support system for new parents. 

One of the ways they can do this is by sleeping with baby overnight, so that mom and dad can get some much-needed rest. This allows parents to feel more rested and relaxed, which can help them better bond with their new baby. In addition, a postpartum doula can offer breastfeeding support, and help with any other questions or concerns that new parents may have. Having a postpartum doula sleep with baby overnight can be an invaluable support for exhausted new parents. 

Imagine, with a postpartum doula you can sleep a solid 8 hours at night without worrying about a thing!

Click here to get started on finding a doula and other resources!

Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it as closely as possible 

A bedtime routine is important for all babies, but it is especially important for newborns. These little ones need to learn that nighttime is for sleeping, and a bedtime routine can help them to understand this concept. There are a few things you can do to establish a bedtime routine for your newborn. First, start by choosing a regular bedtime. It is best if you can put your baby down at the same time each night. You may also want to consider giving them a bath before bed. This can help to relax them and get them ready for sleep. Also, be sure to keep the lights low and avoid stimulation before bedtime. reading a book or singing a lullaby can also be helpful in getting your baby calm and ready for sleep. Finally, don't forget to some love and cuddles before putting your baby down in their crib. With a little bit of planning, you can establish a bedtime routine that will help your newborn sleep through the night.

3 useful tools to help your baby sleep for longer stretches at a time


A pacifier can be a great tool for helping your baby to drift off to sleep. If they’re not hungry and they start to cry, the sucking motion can help to soothe and calm them. 

Shusher and white noise: 

White noise can also be helpful in getting your baby to sleep. You can try using a white noise machine, or even download a white noise app on your phone. The shusher is another tool that can help your baby to get to sleep. It makes a gentle “shushing” sound that mimics sounds they heard in the womb. 

Blackout curtains: 

Blackout curtains can also be helpful in getting your baby to sleep longer. By creating a dark and quiet environment, you may find that your baby sleeps for longer periods of time. (Most experts advise not to use these during the day because you’re trying to show your baby when it’s daytime vs nighttime)

Set realistic expectations for yourself so you’re less likely to be disappointed 

It's no secret that newborns require a lot of sleep. In fact, it's not uncommon for newborns to sleep for 16-20 hours each day. 

But, overnight sleep is often broken up into shorter periods of time, and many parents find themselves getting up several times a night to feed or comfort their baby.

While it can be tempting to try to get your baby to sleep through the night as soon as possible (especially when all your friend’s babies seem to be sleeping 10 hour stretches, right?), it's important to have realistic expectations about how much your newborn will sleep. 

Most babies are not able to sleep for more than 5-6 hours at a time until they are at least 3 months old. So, if you find yourself getting up several times a night, know that you are not alone and that this is perfectly normal. Just try to take it one day (or one night) at a time and know that this phase will eventually pass.

Colic & tummy issues might keep your baby awake more than normal

Colic and an upset stomach are two common causes of sleepless nights for newborns. Both of these conditions can be very painful for your little one. Fortunately, there are a few simple techniques that can provide relief. 

Gently massaging your baby's tummy in a clockwise direction can help to ease cramps and gas pains. You can also try giving them a warm bath or using a white noise machine to soothe them. 

If your baby is still having trouble sleeping, talk to their doctor about other possible treatments. 

It’s ok to delay cleaning and other household or overwhelming tasks. 

The first few months after giving birth can be the most overwhelming. There are a million things to do and it can be hard to know where to start. It’s important to remember that it’s ok to take your time and focus on what’s most important. If your house is a mess, don’t stress. It can wait. If you’re exhausted, take a nap. 

The most important thing is to take care of yourself and your new baby. Everything else is secondary! So, if you need to delay cleaning or other household tasks, don’t hesitate. Your baby needs you and that’s what matters most.

If you are struggling with sleep deprivation as a new mom, know that you are not alone. A bedtime routine, hiring a postpartum doula, setting realistic expectations for yourself and checking to see if your baby has colic or other tummy issues can all help you get more rest. It may take some time and patience to find what works best for you and your family, but eventually things will fall into place. Rest assured that there is light at the end of the tunnel – it just takes a little effort to get there!

Did you know that families have dozed off while I’m photographing their baby at their Maine Newborn Photography Session? ;) Click here to learn more about our newborn sessions in Maine.