The start of a new year is a natural time to pause, take inventory of rhythms and habits, and set goals for the months ahead. However, if you’re a new or soon-to-be parent, chances are your only real goal is to survive your first year of parenthood—a feat even more impressive than running a marathon or reading 50 books. Still, if you’re the kind who can’t help but make resolutions for the new year, we would like to gently offer a few realistic ones to add to your list.
1. To not compare how my baby is sleeping to how anyone else’s baby is sleeping.
Your baby is unique in a million different ways, sleep habits included. It’s normal (and thoughtful) to ask other new parents how their baby is sleeping, but don’t take their response as an indication of what your baby should or shouldn’t be doing.
2. To prioritize rest above laundry, dishes, or otherwise doing it all.
There will always, always, always be something you could be doing instead of resting, but to what end? Folded towels and an empty sink aren’t worth utter exhaustion. Make this the year you let the clothes and dishes pile up a little longer than usual—they’ll still be there after your nap.
3. To ask my partner, family member, or friend for support when it comes to getting the sleep I need.
Often, friends and family want to help but aren’t sure how. When they ask for what you need, be clear and direct—something along the lines of “I’d love if you could come over to hang with baby between 1 pm and 3 pm so that I can rest and take a nap.”
4. To not let “sleeping through the night” be the only measure of success.
Sure, sleeping through the night is fantastic. So is nursing baby to sleep. So is getting baby down with less false starts than before. But truly, the only measure of success should be, “Did we do what we needed to do for our current season?” If the answer is yes, that’s success.
5. To nap when the baby naps (at least sometimes!).
It’s the advice we all get when a new baby is on the way—sleep when the baby sleeps, they say! But naptime for baby can also feel like the only time you’re able to check other things off your to-do list. Let there be a balance between getting things done and catching up on sleep when baby is sleeping.
6. To not let a bad night mean a bad day.
A night full of wake-ups can make it feel like the day is ruined before it has even begun. Instead of letting your night determine how your day goes, separate them in your mind as two distinct windows. Just because a night was hard, doesn’t mean the day has to be.
7. To trust that this season will not last forever. There is more sleep to come.
The people who say you’ll never sleep again aren’t telling you the truth. You will! And somehow, when you’re back to sleeping through the night, you might even end up missing the days when your little one was wanted to be cuddled in the middle of the night—or at least happily dream about them.
We want to hear: Which resolutions on this list resonate most with you? Share them in the comments below. We're wishing you a happy New Year full of snuggles, rest, and grace for yourself. You've got this.