Prepare your partner on how to look after you and baby

Babies have no sense of time. In fact, for being awake and asleep at all the wrong times they give hamsters a run for their money.

The first couple of months of having a baby in the house are stressful enough, and it doesn't help if neither of you has slept properly in days.

dad holding newborn 474

No one can survive on no sleep, not even Batman, but there are things you can do so that each of you gets as much kip as you can.

Share the feeding
Mum might be breastfeeding, but she can express milk and store it in the fridge so there are no excuses for you not taking your turn with the occasional 4am feed. Yes, that's right, 4am! Or if Mum's doing the 4am feed you can do the midnight feed to let her go to bed early and get some rest.

Go to bed early
You'll be so tired this won't be a problem. You want to watch another episode of CSI? What do you think DVD recorders and Sky Plus were invented for? Besides, chances are you've seen that one before.

Get a routine
Try to get into a routine as quickly as possible. Human beings are creatures of habit and if we do something regularly our bodies soon get used to it and the lack of sleep will become more bearable.

Try to relax before bedtime. You'll never get to sleep if you're stressed, lying waiting for the baby to wake up. Don't worry, if it wakes up, you'll hear it. Have a warm bath and a warm drink (hot whisky doesn't count).

Lay off the booze
Speaking of which, lay off the booze for a while. You might think that third glass of wine will help you sleep, but you'll think differently when you get woken up at two in the morning. Newborns and hangovers are not friends.

Eat properly
If you're back at work make sure you have a healthy lunch every day if possible. Avoid heavy meals that will make it a certainty that by half three in the afternoon you will be slumped over your desk drooling on your keyboard.

Get it where you can
Grab rest and sleep when it's available. If the baby is asleep, the two of you can have a lie down too. The dishes can get done some other time. Watch out for kipping on the way to work though. Waking up with your head on the shoulder of the bloke next to you on the train is bad enough, even before you realise you've missed your stop and are now in France.

Have the night off
Give each other the occasional complete night off from feeding, so you get turns at going to bed early and sleeping through all night.

Get on the sofa
If you've got a spare room or a comfy sofa, sleep there for a couple of nights during the week if possible. You need to help her as much as possible, but no one's going to thank you if you get fired for sleeping on the job. Then you can take over at the weekends.

Take Baby out
Even if it's just for an hour, take Baby for a walk or to do the shopping and leave Mum to have a lie down in the afternoon. This will earn you extra Brownie points, plus you get some Daddy time.

Get Granny
Get some help with other stuff round the house for the first couple of weeks. This is where your or her parents (or both) can be invaluable, helping with housework and cooking meals to give you both a chance to rest.

Prepare your partner on how to look after you and baby