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Good Night, Mom

If round-the-clock baby care has you dreaming about getting more sleep, these smart strategies can help.

Work out a shift system. To feel rested, you need uninterrupted sleep. To get a five- or six-hour stretch, try sharing night duty: For example, feed your baby before you go to bed, then let your partner (even if he works!) handle the next feeding using pumped breast milk or formula.

Make your sleep a priority. Rest is more important than dust bunnies: Let the housework slide so you can get more shut-eye. If you're home with your child, grab naps; if you're back at work, go to bed early and sleep as much as you can over the weekend, says Joyce Walsleben, Ph.D., former director of the New York University Sleep Disorders Center in New York City. If co-sleeping is keeping you awake, reconsider the family bed.

Let your mother-in-law visit. If a relative offers to come help, say yes  -- especially if it's a person who won't mind pitching in with feedings, cooking, and cleaning.

Turn off the monitor. You don't need to listen to every gurgle  -- if your baby is upset, you can bet you'll hear it.