New mum’s struggle with sleep especially in the first 6 months. This is because at this age most babies lack the ability to self soothe and constantly whimper hence needs to be comforted. Additionally, some babies may be suffering from colic that makes it literally impossible for them to sleep through the night. When parents are deprived of sleep especially mothers it makes it difficult to take care of the baby appropriately. Excess fatigue affects the production of breast milk and makes a mum highly irritable which is a recipe for disaster. In this article you will learn how to sneak in some quality sleep despite having a young baby.
Excess fatigue affects the production of breast milk and makes a mum highly irritable which is a recipe for disaster
According to a study conducted at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Centre, people who sleep for less than 5 hours are likely to develop what is known as sleep-related crush. The general rule of thumb when it comes to new mothers is to sleep when the baby sleeps. This sound blissful in theory but in reality can be a tall order for most new mums. Here are some few tips and techniques that will help you get some sleep and still have enough time to take care of your baby:
- Even if you can’t sleep just lie down
Get off your feet if you can even if you don’t have the chance to sleep this will help significantly. Diana Lynn Barnes, the President of Post partum Health International says that just lying down for at least have an hour can be extremely restorative. Additionally it will help to reduce fatigue and also help boost energy levels significantly.
- Enlist the help of night time feedings
One of the best ways to sneak in a solid stretch of sleep is to have someone you trust work the night shift for you (this can be a night nurse, husband or just anyone else you believe can take care good care of your baby at night). A full night’s sleep will come in handy in preparing you for a full day of running around trying to take care of your little one. If you are breastfeeding, you can pump milk and it will be used to feed the baby at night.
- Find snooze-inducing activities
There are many mothers who find it difficult to fall asleep even after an entire draining day of caring for a new baby. For such mums, it is very tempting to decompress in front of a TV and watch something entertaining. However, this is actually counterproductive and will end up harming you more in the long-run.
The right from a TV or computer is stimulating to the brain and can keep you up, this is according to Dr. Amy Wolfson who is the author of renowned book ‘The Women’s Book of Sleep’. A surefire sleep inducer is the radio.
- Be choosy when it comes to visitors
The last thing an already tired and sleep deprived mother needs is visitors streaming in and out of the house. While the joy of a new life will attract guests, it is up to you to limit how many and when they are welcome. Dr Amy Wolfson directed a sleep study that ascertained that fisrt-time mothers with less social support actually get more sleep, interesting…huh!
When you have visitors, you are forced to stay up and entertain them through cooking and sometimes even changing up the baby’s routine. This is especially the case when you are dealing with guests who still expect the same level of hospitality as before you became pregnant. Too many visitors will sap your energy and leave you fatigued and sleep deprived which is not good for the baby.
- Coffee is not your friend
The last thing an already tired and sleep deprived mother needs is more coffee. Although a cup of coffee in the morning will help you stay alert and begin the day well, too much of it can be counterproductive. This is because it may actually prevent you from catching sleep when your bundle of joy snoozes off(Remember the golden rule, you sleep when your baby sleeps).
A great parent is one who knows that they cannot take care of their bundle of joy without taking care of themselves first. The least you can do for your self is get enough sleep so that you have enough energy and are in a better place to give your baby all that they need to survive and thrive.