Do you feel like you’re about to crash from very little sleep? Are you light-headed, drowsy yet restless? Barely functioning?
You’ve been doing a thousand little things for your newborn, feel exhausted, but can’t seem to get a shut-eye.
You’re not alone. A recent study showed that new parents on the average get only four hours and 44 minutes of sleep at night in the first year of their infant’s life.
Don’t worry. We’ll help you get some much-needed rest.
Here are some tried-and-tested tips to pay off some of your sleep debt:
* Note: This is for educational purposes only and must not be used as a substitute for medical advice.
Sleep when your little one sleeps
Yes, you’ve heard it a dozen times from friends and have read it in baby books, but it’s sound advice according to the National Sleep Foundation. Take cat naps when you can because every minute counts.
While it might be tempting to clean the house or do the dishes, it’s much better to use the time to lie down and conserve your energy.
Ask for help– especially with nighttime duties
If you’re breastfeeding, have your partner be in charge of other responsibilities like changing diapers, giving baths and lulling the baby.
If not, agree on taking shifts to do the feeding at night.
During the day, request help from close family to do other routine tasks like keeping the house and running errands.
Maintain a bedtime ritual
Go for relaxing activities when it’s nearly bedtime. Take a warm bath, listen to soothing music, or write in your journal. You could also diffuse aromatic oils to help you wind down.
Stay away from gadgets at night since they emit blue light that can disrupt your sleep.
Don’t depend on coffee
Some new parents may gulp up cups of coffee to stay alert.
But this is not helpful–in the long run. Caffeine taken even six hours before bed has been shown to interrupt sound sleep.
Moreover, if you’re a nursing mom, you need to limit your coffee intake to 2-3 cups or 300 mg of caffeine.
Schedule visits from friends and relatives
Understandably, everyone would want a peek at your new bundle of joy. But you’re drained from taking care of your newborn, and the last thing you want to be thinking about is cleaning up for and after guests.
Give time for yourself to transition into your new role before inviting guests over. Just be courteous, and they’ll understand.
If you can’t avoid guests, then it’s a good idea to stop fussing over how you and your house look like. Keep the clutter in a room — for the time being. And receive them when you’ve taken care of yourself and your baby’s needs.
Consider the ambiance and sleep positions
When catching on sleep, the room you’re in needs to be cool and dark. Block the light with curtains and cover your alarm clock.
Choose a medium-firm mattress to support your back and improve the quality of your sleep. When sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your knees to make your spine neutral.
Remember, this phase won’t last forever
Most newborns wake up every 2-3 hours to feed. But when they’re about three months, they may start sleeping through the night.
You could start a bedtime routine by then — giving a bath, reading a book, and dimming the lights. These rituals will help your little one know that it’s time for bed.
So, hang in there and do your best! Before you know it, you’ll be running after a toddler.
Do you have tips we might have missed?