With a newborn’s arrival, a lot of things will happen for the first time in your life. Sleep deprivation is one of them. And no, it’s nothing like those sleepless nights you spent burning the midnight oil during exams. Because the duration of the sleep deprivation then would have lasted for a week or so. And sooner or later, you’d manage to catch up on some sleep. But now, it might be weeks, or even months until you can get back to your regular sleep pattern or something even close to it. So, if you are a new mommy and battling with sleep deprivation, here are tips to survive those newborn days:
Build A Gradual Sleep-Friendly Environment
In the beginning, your newborn will sleep and wake at odd hours of the day and night. It usually takes around 2 to 3 months for infants to develop their own circadian rhythm (1). It is the body’s clock that helps differentiate between day and night (2). You can help your baby understand the day-night difference by creating a sleep-friendly environment gradually. Try to keep your baby active and in a well-lit atmosphere during the day. At nighttime, you can dim the lights in your baby’s room and avoid playing with your baby. Rather, keep your baby as calm as possible.
Don’t Shy Away From Taking Help
Every new mom wants to be a hands-on mommy to her baby. But then, if you are sleep-deprived, you might end up being cranky and weird. So, to keep your sanity, don’t refrain from taking help even if it means asking for it upfront. You can switch night duties with your spouse or a family member who is willing to help. This way, you will be able to get adequate sleep.
Sleep Train Your Baby Naturally
As mentioned earlier, you can help your baby develop a sense of day and night by setting up a sleep-friendly environment. However, do not rush into it especially if your baby seems unwilling. Babies will show signs when they are ready. They will start yawning, rub their eyes, or turn fussy when they are sleepy. Use this to your advantage by letting them fall asleep at a particular time of the evening or night. Eventually, they’ll start falling asleep at the set time regularly.
Find Other Ways Of Relaxing Yourself
With a newborn in tow, it is quite possible that it might be a while before you can get back to your regular sleep routine. But you can find different ways to relax. Try reading a book or listening to soft music while you are breastfeeding. You can also take a warm bath when the baby is asleep to refresh yourself.
Avoid Caffeine To Stay Alert
You will often need to stay awake to attend to your newborn’s needs. And your sleep-deprivation is bound to affect your attention span. Most mothers resort to consuming excess amounts of caffeine/coffee to keep themselves awake. However, avoid doing this as it can have an adverse effect on your health.
Take Naps Whenever You Can
“Sleep while the baby sleeps” is a common piece of advice given to all new moms. Because a good 8-hour sleep at a stretch might still be a far-fetched dream. But you can always consider taking power naps. Naps are usually underestimated by new moms but they can help in relaxing and rejuvenating yourself. They can also help sharpen your alertness. So, don’t miss the opportunity to take those power naps as and when possible.
Life is never the same for a new mom when a newborn enters her life. Her baby takes priority over everything else. However, a new mommy needs to remember that she too needs an adequate amount of sleep and rest to be able to carry out her new mommy duties effortlessly. Therefore, don’t feel guilty if you begin to prioritize your sleep too. In the end, it is better for your baby too.