Sleep. It’s one of the first things to go when you become a mom. There’s not much time for rest between feedings, changings, and just trying to survive. But getting enough sleep is crucial for your health and your baby’s development. Some of the best advice for new moms is to help them to see the benefits of finding time to sleep.
The wonders of new motherhood are plentiful. One of these wonders begins during pregnancy as the baby becomes larger, and it feels like the baby is using the bladder as a soccer ball. This is when sleep deprivation first begins for moms. It is difficult to get past this time during pregnancy, as there are only so many positions that the mother can lie in to try to get comfortable.
Finding Time to Sleep: Best Advice for New Moms
Moms, if you’re like me, sleep is a precious commodity. It’s something I cherish and try to get as much of as possible. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get the amount of sleep I need with seven kids. But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on getting a good night’s sleep! We can try several things to help us on our new motherhood journey. Whether this is your first baby or your tenth, there will always be challenges.
There are many issues with lack of sleep while caring for a baby. It’s essential for our physical and mental health to get proper sleep. In general, we all need to get adequate sleep, and when we’re lacking in sleep, it leads to irritability, fatigue, and general health problems.
While there is no one way to get enough sleep, the best advice for getting more rest is different for everyone. Finding time to sleep can be difficult while caring for a baby, but it certainly will affect the mother’s ability to care for her child, housework, and most importantly herself if she does not get enough sleep.
I’m a mom of seven kids, so I know firsthand that finding time to sleep can be challenging. And if you’re a new mom, it’s even more complicated. So here are my top tips for getting the most out of your sleep (or at least getting more than you thought possible)!
Sleep When the Baby Sleeps
Many mothers will put their babies down for a nap or for the night and then will take this time to get some work done around the house, or they will take the time to absorb the peaceful feeling. Instead, we mommas would benefit from taking advantage of this time to go to bed a little earlier while the baby is asleep.
Also, when the baby wakes up for feeding in the morning, mothers should not feel like they need to start their day at that time. Instead, they should feel free to go back to bed and try to get a little more sleep.
This scenario might only work if there is only one child in the family. If there are two or more, perhaps the husband and wife can trade off nighttime duties with the new baby, so the other parent will have a chance to rest when the other child or children are in bed. This also allows the off-duty parent to be able to attend to the other children with a little less of the effects of lack of sleep affecting this parent.
New mothers need to know it’s ok and need to take naps while the baby sleeps. Chores around the house can wait; they can be faced and conquered if we are more rested. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get much done if I’m operating on one cylinder because I’m so burned out.
Ask for Help
Another source of help for new mothers is seeking help from other moms or family members. If the new parents live close to grandparents or aunts and uncles, ask them for help. Trust me, they will love the opportunity to cuddle up with your little one or play with your other kids so you can rest. Who can resist that newborn baby smell? Perhaps work out a schedule so that someone can help out once or twice a week. This will allow the new mother to find time to rest and catch up on some of their lost sleep. When you know you have that time someone is going to help, mark it down in your mom’s planner. Seeing this booked will let you know help is out there.
Take a Shower
Having a long, hot shower might be one of the best things new mothers can do to help their bodies relax and get ready for sleep. A shower releases tension in the muscles and helps the body wind down before bedtime. It will also help her to feel refreshed and prepared to deal with any challenges that may arise. Even if I’m only able to sleep for a short time after my shower, I still feel a whole lot better conquering the next feeding or whatever else needs to be done.
Watch What You Eat
Another way to feel a little more energized is to watch what is being eaten. During this time, try to avoid processed food and do try to drink a lot of water. So many processed foods may give a rush at first but this is then followed by a crash. By drinking water, especially if breastfeeding, new mothers can avoid dehydration. Dehydration can also lead a person to feel tired.
Congratulations, new mom! You’ve just joined an exclusive club. As a sleep-deprived member of the “new baby club,” you can look forward to years of interrupted slumber and counting sheep that never seem to add up. But don’t worry – with a little bit of effort, you can get back on track to getting the sleep you need (and deserve).
Just like the uncomfortable times during pregnancy, this time of sleep deprivation will also pass. Find the path that works the best to get more rest and remember that eventually, this sleepy, draggy feeling will be in the past.
Sleep is a precious commodity for new moms. Follow the tips I’ve shared that work best for you to get as much shuteye as possible. And remember, it’s only temporary! In a few months (or years), you’ll be able to sleep through the night again. Until then, stock up on coffee and enjoy your little one(s). Good luck – and sweet dreams!