Babies sleep a lot but they tend to be awake in the most unlikely hours. Sleep deprivation is like a rite of passage to parenthood. Yet as a working mother, I don’t believe on simply accepting the fact that losing sleep is inevitable. Surely, there is a way around this, isn’t it?
What happens to sleep-deprived mothers?
Losing some valuable shut-eye during baby’s first weeks is understandable. Yet, lack of sleep takes a great deal of toll on a mother’s body in the long run. We need all the rest that we can get. But how is it possible?
Tips and Tricks on how to improve the quality and quantity of a mom’s sleep:
• Sleep as the baby sleeps.
Whenever the baby is asleep, do not be tempted to catch up on time-consuming activities around the house. Find somebody that can help you with the chores. The best way to catch up some naps is to sleep whenever the baby is dozing off. Invest in necessities such as nursery gliders. It makes feeding time easy and comfy, you can easily catch on some sleep while seated and feeding the baby.
• Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and will greatly reduce your sleep quality. Resist the temptation to gulp down alcohol to aid you to sleep. It is unsafe as you might not be as responsive to baby’s cries during the night. Also, I cannot over-emphasize why you must stay away from these items if you are breastfeeding.
• Use a co-sleeper
Save time and energy by having the baby right by your side at night. If you are unsure whether this is safe, put the baby in a co-sleeper adjacent to your bed. This will help you to avoid nighttime trips to baby’s nursery.
• Try babysitting in shifts with your partner
You will need an extra hand to calm baby during the wee hours of the morning. Arrange with your partner to babysit on certain times of the day. You can also pump beforehand so that there will be a steady milk supply while you are having your shut-eye.
• Avoid watching TV and tinkering with gadgets before bedtime
Stay away from electronics a few hours before sleep. If you can manage, it will also be better to put your phone away and out of the bedroom.
• Do cluster feeding before you and baby go to sleep
Cluster feeding can be done during your idle times at night after dinner. Baby will also be well-fed and shall likely sleep longer during the night.
Sleep deprivation is expected for new mothers. Seek help and ask for assistance. Reduce stress and sneak in more time to rest. Do it for your baby, but more so, do it for yourself.
By Sarah Morgan
Sarah Morgan is a sister, a daughter, a wife, but most especially a mother. Being a mother makes her realize that life is a great adventure. No day is always the same, which makes every day so much more exciting.