Sleepless nights are not a strange phenomenon for new parents. In fact, missing sleep after the birth of a newborn is pretty much expected. As much as you love your baby, it can still be difficult to rise and shine on too few hours of sleep. Here are some tips that can brighten your day with your baby even when you’ve been seriously shortchanged on sleep.
Nap When the Baby Naps
Rather than trying to squeeze in chores or phone calls when the baby goes down for a nap, try sleeping next to him instead. Shut the window coverings, turn off the lights and the phone and grab a nice, snuggly blanket. Some new moms have difficulty napping during the day despite being very tired. If you think of daytime napping as an acquired skill, you’ll see that persistence is required to make the most of this time. Let go of all of the chores that you should be doing for a short space of time. When you awaken, you’ll feel much more refreshed and will be able to complete your chores much more efficiently.
A Healthy Diet Provides Necessary Energy
No matter how much you are dragging during the day, the right nutrition can give you a
welcome boost of energy. Avoid heavy meals that are loaded with carbohydrates. These meals will only make you sleepier. Instead, focus on small, nutritious snacks that blend various food groups. Try whole wheat crackers with cheese or peanut butter. String cheese and carrot sticks are another good option. Grab a handful of walnuts and a slice of melon. Focus on lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables to experience a healthy burst of energy that can have you looking forward to play time.
Even people getting close to the recommended amount of sleep on a nightly basis can feel tired if they are dehydrated. When you’re a new mom, it’s not unusual to neglect the basic necessities of personal care. Drink water, and plenty of it. Consider carrying a water bottle with you at all times, and take sips on a regular basis. Proper hydration provides energy and keeps your body’s systems operating at optimal levels.
Get Some Exercise
It’s so hard to contemplate being active when you’re sleepy, but a little exercise can help you feel seriously refreshed. Aerobic activity releases positive endorphins that can leave you feeling energized and ready to take on the world. You could exercise along with a DVD or take your little one outside for a walk. Either way, you’re likely to feel much better, and you’ve done something that is undoubtedly good for you.
Call in the Reserves
If you have family living in your vicinity, then you have access to one of the best strategies for coping after a sleepless night. Your parents or in-laws would probably love to watch the baby for a few hours while you catch up on some sleep. They are the perfect babysitters, and they don’t even have to take the baby out of the house if that’s what you prefer. Closet yourself in your darkened bedroom for a couple of hours while grandma takes over baby duty. You’ll emerge refreshed and ready to resume your role.
Put Off Some Chores
This can be really hard for new moms, but when you’re feeling particularly tired, it may make sense to put off taking care of some chores. If certain things absolutely must be done today, then focus on them and leave the other items for another day. Make a list of things you’d like to do today and the things that can be put off. By lightening your load, you reduce the pressure on yourself and will have an easier time coping.
It’s Only Temporary
Your baby’s long, active nights are just a phase. Chances are good that before long he or she will be sleeping through the night. When the going gets tough, remind yourself that this will not last. Try to focus on the precious, positive memories of this wondrous time to minimize the difficulties of sleep deprivation.
Katelyn Roberts is a blogger for Organic Baby Nook; a company dedicated to helping
parents get the most out of parenthood from birth to adult!