Ah, sleep. It feels so good to get a full night’s sleep without getting up.
But now you have just had a baby and babies hardly ever sleep through the night until they are at least a few months old. For the first week or so you will probably feel fine in spite of getting up multiple times during the night. But as the days go on, you will become more and more tired.
This is one of the biggest problems for mothers and to a much lesser degree, fathers. You have to make your own health a high priority, and that means getting enough sleep to feel decent.
Here are 10 ways of finding time to sleep as the parent of an infant:
1) Always sleep when the baby sleeps. This old saying makes sense. A lot of mothers feel like they should be doing something more productive when the baby sleeps. But really, the most productive use of your time while the baby is sleeping is for you to sleep also.
2) Let your normal chores around the house slide. Your house will still be fine if you do not clean it as often as you normally would.
3) Turn off the T.V. Your shows will keep until the baby is older and does not require so much care. Same thing with the internet. You can bet back to surfing the net in a few months. Now you need your rest.
4) Put down the phone and cell phone. You do not need to be making all kinds of calls when the baby is sleeping. You can just sleep.
5) Avoid preparing elaborate meals. Make simple meals. Order takeout. Go through the drive through. Accept meals from friends and family.
6) Just understand that you will not be able to continue to do the types of things that you used to do when you did not have an infant. You will not be able to go out to eat and linger at the restaurant. You will not be able to go out in the evening. Sure, you may be able to do these types of things once in awhile. But if you were used to going out once a week, you may have to scale back to once every month or two.
7) Have your bed ready. As soon as possible after you get up, straighten up your bed enough that you can go back to bed quickly. There is nothing more demoralizing than wanting to go to bed but finding the blankets and sheets all jumbled up or on the floor. By the time you get the bed ready you are wide awake.
8) Be willing to sleep on the couch or in an easy chair. Sometimes you will only be able to snatch a few minutes here and there. Be ready to get those extra minutes whenever you can.
9) Accept help from others if they offer. If your husband wants to get up at night, let him. If he wants to rotate feedings, let him. If friends and family want to babysit for a few hours, let them and go to bed.
10) It is crucial as a new mother that you stay home with the baby for at least a few months after the baby is born. You will be tired, you will be groggy at times. There is no way that you will not. Just accept the fact. The best advice is to just accept the fact that as a mother you will not get a full night’s sleep for many months after your baby is born. There is no way that this will happen.