One of the main challenges of being a new mom is being sleep deprived. Ask any new mom about what one thing she wishes she could get and most likely she would answer – a good sleep. I am a mom to a seven year old and a four months old and I was sleep deprived for three and a half months so I know how sleep deprivation feels.
Being deprived of good sleep not only robs you off your already limited physical energy, it also drains your mentally. Imagine weeks of nights when you have to get up every two to three hours to feed the baby and during the day you need to catch up with other household chores.
My younger daughter was born in February 2017 and I was heavily sleep deprived for over three months until mid-May. After a fortnight of not getting even three hours of good sleep, I grew restless and irritable and decided to help myself.
I incorporated few small changes in my daily routine and I am thankful that they worked in my favour and now I am able to get 6-7 hours of sound sleep in a day.
Here is what you can do to catch up on sound sleep when you are a new mom.
Ask for help. Most of us are often reluctant to seek help because we want to take care of our baby all by ourselves. When it comes to the baby, we don’t want to trust anyone, especially family members we don’t get along well with. But this isn’t the right thing. Having a full time maid helps because you have someone to delegate errands to. Else ask your mum or mum-in-law to help you. I asked my mom to come and live with me for a month. Although I have to look after my baby in nights, my mom takes care of her during the day so I catch up on my sleep in the day time.
Switch the lights off. I didn’t realize it until I switched off the lights one night in a spur of a moment. That night my baby was in a playful mood and wasn’t going to sleep. Irritated, I simply switched off the lights and began to pat her gently. To my utter surprise, she slept within minutes. So while earlier she would sleep by 1 or 1:30 am, she now sleeps before 12 because now I switch off lights when I feel she should go to sleep.
Get sound sleep. A sound sleep of 5–6 hours is better than a disruptive sleep of 8–9 hours. So sleep during a time when you know you won’t get disrupted.Instead of lying down to get sleep at times when you know someone might knock the door or your elder one might disturb you, prefer to sleep when everyone else is sleeping.
Switch off gadgets. To help you with point no. 3, switch off the gadgets almost an hour before bed and unwind yourself. Also switch off the door bell.
Take power naps during the day. I understand we have a tendency to finish off our other chores while the baby sleeps but if you want to catch up on sleep, take a nap along with him or her. I now sleep with my baby at least once during the day and that has made a huge difference. To tell you the truth, I just woke up after taking a nap with her. She is sleeping besides me while I am finishing this draft.
Soothe your crying baby. If you are unable to sleep because your baby is crying, look into it. A healthy, happy baby shouldn’t cry unnecessarily so find out whats troubling her and sort it out. If your baby is healthy, he or she will also sleep peacefully.
If you have another idea, please mention in comments and I will include it in the post here.
Also, here is a useful infographic from Art of Wellbeing that gives you 7 steps to the perfect nap.
(Pic Source: here)