You’ve just fed your baby and he immediately fell into a deep sleep. You yourself are sleepy as well but opted to be more productive and finish a few pending house chores.
A newborn doesn’t stay asleep for more than two to three hours at a time, day or night. His sleeping pattern is very irregular which makes his caregiver – often the mother – tired and sleepy, too. She will probably be up most of the time to feed and comfort her baby and even change his diaper. Thus, it is advisable that when the baby sleeps or even takes a nap, the mother should put everything aside and take a rest, too. Any elderly and even nurses and doctors would tell her to sleep when the baby sleeps. This is one of the most effective ways to deal with postpartum sleep deprivation, they claim.
PSST.ph helps you deal with the guilt of sleeping just like the baby. Likewise, itemized here are a few tips to improve your sleep as you care for your little one.
Be vocal about your sleep needs
Taking care of the baby isn’t a mother’s lone responsibility unless the couple made an earlier arrangement about it.
As you came from the hospital, talk to your husband. Sometimes, he might not know your concern unless you tell him directly. Explain to him that you still need to recuperate from the childbirth and any help he can give is very much welcome.
Send the message as well that the baby’s sleep pattern is still irregular and you would appreciate if he spares some time to take care of the baby as you catch up on some sleep. A loving and caring partner would certainly understand your need and give in to your request.
Prioritize time with the newborn
As a mother, you may have other responsibilities to your older children and even to your husband. But it is prudent not to take added responsibilities if you have a newborn. Saying yes to a task and later not doing it may put you in a bad light. Prioritize your little one especially if you breastfeed and co-sleep. Your family would surely understand the added time you spend with the baby.
It is not taking advantage of their kindness in a negative way; accepting help from others is but understandable if you have an infant. These kind-hearted individuals see sleep as essential especially for a mom like you. Ask your doctor and even he will refer sleep not as a luxury but as a medical requirement. Thus again, if a family member or a friend offers help and lets you take a nap, take the offer and rest.
Sometimes, help is not given when not asked. Ask help then. If you’re breastfeeding, consider the option of pumping milk. Request someone to warm the bottled milk and feed the baby as you catch up on some sleep.
You may also delegate a task or divide responsibilities. As you recuperate from your childbirth, you may ask your husband to be in charge of washing or bathing the baby. You may also arrange that you can take care of changing the diaper during the morning and afternoon as he, on the other hand, may do his daddy duties at night.
Lie down and rest
After having someone look after your child as you enjoy your catnap, be sincere when you say you will sleep or take a rest.
Lie down even if your eyes wouldn’t want to close. Do not stress yourself if you can’t fall asleep. Having your back against the bed rejuvenates both the body and soul already.
Never opt to turn to your mobile phone or television to lullaby you to sleep. The light from the phone screen and television all the more stimulates you to be awake. Instead, turn on the radio for some soft music and in no time, you will find yourself in dreamland.
Sleep when the baby sleeps
Though it is tempting to check on your social media account as the baby sleeps, it is prudent to use that time instead to recharge. The baby would be awake for a few hours and you might not keep up with his energy or demands.
Do not be tempted to use the time, too, to finish the dishes or laundry. When the baby is up, you have to be up too, and doing some household chores instead of recharging may backfire on you. Sometimes, it’s the lack of sleep that causes some parents to be irritable and unable to focus even on the most mundane tasks. Likewise, sleep deprivation, more often than not, causes mood swings and to others lead to postpartum depression. Being moody and grumpy also sometimes affect relationships. There are some road accidents as well involving sleep-related problems.
Getting sleep especially during the first few months of childbirth is essential not only for your sanity but for your safety, too. Again, sleep is not a luxury but a medical requirement. Those social media status and even the laundry can wait. The baby’s needs though is something urgent to attend to. So sleep when the baby sleeps because you need to be up when he is up.