The Rest of Your Life. 5 Sleep Tips for Moms
When baby comes you feel like the rest of your life just started. Until you find out like I did, that the rest of your life went out the door with late night feedings, 3am diapers changes and mid-night crying jags that you haven’t figured out yet. Getting your rest from a good night’s sleep or just a good nap can be difficult once baby arrives.
Many Moms say that it’s hard to remember their life before baby came. That’s probably because we’ve had so little sleep it’s hard to even remember our name. Actually, in addition to turning us into cranky mom, extended sleepless nights can impact our cognitive skills and memory. And there are more negative side effects to sleep deprivation; inadequate sleep is linked to hypertension, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. To make matters worse poor sleep can make it difficult to shed the baby weight and don’t even get me started on those blood shot eyes and dark circles.
Rest assured, there are some things that you can do to ensure that you can catch some zzz's while catching on to your newborns schedule.
Be Flexible. After that delivery room experience getting baby out I’m sure you thought how much more flexible can I be? Well when it comes to your sleep schedule be prepared to bend a little. You will need to make some adjustments to your normal routine. Your usual sleep times will have to change to accommodate the feeding schedule of a newborn. Be willing to nap more versus getting a full night’s sleep in.
When in Rome – Sleep. When in newborn baby land you must do as the baby does. When the baby sleeps you should sleep too. I know that you have heard this a million times but it will still be true million times. It may be difficult for you to sleep when your baby sleeps because you have a list of things to do and you are so wound up that you may not feel tired right at that moment. However, even if you don’t feel tired your body needs rest. New moms have new hormones that need to synchronize with the body. Your rest is vital to that and fighting off ailments including post-partum depression. And that load of laundry can wait.
The DVRs the thing. Yes, as much as you love baby you sometimes just need to escape into a good episode of Project Runway. Of course, your newborn wants to nap right through the program and I just told you to sleep when baby sleeps so what’s a girl to do? If you have to be up at midnight anyway this is a good time to catch up on your favorite programs and unwind while feeding baby. Keep in mind that for some the bright light of the television can actual stimulate you too much. If possible, turn down the tint on your tv during these times.
Keep‘em close. If possible keep your newborn in a bassinet or cradle close to your bed. When baby fusses during the night this will allow you to reach over and touch baby or gently rock the cradle to soothe them back to sleep without a huge interruption in your sleep cycle.
Monitor. Monitor the amount of milk your newborn is receiving. Whether breast or bottle feeding try to ensure they consume a full serving of food in the late evening versus a short feed. This will give the baby and you the best chance of staying asleep throughout the night.