Becoming a parent for the first time is one of the most special times of a person’s life.
It is filled with love, wonderful new experiences, and a time for bonding with your new little one. With that said, becoming a new parent isn’t without its fair share of challenges, and usually topping the list of challenges is trying to get enough sleep. Finding a new parent who is getting more than enough sleep and feels completely rested is like trying to find that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Sleep deprivation, although common with new parents, is something that can really start to affect you both mentally and physically. Let’s face it, without enough sleep you just can’t function at your optimum level. So, while it’s definitely not going to be as it was before you had your child, there are tips you can use that will help you get more rest.
Get into the Habit of Pumping
If you are nursing your baby, you may want to get into the habit of breast pumping. This will allow someone else to easily step in and take over feeding duties so you can nap or get other things done. It just helps to spread around the responsibility so that not everything is on mom’s plate.
Take Turns on Night-Time Duty
For some parents, the best solution is to take turns with the night-time baby duties. Now, granted this won’t be possible with everyone’s schedules, but if the schedule allows, it can make a huge difference. At least you know that every other night you’re going to be able to sleep through the night and catch up on your rest. As a bonus, this tip also gives each parent a chance to bond with their little one and share in the feeding, snuggling, and putting them to bed.
If you can’t take turns on the night-time duty, try dividing it into shifts so that one person can get at least a block of a sleep at one time.
Take a Nap When Baby Naps
This is a tip that has been passed on from generation to generation and there’s good reason for it. Babies aren’t always known for their incredible ability to sleep through the night, which means you need to take advantage of downtime whenever it happens. Learn to nap whenever your baby is napping so that you can at least get those couple of extra hours of rest before evening hits.
Obviously for some people, falling asleep in the middle of the day can be difficult with the sun shining through. This is when a sleep mask and blackout curtains can make a huge difference. It will seem dark and relaxing to you no matter what is happening outside.
Even if you can’t actually fall asleep, just putting on your sleep mask and lying down in bed can be incredibly relaxing and will allow your body to just take a break.
Ease Up on the Caffeine
While drinking tons of coffee may seem like a great idea in order to keep you up and alert during the day, the problem is that it can end up keeping you up when it is time to sleep. Watch your caffeine intake and try not to drink any coffee after about 3pm-4pm.
Remember It Won’t Last Forever
The final tip is more a mind over matter tip. It’s important to keep reminding yourself that as bad as your sleep may be right now, it won’t last forever. Focus on getting your little one on a steady sleep schedule, and be kind and gentle on yourself in the process.