Sleeping tips for new moms Sleep deprivation is often part of being a new mom. We all know it's temporary, however getting through the day caring for a newborn and a family can be challenging on little sleep. With the holidays around the corner, you may be adding even more to our already full plate. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of this time of sleeplessness.
1. You don't have to be Martha Stewart- or even a close second
Repeat after us, “I am not Martha Stewart”. Say it, own it, feel it, believe it! Unless Architectural Digest is sending a photographer over to shoot your home for their holiday edition, your house does not need to be perfect. Do you really need Christmas lights on every tree, bush and window around your house? Let’s not forget how that worked out for the Griswold family in Christmas Vacation! Expectant moms will need to reserve their energy leading up to the big day, and new Mommies are already short on shut-eye. The last thing you need to do with baby’s nap time is worry about holiday decorations. If you insist on channeling your inner Martha, at least ask for some assistance. Call a friend or two and have them come over to help you get your home holiday ready. At least then you can squeeze in some good quality girl time. Otherwise, put up your tree, hang a wreath on your door and get some rest!
2. Learn to say "no"
Rather than stress yourself trying to find the time and energy to attend every holiday event that you’re invited to, narrow your commitments down to those that are mandatory. You may be accustomed to party hopping at this time of year but this Christmas is different. You are not superwoman and it’s ok to gracefully decline party invitations. The hosts will understand.
3. Sleep when your baby sleeps
Any midwife or OB-GYN will tell you the key to fighting off postpartum sleep deprivation is to sleep when your baby sleeps. It's very tempting to do chores, laundry, hang out on Facebook or online or even watch a favorite show. While we think it's important to have some mommy refresh time, catching some z's is more important. Sleep deprivation is real and can even be dangerous for you and your little ones.
4. Say "yes" to help
Accept any help you can get. Whether it's a family member, friend, or babysitter, accept the help, so you can get a few hours of sleep. You can even get help to simplify your life during the holidays. Shop online or hire help to wrap presents. Take turns with your spouse in keeping the little one and give yourself a few good hours of sleep.
5. Remember- this is only a season
Not all children are alike, but at some point your child will begin to sleep through the night. It may not be at 6 or even 8 months old, but it will come. Some babies sleep through the night earlier than others. If your baby is crying all night for more than a couple of nights in a row, talk to your pediatrician as there may be a medical reason such as acid refluxe or too much gas and it can be treated.
6. Be aware of Postpartum Depression
Sleep loss can lead to mood changes, and new moms are at risk for baby blues or the more serious postpartum depression. Getting as much rest as you possibly can, plus a healthy diet, especially if you are nursing, can help combat postpartum depression. Studies have also shown that supplemental DHA Omega-3 can help with mood balance and is especially important during lactation and recovery.
7. Dream-feed before bed
Dream-feeding or parent-initiated feeding while baby is still asleep can sometimes take away that first middle of the night feeding. If baby's belly is already full, they may sleep for a longer stretch. The key is to keep your little one asleep but allowing him or her to get a little snack right before you head off to bed.
Those of us moms who have already survived sleep deprivation can agree, this time will pass before you know it. Motherhood is not for wimps, but it is worth every minute.