Having a newborn at home can be the most exciting time of one’s life but this does not come without difficulties! Being responsible for a newborn can lead to stress and sleep-deprivation for new parents, especially when you have to feed and care for them through the night.
Signs of sleep deprivation in new moms
Being a mom does not mean that you have to sacrifice your sleep to look after your child. All mothers face sleep deprivation, and most moms don’t understand the importance of quality rest time. Sleep deprivation has unpleasant consequences on your health, and it should not be ignored. Here are some signs of extreme sleep deprivation that you need to look out for:
- You feel and look tired throughout the day and are often irritable. You may even experience anxiety and depression.
- You fall asleep anywhere and everywhere and find yourself frequently yawning.
- Simple things are getting hard to remember, and you leave your cell phone or car keys in weird places.
- Fighting and arguing with your partner over trivial matters is a common occurrence.
- Starving yourself has become a part of the new lifestyle because most of your time is spent between taking care of your baby or trying to sleep.
Ways to improve sleep for moms
Caring for your baby and yourself should go hand in hand. You should make sure that you get ample amounts of sleep and rest in order to stay positive and healthy. Sleep deprivation can also lead to accidents, putting both you and your family in danger. Check out these tips that help you deal with sleep deprivation.
- Talk to your partner - Even before your baby is born, have an open discussion with your partner about sleep and rest. Do you feel that it's time your partner took on certain responsibilities at home? Work out a schedule that suits the both of you and maybe take it in turns to look after your baby at night. You may consider hiring a babysitter or a night nurse.
- Sync your sleeping pattern – You may have heard this suggestion from many people around you, and this is advice that should not be taken lightly. A newborn’s sleeping pattern is not fixed, and so your baby will frequently sleep and wake throughout the day and night. Take the opportunity to sleep while your baby sleeps. Don’t waste this time on doing other things you think you’d rather be doing or feel you should be doing.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help - Asking for help is not an embarrassing thing. In fact, your extended family members and friends will be happy to help you out at this time. If you have no one around, hire a babysitter for a few hours a day if you can. This could help you out a great deal, and you could catch up on your sleep.
- Don’t take on added responsibilities - Looking after a newborn will take up most of your time, leaving you little time to do anything else. Don’t burden yourself during this phase by taking on additional responsibilities that can be handled by your partner or another family member. Though baking a bunch of cupcakes for your older child’s class party sounds like fun, pass this on to someone else.
- Do not ignore the “Baby Blues” - If you already feel depressed and anxious because of the postpartum hormones, lack of sleep will only make it worse. Seek professional help, and feel free to discuss this with your family doctor or obstetrician when you go for your postpartum check-up.
- Look at the big picture - All newborns cry and fuss during the first few weeks of their life. It’s just your little one adjusting to everything in this world. If you have concerns about your baby’s health, like reflux issues, speak to a pediatrician. This phase is only temporary, and you will be able to settle into a regular routine as your baby grows.