As you wake up for the 5th time in the middle of the night to soothe your new baby, you probably have a lot going through your head. Part of it is the wistful longing for the sleep your missing. The other part sounds a bit like the “you’ll shoot your eye out” chorus from A Christmas Story but with your friends and family saying, “you’ll never sleep again.”
Before you know it, the sun is rising and the new day has started. Time to fake it until you make it…but how exactly does a new parent do that when they have put their car keys in the freezer and given the dog a bowl of coffee instead of water? These tips will most certainly help you get on an even keel!
1. Become a pro at power napping
You’ve probably discovered that the phrase “sleep like a baby” is not very comforting. Babies wake up quite a bit in the first few months, not to mention throughout their early years. Instead of running yourself ragged, work on getting a power nap. In the beginning, this may require assistance from your partner, a family member, or friend, but just 20 solid minutes of a power nap can give you your power back.
2. Go to bed earlier
It sounds like a total buzzkill, but in the first few months of your baby’s life, it really helps to head to bed earlier. You can catch up on your favorite shows another time. For now, grab that sleep when you can. You’ll have a better handle on your little one soon enough and then you can splurge with a later bedtime.
3. Keep active
In those first few weeks, you definitely need to take it easy, however, most doctors will tell you that light walking is very good for your recovery. One of the best things you can do to feel better about losing sleep is taking a walk. Load baby into the stroller and enjoy the way the wind rustles through the trees, the smell of fresh air, and take in the world around you. As a bonus, it will help you sleep better at night.
4. Avoid doing too much
You know that laundry in the corner? It can wait. So can all your other chores. Your health and that of your baby is most important right now. Stop trying to cram chores into those moments when your baby is sleeping. Instead, get some sleep yourself. In a few more weeks, you’ll find a balance and have more time to do things.
5. Don’t be shy about asking for help
When it comes to raising babies, it really does take a village. Ask that village for help. You won’t be doing this forever you know and it’s not a sign of weakness. Call your parents or your in-laws and ask if they can watch the baby while you run errands. Ask your best friend to make you a meal. And when all else fails, use a delivery service. You can have your groceries (including complete meals!) delivered so you won’t have to worry about making nutritious meals yourself.
Now that you know how to get a little more rest, go relax. This phase will pass by quickly and before you know it, your little one will give you a lot more room to roam. Sure, you’ll have to chase them, but that’s a whole different story!