Right up to the time they’re ready to leave home, having and raising kids poses the biggest challenge to their mother’s sleep. Amidst diaper changes, round-the-clock bottles, scary monsters, and cases of flu, getting enough sleep and rest is impossible (it does get better, we promise!). Even when the baby is asleep and you’re ready to drop, the aches and pains will keep you up. Experts advise new moms to develop a habit of self-care from the very beginning. Taking care of your body will help you bond better with the newborn and other family members. And, the first step of self-care is adequate sleep. Here are a few quick tips on how to get at least 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye.
“Sleep When You Can!” – Follow this Rule
In the initial few months after the baby’s birth, rearrange your sleep patterns according to the infant. After all, maternity leave is there for a reason. Sleep when the baby sleeps, regardless of whether it is daytime or nighttime. It’s that simple. Get your partner to take turns sleeping and request friends and family members to help you with household chores like cooking and cleaning. Focus all your time and energy on raising the infant. Don’t fret about the laundry piling up, stacks of dirty dishes in the sink, or the layers of dust that seem to appear out of nowhere. Stressing about them will make it harder to fall asleep when you finally put down the infant for a nap.
Set Up the Crib in Your Bedroom
When you’re prepping the baby’s room, that’s where the crib goes. But as seasoned new mothers will tell you, it’s wiser to place the crib in your room until you start sleep training the baby. You’ll find it easier to tend to the infant’s needs and go right back to sleep instantly. Also, place diapers and other supplies on your nightstand so you’re not stumbling around looking for them. Once the infant is a little older, all those supplies return to the baby’s room and help you stay organized.
Getting Back Normal Sleep Patterns
As you baby nears 10 to 12 months, their sleep patterns will likely settle. Most kids sleep through the night, possibly waking up just once for a bottle. However, it is not unusual for mothers to find it hard to recover their ability to fall asleep at night. Try a glass of warm milk or teas like lavender, valerian root, or chamomile for relaxing. Once you stop breastfeeding, you can take one or two sleep gummies with melatonin to help you destress and drop off. Restrict the amount of coffee you drink in the evening so that the caffeine does not keep you awake.
Getting Enough Rest After Going Back to Work
Life can become hectic and stressful when you go back to work after the baby is old enough. After juggling a full day’s work, household chores, and daycare pickups and dropoffs, bedtime can’t come soon enough. Resist the urge to pick up work slack or catch up on TV watching before sleeping. Leave your laptop out of the bedroom and turn off the TV at least 60 minutes before you turn in. Too much screen time tends to keep your brain wired up, so you have trouble dropping off. Instead, read a book or spend time talking to your partner. Now that the baby is older, you need to rekindle the romance and reinforce your relationship with them.
Having a baby is one of the best experiences in a mother’s life. Enjoy every moment of the first few months and build bonds that will last a lifetime. But, take care of your body and get enough sleep and rest using these tips.