Congratulations on becoming a new parent! This is one of the most exciting times of your life, we promise! If you’ve had your baby then you know exactly what we’re going to be talking about! If you’re expecting, then you only know the horror stories of parents before you, “When I had my Jessica, I swear I didn’t have a full night’s sleep for the first 2 years of her life”.
One of the main problems new parents face is severe sleep deprivation. We’ve a bit of bad news for you…you’re in for a rough few months.
Self care is so important at this stage of your life. If you’re not looking after yourself properly, how can you look after baby and family and the home at the same time? Driving drowsy is one of the main causes of road collisions on our roads, so why risk it?
Here’s how you can help combat sleep deprivation and manage baby, family and you.
• If you’re expecting, and planning on having a hospital birth, make sure to take advantage of the hospital nursery – it’s there for that exact reason. If you’re having a home birth, rope in your mother, sister, best friend, partner, anyone you trust for the immediate days afterwards. You need time to recover after having your bundle of joy, to make sure you can be the best parent you can be. You won’t be able to do that if you don’t start at 100%. Accept the help offered by friends and family!
• If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times! Sleep when baby sleeps!
• For those first few months, take it easy. Don’t go on extra excursions or day trips unless you have to. If you have other children you may feel like you need to make extra effort to make sure they’re still having fun. Take some time for yourself, if you burn yourself out, no one benefits.
• If you have a partner, tag team the night time cries. You both don’t need to get up but you do both need to take turns! A common misconception is that if you’re breastfeeding, you always have to be the one to get up for nighttime feeds. Nope! If you’re breastfeeding, you can pump enough for your partner to cover some night time feedings so you don’t have to get up.
• When you’re looking at your beautiful baby through bleary, tired eyes – remember, it won’t be forever!
• Sleep deprivation has a strong link with the baby blues. Don’t ignore your mood changes, talk to your doctor. It’s perfectly natural.
• Eat lots of nutritious, energy full foods, and stay away from caffeine (especially if you’re breast feeding)!
Always remember to take a few moments just for you, and enjoy this exciting period of your life!