Newborns come with immense joy to the mother and the family at large. Though every pregnant lady cannot wait to hold their baby in their arms, it comes with challenges such as sleep deprivation. Most parents do not get enough postnatal rest during the night since they have to remain alert to take care of the baby.
The lack of enough sleep during the night makes it hard for the mother to focus during the day. It becomes a recurring cycle of going for days or even months without enough sleep. This habit causes irritability and lethargy in new moms.
You should try to get adequate sleep during the first months after delivery for your safety and sanity. We will enlighten you on how you can fight sleep deprivation and get enough rest while still attending to the needs of your child. Enjoy!
Why are most mothers sleep deprived?
An infant has a different sleep pattern compared to the mother. During the first three months, they spend most of their time in the REM sleep phase. The hours in the night may be too much for a baby to remain asleep till morning. Most of them wake up after 3-4 hours in the night.
You have to be keen on when the baby wakes up feeling hungry or needing a new diaper. This affects your sleep patterns and prevents you from staying asleep for hours at night. At the end of the night, you could have slept for less than five hours.
Some women have trouble falling back to sleep once they wake up in the middle of the night. It causes sleep fragmentation which, in turn, reduces the amount of time you spend in deep sleep. Every time you wake up to check the baby, you have to begin the sleep cycle again starting from the light stage before you can get to the deep phase. All this translates to exhaustion.
How can you boost postnatal rest?
Sleep when the baby lies down
Most mothers try to finish their chores when the baby is sleeping. Though the tasks have to be done, they may leave you feeling weak and take away any energy you had left. You should take advantage of this period when the baby is resting for you to get some rest too. Lie down even if you don’t feel sleepy yet and you may find yourself feeling better by the time your baby is up.
Avoid late night TV shows
After delivery, you may have to give up on watching movies late in the night. The light from the TV is not healthy since it makes you stay awake for hours at night. You have to adjust your sleep routine and sleep early so that your body can get enough rest by the time your child calls for your attention.
Do not watch TV for hours before bedtime. The radio, however, can be a sleep aid for new moms. Though noise disrupts sleep, good music from the radio can be soothing and relaxing for any mom. It can help you rest well and also improve your mood.
Get help when you can
Sometimes, it may be hard to handle all the tasks alone and still get enough rest for your body to recover. You may need help from friends and close relatives to handle some chores as you take some short naps during the day.
Entertain the friends who offer help with the baby when you need it. The father of the child can also be of significant aid especially during the night. You can both take turns to check on the baby when they wake up at night so that each of you can get some good time to rest.
Try to pump breastmilk and store in well so that you don’t have to directly breastfeed the child when it is the turn for your partner to supervise them at night. The opportunity also gives them a chance to bond with the bundle of joy.
Make your bedroom comfortable enough
For you to fight insomnia, you have to ensure that your bedroom is comfortable so that you can sleep soundly with no interruptions. Get a new mattress from Bear mattress and boost the quality of your sleep. You can also set the mood by maintaining a conducive temperature in your room and blocking any light. Utilize a white noise device to help you relax as someone else watches the baby.
Try horizontal breastfeeding
Breastfeeding as you rest horizontally on your body not only relaxes your body but also makes your child remain comfortable in the position. You have to be careful with horizontal breastfeeding especially if your child suffers from reflux. It may not be convenient for such a child to burp after feeding.
Plan for a road trip with your child
When they are ready to travel, do not hesitate on taking them for a road trip for a couple of days. This gives you the opportunity to take care of yourself and also relax from the busy schedule. It also gives your partner a break for them to catch some naps when you are gone. Both of you, therefore, can fight sleep deprivation through this strategy.
Conduct sleep training
Once your child turns four months old, you can start sleep training to help them learn how to remain in bed the entire night without feeding. Start by extending the duration when they usually feed at night so that they can begin adjusting to new feeding time. Avoid over-relying on the monitor to train your child to sleep for at least 8 hours without waking you.
Keep your baby close
Though most couples prefer setting a room for their children, a newborn should sleep close to the mother. Set up a bassinet that remains next to your bed so that you don’t have to keep on visiting them in a separate room. This makes it easy for you to monitor them at night so that you don’t keep on subjecting your feet to the cold floor which can make it hard for you to go back to sleep.