Do you remember when you were in your third trimester; sleeping was super uncomfortable and you were counting down the days until baby was out and you could get a full night’s sleep on your front again?! Yea me too.. And then what happened, baby came and before you knew it he wasn’t sleeping through the night.. Now you are in a constant zombie state wishing and waiting for the time to come when baby will sleep all the way through.
Well, from all the conversations i’ve had with other parents recently, it seems that these night time wakes can last up until your littl’n is two! and beyond.
So with that in mind I came up with a few tips to help you deal with the sleep deprivation you’ve been experiencing.
Sleep when the baby sleeps
Yes, I see you rolling your eyes. Everyone says sleep when the baby sleeps, but it’s so true and so useful!
I was notorious for trying to get one million things done whilst the baby was sleeping because I thought it was necessary (she says with the baby strapped to her chest so that she can finish this blog before the day is out), until I crashed and realised that the house work was always going to be there so I might as well just sleep, even if it’s for 20minutes.
Trust me, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, and believe me, no one is going to give you a medal for staying up to cooking & clean so just shut your eyes.
Visit family? “How’s that going to help?” you might ask, well if you visit family or are able to have, say, your mum or an aunt come over to stay for a few nights they can help you out with the night feeds, especially if you’re bottle feeding, and if they take the nights shift it’ll give you at least one full nights sleep or a morning lay-in to catch up on your Z’s and it can truly make all the difference.
As someone who just LOVED their sleep before baby was here, more than the average person i’d say, co-sleeping has been my saving grace. My son is 5 months old and he’s still in my bed. By having him in the bed with me i’m able to quickly pop my boob in his mouth when he wakes up and this helps minimise the awake time. This is a great one for mums who are breastfeeding, so if you are and the lack of sleep is getting to you give it a go, but be sure to read up on how to co-sleep safely beforehand.
So, this tip I wouldn’t really advise for breastfeeding mothers as it’s been said that the caffeine can be passed onto baby and that would only exasperate the matter, but if you, like me, live in a remote location and don’t have easy access to family and friends and sleeping when the baby sleeps is a challenge, then turn to coffee. Before I had my son, I rarely drank coffee but boy has it been a lifesaver. Whilst it’s not a long term solution, it can certainly help on those desperate days when you feel like a zombie!
Eat for energy
Once you've had a baby it's very easy to fall into bad eating habits. Taking care of a newborn is all encompassing which often leaves no time for you to take care of yourself but poor eating habits can make your feelings of fatigue worse.
By simply adding a few more fruit & veg to your diet and drinking more water you can help boost your energy levels which will help you ward of the symptoms of sleep deprivation.
If you operate a two parent household then taking shifts or nights can really help ease the pain of sleep deprivation. Map out which days work best for you and your partner and share the night wakes that way. At least by choosing whole nights instead of individual night feeds you’ll get a full nights sleep a few times a week and a few times a week is surely better than none!
It probably feels never ending and super hard right now but remember, it won’t last forever, I mean, you don’t hear of 15 year olds waking their parents up in the night.. Although once they hit 17 they might start again, but that’ll probably be to pick them up from a party, so, the message to take away, get in all the sleep you can, when you can!
Do you have any diamond tips on defeating sleep deprivation? Let me know in the comments..