Because people who say they ‘sleep like a baby’ usually don’t have one.
Remember how your parents always remind you about how you gave them sleepless nights as a baby? Well, life always comes a full circle and now it’s your turn to find out what your parents were referring to. BUT there are some things you can do to make sure you don’t completely turn into a ‘MOMBIE’ (Mom + Zombie). Here are some smart, parent-tested tips to help you get the sleep you so desperately need.
1. Split night-duty equally
This is certainly not a one-person job. Talk to your spouse and figure out an arrangement that works for both of you. One way of doing it is to take care of your baby in shifts of 4-5 hours each. However, if you prefer longer, uninterrupted sleep, then you could try rotating nights between the both of you. You can take one, and your spouse the next, and so on. If you prefer this method, then you could take it one step further and sleep in a separate room on your night off so that you truly get uninterrupted sleep. The key here is to figure out the right arrangement through trial and error.
2. Pump before bedtime
Since it’s now obvious where your baby got their late-night snacking habits from (don’t look away – we’re talking about you), here’s one way you can prepare for it. Especially if your spouse is taking the late night shift, this allows you to get some serious shut-eye. Try feeding your baby before you go off to sleep and then your spouse can give the baby the pumped breast milk for their late-night feed.
3. Just call it a night
Yes, you’ve been told time and again to sleep when your baby does. And though it might not always be possible, there is some serious truth to this. If your baby goes off to bed early, try adjusting your schedule in such a way that you can sleep at the same time too. (And that ideally doesn’t include lying down and browsing FB/IG/Twitter)
4. Keep your baby within arm’s reach
One way to avoid having to get up a million times to nurse is to keep your baby’s cot right next to your bed. Some parents even find it easier to simply let their babies sleep in the same bed. That way, you don’t have to reach too far to pick them up every time they need to be fed.
5. Power naps are your best friend
There will possibly be times when you will struggle to keep your eyes open all day. And when that happens, go ahead and treat yourself to a power nap. You deserve it. And more importantly, you NEED it. Sometimes, even getting 15-20 minutes of rest can make all the difference.
6. Pay off your sleep debt on the weekendss
Weekends are meant for relaxation. Even for new Mummies and Daddies. Enlist help from all the family members and friends who have been dying to come play with the baby. Let them handle the little one for a bit while you get some rest.
7. Never say “No” when offered help
Yes, you CAN do everything on your own, but you don’t always NEED to. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to simply get a break and let someone else help.
8. Figure out what makes you snooze
Is it the sound of the TV in the background? Attempting to read a new book? Listening to slow music? There’s always that one thing that’ll put you to sleep in no time. Try this, especially when you find it hard to go back to sleep because of your confusing sleep-routine. Avoid caffeine before bedtime and try and stick to one cup of coffee a day as this may further disrupt your sleeping pattern.
9. Discuss your feelings
Surviving on just a couple of hours of sleep can turn anyone into a three-eyed monster. Mood swings and emotional outbursts will take place more often now. And that’s why you need to talk about your feelings. Whether it is with your spouse, your best friend, or parent, a good venting session is always a great idea.
10. Remember, that ONE DAY, you will sleep again
Yes, there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Most babies start sleeping through the night between the ages of six to ten months. So hang in there and enjoy the ride. Because even though you’re tired, exhausted and slightly snappy, you’ve never been happier! (We hope you said YES to that one)