Newborn babies go hand in hand with sleepless nights. We all know this. We’re warned about it during pregnancy, and it’s one of the most talked about problems for new moms. But, knowing it’s coming can never truly prepare you for it. Until it happens, you don’t realize quite how little sleep you’ll be getting. You don’t understand that a baby that wakes up four times a night doesn’t go straight back to sleep after a 5-minute feed, they can be awake for hours. You can’t begin to imagine how tired that you will feel.
During pregnancy, you might have been told that you should “sleep when they sleep” and thought that this would make it all ok. In reality, moms often find that this simply isn’t possible. Babies usually take short and unsettled naps; older children need attention, and you’ll find that you’ve always got an awful lot to do around the house in that short time that you’ve got two free hands.
The feeling of sheer tiredness is one that you can never be prepared for. It can take over your life, ruin your mood and make absolutely everything more difficult. Many women find it tremendously overwhelming and struggle to enjoy their new life because of it.
But, this doesn’t have to be the case. Yes, you are going to be tired. Yes, there will be many, many sleepless nights. But, you can find ways to cope with these sleepless nights, which allow you to function normally and enjoy life with your new addition.
The one good thing about sleepless nights is that you aren’t alone. You’re joining a club of every mom that’s ever been. There’s plenty of advice and guidance out there from both health professionals and other more experienced parents on how to help your baby sleep. Sleep training tips can be beneficial. Even if you decide not to worry about sleep training until your baby is a little older, it’s always a good idea to try and get into a routine as soon as you can to help them settle.
Join Online Groups
The internet is a very powerful tool for new moms. Despite never being alone, and always having a baby glued to you, those first few weeks or months can be unbearably lonely, which always makes the tiredness feel worse. But, there are countless groups, forums and chat rooms that you can join online. These are great when you need someone to talk to and share your issues with, but you just can’t face getting out to a playgroup or new moms group.
When you are tired and feel like you just want to lie down the idea of exercise can be daunting. But, it will make you feel a lot better. Try to get outside if you can. Take your baby for a walk in the pram or sling, even if it’s just a quick trip to the local shops. The exercise will give you an adrenaline boost and help to raise your energy levels, and the fresh air will make you feel more alert.
You might not be able to get more than a few hours’ sleep at a time, and you need to exercise, but you also need to rest. It’s ok to spend the odd day sat on the sofa in your pajamas binging on your favorite Netflix shows. Just don’t do it every day.
Your diet can have a massive impact on how you feel. When you’re tired, you might not want to spend hours in the kitchen. You might fancy nothing more than a greasy takeaway and a pack of chocolates. Again, once in a while, this kind of treat is good for you. But not every day. Instead, find quick and easy recipes for healthy meals. Cook in batches and freeze meals or use a slow cooker. Snack on fresh fruit that will give you an energy boost. Then, make sure you drink lots of water and try to avoid too much caffeine, no matter how tempting it might be.
As a new mom, it’s ok to let your standards slide when it comes to housework and cleaning. Yes, you’ll be getting visitors, but they honestly won’t care if the washing up isn’t done. They won’t even notice. Instead of trying to do it all and wearing yourself out further, prioritize what’s really needed and leave the rest until you feel better.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.