Sleep Deprivation Solutions for New Moms is nothing to shake a dirty diaper at. When I first heard about sleep deprivation for new parents, I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about. Well, three months into the adventure of having our bundle of joy at home, I knew exactly what the fuss was…it’s debilitating.
I’ve been tired before and gone without sleep, but sleep deprivation during those first months is no joke. I think every new mom wants to be a Super Mom, but when you are operating on 4 hours a sleep a day, and that’s a good day, you begin to cry over spilt milk…literally.
Sleep deprivation impacts our performance as a parent, a spouse, and a normal human being. You may feel like you are incapable of juggling all the new parenting duties when you have a baby, but add in your normal routine and duties as an individual, you begin to wonder if it will every change.
The good news and quick answer is yes, it will get better. It doesn’t feel like it in the beginning, when your baby is sleeping only two hours at a time before the next feeding takes place, but soon…they will settle in and you can get some much needed sleep. Here are some Sleep Deprivation Solutions to keep your sanity!
1. SHARE THE LOAD: Compare schedules with your spouse to find opportunities where you can give each other a little break. Is there an opportunity for Dad to do some midnight feedings and give mom some sleep? Or vice versa? Pumping before you go to bed, have the bottle ready and go sleep in the spare room while Daddy gets up to do the feeding.
2. COOKING FOR THE MASSES: The last thing you want to do at the end of a busy child-rearing day is stand in the kitchen and make dinner. Check your schedules and find the days where you can make some food in bulk. My husband would grill 30 chicken breasts, 6 steaks, and about 10 hamburgers at a time. Using the Food Saver, we would make packages of 4 and toss ‘em in the freezer for those “grab and grub” moments when nobody wanted to cook. It’s important to feed your body to stay balanced while your suffering from sleep deprivation. Low blood sugar is nothing more than a recipe for anxiety and a short temper fits.
3. ASK FOR HELP: As a new mom, I didn’t want to ask for help because I wanted to know I could do it all. I quickly discovered how silly this ideal was. Why do it all when you have willing and able family and friends to help out? Put the ego aside, ask for help, and take advantage of a few hours here and there to snag a nap, a mani-pedi, or a quick trip to the gym. Whatever activity makes you feel refreshed, find the time and go and do it. The more fulfilled your soul feels, the better parent and spouse you will be.
4. PRIORITIZE: Back in the day, you could spin your wheels over a To Do list and casually mark things off as you go. Not anymore. Times have changed, so create a new To Do list. TO DO NOW. TO DO LATER. There’s no sense on getting your car washed every week when you aren’t even driving that much in the beginning of being a new parent.
5. USE THE WEB: Thank goodness for the invisible helping hands of the internet. With the ease of a simple click of your mouse, you can save yourself some time, not to mention gas money, by ordering groceries, diapers, and all things baby with online retailers. Grocery stores are always having specials for home delivery, so take advantage of them and go online. You can also set up an autoship program with Amazon.com and Diapers.com to have your baby gear at the door the next day or the day after that.
6. DATE NIGHT: Now, more than ever, it is important to make time for you and your spouse. Find a babysitter or have your parents step in so you can keep the romance of your marriage alive and well.
7. BABY BLUES: Sleep deprivation solutions should include your awareness for the ‘Baby Blues.” Approximately 70-80% of all new mothers experience some negative feelings or mood swings after the birth of their child, so don’t ignore them. Talk to your doctor, your husband or your best friend.