Childbirth will be miraculous, they say. Becoming a mother will be a rebirth for a woman, they say. And it’s all true! Early motherhood can be one of the most cherished times of your life. But only a few mothers are prepared for the sleepless nights that come with it!
Newborns have absolutely no idea that sleeping at night is common in the human world. So, especially during the first couple of months, babies might stay awake most of the night or wake up at regular intervals. For new mothers, this can mean long, sleepless nights. And not getting enough sleep can take its toll on you.
But, don’t worry. Here are some easy tips that we have gathered, to help you cope with the long nights.
Share the nighttime load with your partner or a family member
If you are awake for too long at night, you might not be able to function well and give the best to your baby. Ask for help. A bit of teamwork can make a major impact. If you feel exhausted and weak, ask your partner or a family member to take over. Let them rock the baby to sleep or change the diaper while you relax and get your sanity back.
There is no shame in being overwhelmed by taking care of the baby at night. It happens to everyone and it’s completely alright to ask for help.
Practice good sleep hygiene
Your body needs sleep even though you are a mother now. If you know that your baby wakes up at night multiple times, try to get as much sleep as you can before the baby wakes up. Ask your partner or a family member to take care of the baby while you can go to bed early. This way, you get a head start on your sleep.
If someone can give the baby milk the first time she wakes up at night, that’s even great. This way, you get at least some rest before finally waking up for baby duty when it’s your turn.
Create the best sleep environment for yourself and the baby
Make your bedroom a relaxing place to sleep. Keep the curtains drawn and the lights dimmed. This will not only help the baby relax and give her a signal that it’s time to sleep but also help you fall asleep quickly once the baby sleeps.
If you co-sleep with the baby, that’s great. Many mothers find that the baby sleeps better when they co-sleep. Also, nighttime feeding sessions become very convenient.
Convert nighttime feeding into ‘me time’
Here’s something most new mothers don’t realize. When your newborn is breastfeeding in the night, you have all the peace and quiet you want! As your baby suckles peacefully, use this time well. Read a book you have always wanted to read or watch your favorite show on Netflix with headphones on. Or you could just relax and close your eyes and meditate. You could even make grocery lists, plan meals for the next day, and catch up with world news!
Have your favorite healthy snacks handy
Nighttime snacking might be considered an unhealthy habit. But if you are a breastfeeding mum, you can indulge in it from time to time. It is natural for a nursing mother to feel hungry while feeding at night. Keep a snack handy. Also, don’t forget to hydrate yourself when you nurse at night. However, remember to have light, nutritious snacks. Having foods rich in sugars and salt in the middle of the night can cause more harm than good.
Be prepared for the night in advance
Make sure you have everything you need throughout the night set out or easily accessible. Things to have handy include diapers, wipes, towels, your breast-pump if you use one, water, your nursing pillow, etc. And make sure you have all these things nearby. Doing this will help prevent you from making unnecessary trips to other rooms in the middle of the night.
Try relaxation exercises during the day
Even if exercise is the last thing you feel like doing, engage in it as it will get your blood flowing and energize your body. Staying awake for long hours can make you feel sluggish at night. A little bit of exercise can help you feel better. Exercise also releases endorphins, the happy hormones. All the more reason to battle sleepless nights with some light exercises, you may consider wearing Dorset Active Nursing Bra. However, if you have delivered recently, ask your doctor what kind of activities you need to avoid.
Embrace your new normal
Everyone around you will talk about the lack of sleep, but the more you accept it as your new way of life, the easier it will be to handle. At times, it’s hard to not be frustrated when you have to wake up multiple times each night. But it’s very important to keep in mind that this phase is temporary. Also, these late-night feeds are truly special moments. This is the time exclusively for you and your baby and is great for bonding. So take a deep breath and try to enjoy this phase, too!
Motherhood is only as difficult as we make it to be. With the tips above, you will be able to breeze through the first few difficult months of motherhood. And before you know it, your baby might start sleeping through the night!
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