This post may contain affiliate links, which means I'll receive a commission if you purchase through my link at no additional cost. You can read my full disclosure here.
If you are a new mom like me, when I first had Noah between trying to heal and sleeping, I was losing my mind and unsure how I would get the energy to be the best mom to my baby. Most new mothers find getting adequate sleep to be a challenge. Getting up always is disruptive to quality sleep, and you’re not alone if you’re feeling exhausted and irritable. I decided now that Noah is getting older. He is starting to sleep more through the night that it would be an excellent time to share what I had to do to get back to a semi-normal life after baby. This survival guide will help you get more quality sleep and offer some coping strategies to make temporary sleep loss easier to bear.
Getting More Quality Sleep
- Understand your sleep cycles. The quality of sleep is more important than the number of hours you get. Most people need 90 minutes to 2 hours of uninterrupted slumber to enter into a deep restorative sleep. New moms need methods to provide adequate rest when they’re frequently getting up to care for their babies.
- Use naps to supplement your nighttime sleep. Until your baby sleeps through the night, naps can help you survive. Take a nap when your child falls asleep during the day. Feeding your baby before a nap may help you both sleep longer.
- Enlist your partner’s help. Even if you’re breastfeeding, your partner can turn with night feeding if you pump and refrigerate your milk. You can also get more rest if your partner brings the baby to you at night for breastfeeding, so you don’t have to walk around as much.
- Seek out additional support. The first weeks are often the most demanding, so think ahead to arrange the support you’ll need. Your parents or other loved ones may be able to move in temporarily. Or you may be able to exchange mutual assistance with other parents in your neighborhood. If your budget permits, consider hiring a temporary nurse.
- Ask someone else to cover the first nighttime feeding. Having someone else do the first nighttime feeding is a great way to get some hours of unbroken sleep. Even if you take over later in the night, you’ll have gotten some much-needed rest.
- Work towards a consistent schedule. Rest assured that this is temporary, and I look forward to getting back on a regular sleep schedule. You and your family will rest better when you have regular bedtimes.
Coping Strategies for Temporary Sleep Loss
- Meditate. Meditation provides some of the same benefits as sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep or there’s no time for a nap, try some quiet deep breathing.
- Eat a healthy diet. You can improve your sleep by avoiding excessive caffeine or alcohol. Drink lots of water because dehydration can be tiring. A balanced diet will also help provide the energy you need.
- Do gentle exercises. If your doctor says it’s safe to exercise, a gentle workout may help you sleep better. You can find resources online or at your local library.
- Take a shower. A simple shower may help you feel refreshed fast. A few minutes under the shower and a change of clothes can help you feel more awake.
- Reduce other potential sources of stress. As a new mom, you have a lot going on in your life, so try to minimize any additional stress. Older children may be able to pitch in with more household chores. Postpone any big decisions until you can think more clearly.
- Talk with your doctor. Sleep deprivation can have severe effects on anybody, and new mothers are already dealing with many hormonal changes. Consult your doctor if you need help managing all the changes. Your doctor can give you recommendations to keep you and your family happy and healthy.
Being a new mother is a joyful and enriching experience. While you are adjusting to your new life, I’m here to tell you that you will start to get back to sleeping healthy again, and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. With Noah being 5-months now, I can understand what all of this hard work has done for my quality of life. Job at getting the quality sleep you need and look forward to many happy years with your new baby. I hope that you find this survival guide to being helpful. What are some things that I missed on this survival guide that you would add?