So your precious little one is home from the hospital and you are finding yourself constantly tired. Sleep deprivation is common in new mothers once the nurses are gone and no longer doing the work for you. If you are experiencing a lack of sleep because of your newborn, don’t worry. You are not the only one. Some of these tips may help you increase the amount of sleep you get so you can have energy to last the day.
Nap Time for Both
Sleep when the baby sleeps. If you lay the baby down for a nap and that wonderful mattress is calling for you, don’t ignore it. The laundry can wait, the cooking can wait. Answer that call and take a nap as well. You will feel invigorated when you wake up and you will not drag through those other chores that you put aside for a while.
Also delegate the work. Your spouse may work, but so do you! Save some of the chores for them. Just because you are home with the baby doesn’t mean you have time for all of the housework. Split it up. They live there as well, after all.
Some new mothers have a tendency to pump for breastmilk in the middle of the night. There was no more time in the day after cleaning dishes, washing and folding clothes, cooking, and caring for the baby. This is another reason to delegate the work off to others (if you have older children, put them to work as well). By giving you more free time, you will be able to pump before you go to bed, rather than at 2:00 in the morning.
So your spouse has to get up at 5am to go to work. You have to get up at 1, 3, 5, and 7 to take care of the baby’s needs. If the two of you take shifts during the night, you can split up the work and lessen your lack of sleep. Yes, they may have to go to work, but that doesn’t mean you should face the full brunt of sleep deprivation. Let them go to work lagging. You do.
Alternate Nights Off
New mothers tend to have a hard time not being the one to answer the call of their crying baby. Until they are sleep deprived. Then they force the spouse out of bed to tend to the newborn’s needs. Whereas doing things in shifts at night can help reduce your sleep deprivation (but increase your spouse’s), try alternating nights off. This way you each will get a decent night’s sleep every other night, allowing you both to get through your days easier.
Do you have a spare bedroom? If so, make use of it. On your nights off, or when you are not on your nightly shift, try sleeping in the extra room. Don’t want to be away from your baby? That’s okay. It’s called motherly instinct. Not sure if your spouse can handle it alone? You do, why can’t they! It’s sink or swim, and 10 times out of 10 they will swim. It’s okay to leave your significant other with the responsibility.
If the extra room is an office or study, oh well. Put a bed or futon in there and get some shut eye while your other half listens out for your little one. You can shut the door and have it a little quieter; if there are any problems, your spouse will let you know. Separate yourself so you can get some sleep.