Sleep routine as a new mum has changed. How do you cope?
Ways to cope with sleep routine as a new mum
Many moons ago you might used to have partied all night and slept all day - then came adulthood and responsibility and it was more a case of work all day and sleep all night. And, then, along comes baby - and any sort of routine - sleep or otherwise - goes completely out the window.
You may have been warned in advance by well-meaning friends but nothing can really prepare you for the exhaustion of having a newborn. They feed a lot and they don’t care that it’s 3.45am and you’ve to be up at 7 to sort a school run or get to work. They want to nurse, to cuddle, to be reassured.
The lack of sleep is difficult and may result in you feeling like a zombie during parts of the day, but there are ways to make things a little easier.
Accept help: If your partner works but is keen to share the load, agree a timetable. Maybe they could do the 11pm feed while you catch an early night. That way, you will be (slightly) less shattered when the 2am or 3am feed arrives. Also if family and/or friends offer to muck in and give you a break, then don’t knock them back. Take turns at the weekend: Your partner can help when they are not working. There’s no reason why you can’t have a lie-in on Saturday while they have theirs on the Sunday. Work out the best situation between you so that neither of you feel over looked.
Make most of the sleep you do get: Avoid food, caffeine and alcohol in the hours up to bedtime. Have a glass of warm milk and put your phone away and out of reach. You will reap the benefits of winding down. If you do wake, don’t stress about going back to sleep - the more you clock watch, the harder it will be to drop off again.
Nap when baby naps: Let’s be honest, you probably only ever snoozed during the day when you had a hangover. Well, now, it’s vital if you are to get through the sleepless nights ahead. Leave the dishes and get some shut eye. It will help!
Remember it’s not forever: This is a temporary adjustment. Your baby will not wake up five times a night as a teenager! Generally speaking, they will get into a sleep routine and hopefully your nights of peaceful slumber will return. And before you know it the sleepless nights will be waiting for them to get in from a night out…!