It’s quite normal to feel a bit like a walking zombie with a new baby, but there are a few tricks to help you catch up on lost sleep.
Sleep secret #1
Get someone to take over a night feed
You may see yourself as the sole source of your baby’s food, but this doesn’t mean someone else can’t pitch in! Express some milk if you’re breastfeeding or let dad or a loved one make up a bottle and take over the 2am feed so that you get to sleep for a longer period during the night and wake
up feeling a bit refreshed.
Sleep secret #2
Rest when baby sleeps
Everybody tells you to sleep when baby sleeps. While it’s good advice, it’s not always possible. In fact, you may find yourself lying wide awake under huge pressure to fall asleep on demand, which, no matter how tired you are, is a skill not many of us have.
Know that even if you just rest, lie down on the bed, close your eyes and meditate or read a book and drink a cup of tea, all of these can be as refreshing as a power nap. Take the pressure off yourself, leave the chores and rest when baby sleeps.
Sleep secret #3
Accept offers of help
If you find that you still can’t get your mind off that pile of clothes that needs to be washed or the sink full of dishes long enough to have a nap, get someone else to do it. There are usually many offers of help from friends and family who won’t mind pitching in where you need them to.
Alternatively, hire a housekeeper for a day or two a week until things settle down. Letting go of the household is probably one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself during this time of your life.
Sleep secret #4
Go to bed earlier
If you find yourself unable to nap properly during the day then consider putting your life on hold for a while and going to bed at 8pm. We know you just want to feel adult for a bit and communicate with your hubby but if you are really exhausted take a few nights off to go to bed early.
When the baby starts dropping the 10pm feed, you may find yourself having a good stretch of sleep before the 2am wake-up, which makes the world of difference.
SLEEP SECRET #5
Chat to your doctor
If you find that you really are struggling with lack of sleep, or aren’t able to sleep, and you’re starting feel the effects (sleep deprivation can be a major cause of postnatal depression), talk to your doctor about medication that you can use while breastfeeding. Remember this is a phase, and it will end eventually.