When you have a newborn you do expect your sleep to be disrupted, these things come hand in hand. Let’s be honest, your body has probably been preparing you for the lack of sleep over the last few weeks or even months with your bump being uncomfortable and numerous trips to the loo in the night. But even with all this preparation it can really hit you hard.
Coping with little sleep
You may have done your best to top up your sleep reserves during maternity leave, but the labour will most likely leave you exhausted and then you are straight into disrupted nights. It can be difficult to adjust to these changes in bedtime routine but you will get there and it does get easier. At first your baby will sleep lots, although not necessarily over night and not always in longer stretches. Try and catch up on your sleep as much as you can by taking naps when your little one sleeps. Avoid binging on sugar and caffeine (and yes, this does include chocolate), as although this may give you an instant lift, you are likely to have more of a slump following the sugar/caffeine high. Focus on eating healthy meals and snack on fruit and protein like nuts or yoghurt and drink plenty of water.
Routine can help your baby get a better night’s sleep and it can also have a positive effect on you. Getting up at the same time and going to bed at a similar time each night, can help you cope better. While your baby is young it may be worth having an earlier bedtime to give yourself a better chance of an adequate night’s sleep. This can be hard if your partner is only home in the evenings, but remember it is only temporary and you can make the most of your partner’s time on their days off work.
Try and get out as much as possible and get some exercise and fresh air – even if its just a walk around the block. This will be good for both you and your baby and can help you feel a little more alert. If the weather is nice, then why not have a stroll in the park or a walk around town?
The newborn phase is such a short period and while you get to know your little one, enjoy the time you have as you will catch up on your sleep, but you won’t get this time back.
Wishing you all a good night!
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