Welcome to motherhood. Your baby has become your number one priority: they’re completely dependent on you, you love them with all your heart, and you want to be there to tend to their every need. Nobody said the first few weeks of being a mama would be easy, but no words could have prepared you for this experience either!
Unfortunately, taking care of your beloved little one has required you to make some significant sacrifices. One thing that every mother will miss more than ever is a good night’s sleep! The days of laying down and waking up fully rested are now a thing of the past. You will probably, more often than not, find yourself waking up bleary-eyed and hazy from the sounds of your baby crying instead 😫
Getting enough rest is essential when you’re looking after your baby – if you can’t take care of your own body, then it’ll be even harder to take care of another. Here are Haakaa’s tips to help all those struggling mamas out there get some more shut-eye to make raising your baby just a little bit easier.
Why should I get more sleep?
There have been many studies over the years linking a lack of sleep to poorer mood. Not only does getting more sleep help you stay sane during the hectic period of looking after a newborn, but it’s also essential for your health. By not getting enough sleep, further health complications may arise from symptoms including elevated blood pressure, higher heart rate, weaker immune system, reduced cognitive ability and more. It also causes stress which ages your skin! 😱
Sleep deprivation can also be dangerous as it affects your ability to do everyday tasks. This makes it basically essential to try and get as much of it as you can, when you can, so you can fulfil your mama duties to the best of your abilities!
How can I get more sleep with a baby?
You’ve probably heard this many, many, many times – but sleep when your baby sleeps! Although it’s much easier said than done, this advice still rings true. Don’t use the time your baby is asleep for any other chores or catching up on social media. Try and fit as much rest as you can in those moments of peace. Even if you can’t fall asleep, lying down is still restorative and will benefit you.
Another way to get more sleep with a baby is by not being afraid to ask for help from those that you trust, and accepting help from those that are willing to give it. Although you may feel like you’re being too much of a bother to others, more often than not the people you reach out to will be more than happy to look after your baby for a few hours! They get a chance to bond with your new bub, and you get the opportunity to catch up on some lost sleep. It’s a win-win for everyone!
You can also enlist help from your partner or have a visitor for those night-time feedings. By letting someone else tend to your baby for the night every now and then, you can get some better, uninterrupted sleep.
TOP TIP: Our Generation 3 Silicone Breast Pump can help you express breast milk for your baby before you settle in for the night so that someone else can take over feeding duty. Just warm the milk when it’s time and swap the top for the Silicone Bottle Anti-Colic Nipple and voila! It’s ready to go.
Before you go to sleep for the night, place your baby’s crib near your bed. This will make things a lot easier for you when your bub wakes up and needs tending to. Your baby will only be moments away, and when you’re finished with whatever you have to do, you can slip back inside the blankets and continue snoozing from where you’ve left off.
Although your schedule will be completely thrown out of whack when your baby comes into your life, do try your hardest to keep up with a regular sleeping routine! Follow the same sleep ritual before bed, which over time will signal to your body that it’s time to rest. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and your body will naturally begin to follow its circadian rhythm, which will improve the quality of your sleep.
On a similar note, it’s also important to keep your bedroom as the perfect environment for sleep. Make sure it’s quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature – use light-blocking window shades, lower the brightness of your alarm clock and play some white noise low in the background. Let your body know that this is the place for sleep so it will relax every time you enter the bedroom, ready to catch those z’s.
Sleep tips for new mothers
- Don’t agree to take on any extra responsibilities or do more than you can. You shouldn’t feel like you’re obliged to say yes to anything! People will understand how busy you are taking care of your baby, so there’s no need to stress too much about it.
- Start practising good sleep hygiene. Avoid caffeine before bed, and don’t use your electronics before sleeping either – the blue light can cause your brain to think it’s daytime and make you more alert.
- If you can, try and get in some physical activity during the day. This can help you to become more tired at night and fall into a deeper, more restful sleep.
When will my baby sleep more on their own?
Don’t fret mamas; your sleep deprivation won’t last forever! At around 3-4 months, your baby will start sleeping for about 6 to 8 hours at a time each night, leaving you more time to rest and recuperate. While the next 3-4 months might seem to go on forever when you’re going through the sleeplessness yourself, there will be an end in sight! We at Haakaa are behind you every step of the way through your journey into motherhood – you got this mama!