11 Ways to Survive Sleep Deprivation as a New Mom
After 9 months of losing sleep while pregnant, you’re finally ready to sleep.
But, babies don’t often let their mommas get much sleep and postpartum sleep deprivation becomes a very real thing.
And as a new mom, it can be BRUTAL!
Sleep deprivation after giving birth is like studying for your final semester of college finals but on steroids.
If you find yourself struggling with the lack of sleep you’re getting with your newborn, here are some tips on how to survive sleep deprivation as a new mom.
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How to Cope with Sleep Deprivation as a New Mom
Give yourself a break
Cut yourself some slack as a new, sleep-deprived mother. You’re exhausted and that’s OK and often totally normal. You likely started losing sleep during pregnancy, and now your sleep bank is even more empty. Give yourself some grace and use these tips while you’re in survival mode.
Ask for help
When you find yourself crying from exhaustion, feeling like you could shake your baby, or just at the end of your rope, it’s time to ask for help and make sure you get it. Don’t shove those feelings of exhaustion off because chances are it’ll get worse and not better.
Find someone in your support system who can give you a break and watch your baby while you sleep. Even if you’re breastfeeding, or your baby has colic, an hour or two of uninterrupted sleep can make you feel like a new human.
Set an alarm in a place you have to get up to turn it off
If you’re a working mom, it will be helpful to set an alarm across the room. I speak from experience when I say that you’ll likely want to take a hammer to that alarm EVERY SINGLE MORNING, but it will make you get up and turn it off.
Related Post: The Best Tips for Transitioning Back to Work After Maternity Leave
Go to bed as early as possible
Do you remember being told to, “sleep when the baby sleeps”? This has never been more true. If you’re struggling with sleep exhaustion, now is a great time to start sleeping when the baby is sleeping. It only makes sense.
If you have more than one kid, pop in a movie (trust me here, I am all about limiting TV time, but when it comes to your ability to stay awake, 30 minutes of TV won’t hurt), and then rest for a bit while the baby sleeps and the toddler watches a show.
Clear your mind from the day
Once your baby is actually asleep, don’t lay in bed doing a recap of your day or worrying about the things you need to do the next day. You’ll be much more clear-minded if you get as many hours of sleep as possible.
If you have to, drink caffeine to help you get moving, or in my case, eat ice cream
My body doesn’t handle caffeine well. It’s a total bummer and many people don’t know how I survive, but I do. And you can too! If you’re breastfeeding, it’s important to be mindful of your caffeine consumption because there is a high likelihood your baby is getting some of that and you don’t want to mess with your baby’s sleep. For me, something like ice cream that has a good amount of sugar always helped me stay awake.
Related Posts: Breastfeeding and Pumping (How to Do Both!) & How to Use the Breastpump While Away from Your Baby
Work with your energy level- do what you can when you can
If you’re having a really high energy level day (yes, some people have those, LOL), get some extra things done that you may not normally feel up to doing. But, be mindful to not overdo it. Babies can be full of surprises and the day you choose to get caught up around the house will inevitably be the day your baby will choose to not sleep at all.
Related Post: Challenges New Moms Face & How to OVERCOME Them!
Splash some water on your face if you feel yourself falling asleep
Splashing water in your face sounds super cliche, but let me tell you, a cold slap of water to the face will wake you up really quickly.
Get some exercise
Sometimes, a brisk walk can help stimulate the blood flow which will help you feel more awake. If you have to, take your baby with you and enjoy the exercise along the way.
If you’re cleared for postpartum exercise, it may be helpful to get into a workout routine to help create some new energy you desperately need.
Yoga is a great way to calm your mind before bed and it also helps stretch out some of the muscles you may not otherwise be using. It’s a good way to help your body relax for a good night’s sleep.
Eat a healthy diet
Carbs are notorious for making you feel tired. Avoid foods that are high in carbs, especially right before bed, unless you know for a fact you’re actually going to get to sleep. Eat foods that will boost your energy level and last for longer periods of time.
Keep up with the house by assigning one chore to each day
When you’re a new mom, you want to do everything you once did, but you’ll quickly realize that may not be possible for a while. Take a step back and determine what household chores are an absolute necessity and start there. Then complete things one at a time as you have the energy.
You WILL Survive Sleep Deprivation as a Busy Mom!
Thankfully, the sleep deprivation you’re experiencing now won’t last forever. But, I have been there as a new mom (both a working mom and a stay-at-home mom), and I know how exhausting it can be!
These helpful tips are hopefully the key to you overcoming sleep deprivation as a new mom!
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