When a child is born, a mother is also born and it is likely that the latter will be severely tested, not only by the new task in general, but also by the lack of sleep . Let’s find out some tricks to be a mother and rest at least a little bit anyway.
Between hormones, anxiety and various emotions that accompany the arrival of a new member in the family, we must also deal with sleepless nights. In fact, a newborn baby wants to be fed every 3 hours and often wakes up not only to eat but also because he has some discomfort that he expresses through crying or if he needs physical contact with those who have kept him in his belly for 9 months.
All this can have serious repercussions on sleep, especially for the mother, who may have been used to sleeping 8 hours a night and in a row until recently! However, being able to rest is vital for those who have to recover energy after giving birth, to be able to breastfeed better or otherwise carry on with their daily life, possibly without going around like a zombie!
Here are some tricks to survive the sleepless nights:
Lie down even if you can’t sleep
When the baby is sleeping, it’s time for mom to get some rest too. You can relax on the sofa or on the bed but it would be better to stay away from mobile phones and PCs, as well as from household chores. This is a moment that, especially in the early days, must be used to recharge the batteries. You don’t have to stress too much if you can’t sleep, even just lying down can make your body and mind rest a little.
Seek help for night feedings
Whether you breastfeed or feed your baby with formula milk, you can ask for help and a little change even at night. Husbands and companions in the first place (but also sisters, in-laws, etc.) can intervene to give a little rest to the mother who can, for example, draw milk for one of the night feedings and stay to sleep when the little boy or girl wakes up to eat.
Keep the baby close
In our western culture, the child often sleeps away from his parents from the first months of life, this actually does not favor the sleep of the baby or the mother. In fact, every time she wakes up, she has to make a journey to reach him. An easy way to gain some time for sleep is to attach the crib or the bed next to the double bed so that you don’t even have to get up when the baby cries.
Relaxing activities before bedtime
There are mothers who have difficulty falling asleep even after a tiring day in which they took care of their baby. The temptation is to watch some programs on TV or to get on the PC. This is counterproductive, however, as these devices have lights that stimulate rather than relax. Better to listen to good music, some radio programs or read a book in order to reconcile sleep.
Choose the right guests
Be demanding about guests. There are “useful” visitors and visitors who can make a mother’s life even more difficult. When friends or family come to visit the new born, mothers may feel compelled to entertain or offer food and drinks so as not to seem rude. All this could also weigh because perhaps at that moment they would have preferred to rest a little. It is therefore better to avoid, at least for the first few times, those visits that require greater expenditure of energy, perhaps postponing them to more favorable moments.
Avoid drinking too much coffee
A typical mistake of tired moms is to fall back on coffee (exaggerating) to pull up a bit. This can end up being counterproductive by preventing a peaceful fall asleep in the afternoon (if you have the opportunity to rest) or even in the evening (if you have had coffee even in the late afternoon). Furthermore, breastfeeding mothers should limit coffee to one or two cups a day.
Delegate to others
The mother, especially the first few months, cannot be a superhero who takes care of the baby and the home alone and without having the opportunity to catch her breath. It is therefore important to delegate some chores to others, first of all to the father when present, to the grandparents (if you are lucky enough to have them) to other family members or, if you have the possibility, to get help from a domestic worker to keep the house in order .
Use the headband
The headband can be a good way to let both mom and babies rest more. It is in fact an excellent system to relax babies even in case of colic, thanks to contact with the mother. Often, comforted by the heat, by the contact “skin to skin” and cradled, the babies kept in the sling fall asleep. After having “unloaded” them, with attention and delicacy, in the cradle or in the bed also the mother will be able to rest a little.
Take the infant for a walk
A great way to let your new mom rest a little is to take the baby for a walk. Of course someone else has to do this: dad, grandmother, aunt, etc. Even a single hour away from home can be enough to give mom time to take a shower and relax, even if not necessarily sleeping but recovering some space just for her.
To think that sleepless nights won’t last forever
Generally the sleep of children settles permanently around 3 years but in reality there are many newborns who already at 3-6 months begin to do sleep pulls of several hours (some even overnight). Who knows you’re not among the lucky ones! However, you can always console yourself by thinking that this situation, even if hard, will not last forever and this could help you face it with more force.
And you? How did you survive the shortage of sleep when you became a mom?