by Jaclyn Herrmann
While you love your baby more than you could have possibly imagined, they are a one-way ticket to sleep deprivation. As a new mother, you may feel like the sleep that you are getting isn’t enough or is low-quality. Here are 5 ways to get better sleep so that you can get some shut-eye while baby does too.
Consider a bassinet that attaches to the bed. If you’re breastfeeding and your baby stirs at night, you can just scoop him or her up and nurse them before putting them back into the bassinet. With this, you barely have to wake up while you tend to your little one.
Sleep when your baby sleeps. When your baby takes a nap, you should use the opportunity to take a nap too. It may be tempting to do chores when your baby is asleep, but sometimes you have to accept that your house is messy and prioritize your body’s need for sleep.
Divvy up responsibilities. It is important to talk with your partner about how to divide the household responsibilities, including who tends to the baby at night. You are both now parents to this child, a shared role that requires collaboration and communication. If your partner isn’t putting in enough work, talk to them about it without attacking them. It may be useful to write down who has which responsibilities so you aren’t losing sleep from being overburdened.
Accept help. Say yes to any help that is offered to you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from those around you when needed so you can get some extra sleep. Sleep isn’t a luxury, it’s a medical requirement, and those who care about you will likely be willing to help you out for a few hours so that you can give your body the rest that it needs.
Turn your devices off before bed. It may be tempting to unwind after the baby falls asleep by watching TV or scrolling through social media, but the light emitted from electronic devices can trick your brain into thinking that it’s daytime and stir too much brain activity before bed. If you’re having trouble sleeping when you need it, put the phone away, and try other activities, like listening to the radio or reading.
Sleep is one of the most important biological functions that can be too easily neglected as a new mother, and lack of sleep can be a contributing factor of postpartum depression, but thankfully, the methods above can allow you to try to get the better sleep that you deserve.
Jaclyn Herrmann is a contributing writer. She lives in Atlanta GA and loves all things creative. She can be found on Instagram @jaclynherrmann