Dealing with Tiredness and Sleep Deprivation with a Baby

Parent asleep beside baby

You’ve never fully understood the true value of sleep until it has largely been removed from your life. Dealing with a new baby requires you to considerably adjust your entire life with Junior at it’s core. You need to be razor sharp to ensure that you are able to give her the best possible care, ensure the safety of the environment in which she will grow, and not to mention your own constant anticipation and learning.

Managing this while very, very tired, is challenging. Simple tasks become more challenging, you’re less patient than normal, concentrating may become more difficult, and obviously, feeling tired for long periods would indicate that you are sleep deprived. So we have outlined a few measures to ensure that you can maintain your energy, patience and sanity.

Sleep when baby sleeps

Sounds simple enough, but this will take some adjusting. I know, because I’ve tried it, and forcing yourself to sleep at unfamiliar times of the day (or night event) when you have a hundred and one things to manage outside of being a parent is no mean feat. Definitely worth a try though. Even just 20 minutes shut eye can give you that much needed boost.

Don’t turn away help

Pride does tend to become a stumbling block for this, s you want to bring you baby up without help, right? Ok, but think of it from another perspective. Your new world could be made easier, and who doesn’t want that. Looking after a new baby is very challenging, but no one that cares for you would imagine that you are incapable of this should you accept a helping hand. Friends and family are invaluable when you’re settling into your new parental life, and they will want to see Junior too. So, tuck that pride away from time to time, and take up offers of help to give yourself a brief and very welcome recharge.

Baby sleep tips

There are many different methods that can encourage your baby to doze off peacefully from the obvious to the obscure. Should they prove successful, great! Stick with them, but be mindful that no solution is guaranteed, and a tried and tested method, may well have a shelf life. Check out our article on baby sleep tips for some ideas to try.

Have time to yourself

Of course, sleep isn’t the only way in which you can recharge. Having just an hour here or there on your own with a good book can help. Doing anything that you enjoy is really beneficial as it will become a brief distraction. You still have your own needs to look after, so why no spoil yourself from time to time.

Get active

Exercise is a great way to give yourself a boost. Don’t rely solely on caffeine, but instead, go for a short walk out in the fresh air, or spend 10 minutes on some light exercises to get the blood flowing again. Nothing too intense mind, vigorous exercise should be far from your mind as it could well have a detrimental effect. Try these and it should help to reduce your stress levels, enabling you to cope more successfully.

Teamwork

This is key to ensuring a strong bond within your new family, learning together, and for you and mum to help each other raise Junior. Agree on your approach so that you can both provide the same parenting style, keeping surprises and change for Junior to a minimum. When you finally get her to rest, help each other out with day-to-day chores that will most certainly be piling up.

Your baby will also pick up on any tension between you and mum, which could well prevent them from relaxing into a confident and reliable sleep pattern if the environment around them is not positive. Any disagreements you may have, manage them out of earshot of Junior, and resolve them as quickly as possible so there is no tension in the air.

Preparation

Removing complication is a great method, and this requires preparation. It will also allow you to slow down and consider with more thought. Anything that removes to need for you to rush around, thinking on the fly will be of great benefit. You could prepare lists to organise your day and prepare feeds for baby (and yourselves) as examples.

So there we are. We hope this helps somewhat with your journey into parenthood. You should most certainly enjoy your new arrival, no mater what your decision turns out to be. Just remember that there are people out there that really care about you and your new family who will be only to happy to take the load off for a while.

Big Daddy


Photo accreditation:Susana Fernandez (flickr)

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