Sleep is one of the most crucial things that your body needs to function. Unfortunately, the addition of a newborn to the family has a tendency to disrupt the sleep schedules of other family members severely. New moms are especially susceptible to having to be awake for inhumane numbers of hours between feeding and maintaining a pumping schedule to establish a supply. However, not only is a lack of sleep bad for your health, it can be incredibly dangerous to you and your baby. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 crashes each year are caused by drowsy driving such as you driving your infant to the pediatrician’s office on little or no sleep. But what can you do to get more sleep as a new parent? Below you will find some of our new mom sleep tips to help you feel more rested.
The first of our new mom sleep tips is to divide up the responsibilities between you and your partner so that no one has to carry the load on their own. You can try alternating or designating nights for you and your partner to care for the baby while the other one gets some much-needed sleep. Additionally, you could sleep in a separate room on your “nights off” to help insulate you from any crying or fussiness that might disturb your sleep. You can also set up a shift schedule if one of you naturally gets up early or functions better in the middle of the night. The bottom line is that you should discuss your sleep needs with your partner ahead of the baby’s arrival so you can determine what course of action is right for both of you.
Sleep When Baby Sleeps
On average, newborns sleep 16 hours or more during one day which is why we have added this adage to our list of new mom sleep tips. Knowing that new babies sleep this much should be a comfort to you because, in general, adults only need about half that amount of sleep which means that you can still have time to do the things you need to do each day. Napping during the day can help to rejuvenate you and make those middle of the night stretches and early morning wake up calls a bit more bearable. Bonus points if you can go to sleep for the night when your baby does because as they begin to sleep longer stretches, so will you.
While caffeine may seem like it is just the pick me up you need in the morning or early evening, it can have a detrimental effect on your sleep routine. In addition to caffeine’s impact on your sleep, if you are breastfeeding, you are passing caffeine on to your child as well. Since newborn’s metabolic processes do not function at the same rate as adult’s, it takes considerably longer for their bodies to process things like caffeine. In fact, it takes 96 hours for a baby’s body to reduce the amount of caffeine in their system by half. So while that cup of joe may be appealing to help keep you up during the day, it may come back to bite you by keeping your child up all day and night making this one of our most valuable new mom sleep tips.
What if you are still feeling overwhelmed or unable to get enough sleep to function during the day? It’s okay to ask others for help. If you are allowing visitors to your home, try to limit your guests to only the ones that you know will be helpful or that you can trust to watch the baby while you take a nap. Be intentional about reaching out to friends and family who may be able to help or hire a Newborn Care Specialist to provide you with all the support you require. Need help finding a Newborn Care Specialist to assist you and your family? Contact San Francisco Newborn Care today to find the perfect fit for your family.