If you’re thinking that the picture above looks too serene, then you’re probably right. This was a once in a lifetime shot, and unless you have a full time nanny, moments like these are hard to come by as a new Mom. But the truth is, if you want to be a good new Mom you’ve got to get some good old rest, because if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. When the going got tough for me, and I realized I was a walking zombie whether it was day or night I knew I had to snap out of this sleep deprived Mom mode and get back on track. Here are a few things that worked for me and will hopefully help you:
Drink Zhena’s Sleep Calm Me Tea – I swear by this tea. There were times when I was so exhausted that my body no longer knew HOW to rest or fall asleep. Now, I drink this tea and 30 minutes later I start to doze off. It also helps that it has my favorite flavor – coconut!!! Give it a try, but as always check with your Doctor if you’re a nursing Mom. You can get this from your local market, sometimes drug stores also carry it, or order it here.
Try Co-sleeping – Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone, but some babies (and Moms) sleep better together. Some of my friends tell me that their babies started sleeping through the night when they started co-sleeping. If this works for you, I would suggest using the awesome DockATot sleeper which makes it safer to co-sleep and makes your baby feel cozy and cradled.
Work on Working Out – Even though working out gives you more energy in general, it really does help you sleep faster and better. Don’t work out right before bedtime, but start with walks with your baby or some cardio and you’ll surely see the effects. My personal favorite is Yoga, not only is it a workout but really helps put you in a more relaxed state of mind and body for sleep.
Ask for Help – Whether it’s your parents, your best friend, or a nanny, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most Moms feel if they ask for help then they are failing or being lazy, but remember the better you are to yourself, the better of a state you’ll be in to take care of your baby. Especially in the first month when you’re really burned out, ask someone to watch your baby for the night so you can get a decent number of hours of sleep at least once a week.
Put Your Partner on the Night Shift – Taking turns at night can make a world of a difference in both your health and functionality. This way, you’re only a zombie every other day (sigh). But in all honesty, what is the point in both of you being sleep deprived or waking up (unless you have multiples of course). So set a schedule and have him feed the baby every other night or at least a few times a week. If you’re nursing you can pump and leave a bottle out, or wake up and pump and go back to sleep. Remember, it’s their baby too!
Swaddle Your Baby – I know this is more related to your baby, but swaddling really really helped my babies sleep. So give it a try, they may sleep longer stretches giving you more rest. And check out my swaddle article for the coolest swaddles around.