Did you know a new baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first year? Or that some studies suggest women need up to an hour’s extra sleep a night compared to men, and not getting it may be one reason women are much more susceptible to depression than men? Or that if you’re sleep deprived, key parts of your brain may be dozing even when you’re awake? It’s a real Catch 22 that babies = chronic sleep loss, but sleep is imperative for your physical and mental health. What can you do to get a little more of those precious zzzzzz’s? Here’s a mom’s guide to surviving sleep deprivation to help you through this phase that, we promise you, will end someday. We’re also giving away one of our new Stay Asleep Buddies sleep trainers to help get your little one into a more restful routine!
Tip #1: Talk To Your Partner About It While You’re Pregnant.
You might constantly be talking about finishing the nursery, making sure you have a bag packed and ready to go to the hospital, and baby names – but this is an important issue that needs to be discussed as well. How are you going to juggle your schedules? What chores can your partner take on that you’re doing now? How about trading off who wakes up at 3 AM? You can’t plan ahead for everything, but talking about it before the baby is born will help your partner understand how tired you’re going to be.
Tip #2: If the Baby Is Asleep, You Should Be Too.
Plenty of moms laugh at this one. What about the laundry? What about the dishes? What about showering? Trust us. You need the sleep more than anything else. Every little bit of sleep that you get is going to help you out a lot, so quick naps in the middle of the day are important.
Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help.
Anything that someone is willing to help out with; let them. You don’t need to try to prove to the world that you’re a superhuman that can do it all. Go ahead and ask for some help. You might not normally be the kind of person that’s comfortable making that call, but extreme circumstances call for ‘extreme’ measures. (And people are generally more than happy to oblige!)
Tip #4: Talk To a Doctor If You’re Depressed.
After you’ve had a baby it’s completely normal to have a huge range of emotions, especially for the first two weeks. For some mothers, this becomes too severe, and they experience post-partum depression. Sadly, a lot of women don’t want to talk to anyone about this because they feel embarrassed or ashamed. There is NOTHING to be ashamed of if you’re feeling depressed. Talk to your doctor so you can get the treatment you need. Taking care of you is important for YOU and your baby.
Tip #5: Visit Family.
Does Grandma want to see the baby A LOT? Why not go and spend a weekend with her? You might be surprised how great it feels to have someone else there to help out as you relax on a couch in someone else’s home.
Tip #6: Take a Deep Breath and Remember, This Won’t Last Forever.
Oxygen plays a vital role in our health and well-being. Clearly, without it, we die. But even more so, deep breathing can reduce stress, rejuvenate the body, and more. Did you know that sighing and yawning are sign you’re not getting enough oxygen. Take some full, deep breaths any time you’re feeling wiped out. Also, at some moments of peak of zombieness you need to remind yourself that this is a phase and that your child will grow out of it. Slowly but surely, you will get more sleep and start to feel like a human being again. Try to keep a sense of humor about finding the remote control in the fridge and a shoe in the freezer. It makes for great stories to tell your kids when they are older.
Now, we want to hear from you. What tips do you have? Maybe it’s something you did with your first child, or maybe it’s something your mom recommended or you read in a book or came up with yourself. Whatever it is, share it in the comments below for a chance to win one of our new Stay Asleep Buddies sleep trainers (ERV $30.95)!
Stay Asleep Buddies are interactive, plush pals who teach children when to sleep and when to wake! Using gentle melodies and glowing lights, children quickly learn to distinguish between bedtime and playtime – meaning more sleep time for both of you! Plus, the Stay Asleep Buddies are easily programmable for a full night’s rest or a much-needed nap.
Functioning as a sleep trainer, nightlight and sound soother all in one, Stay Asleep Buddies are the perfect solution for developing healthy sleep routines. Simply set the timer and Stay Asleep Buddies will do the rest!
UPDATE: Congratulations to our lucky winner, Carrie Lee! Thank you all for participating – watch our blog for November’s giveaway starting soon!
ENTER TO WIN! Here’s how >
In the comments below, share a tip for surviving sleep deprivation.
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One random winner will be selected on October 31st, 2015!
No purchase necessary. Must be US resident, 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Click-through for full sweepstakes rules.