The most common piece of sleep advice received by new moms probably has to be, “sleep while the baby sleeps.” If the newborn takes a nap at five in the afternoon, then you as a new mom should also take a nap at five in the afternoon. This advice is hard to follow for a new mom who feels all the responsibility for the baby falls to her.
A common trap new moms fall into is trying to accomplish household chores during the day while their baby is asleep. This may feel like a necessity, but in reality, it causing the new mother to suffer from sleep deprivation.
New moms should definitely take advantage of any rest they can. If it means that the dishes stay in the sink or the laundry stays in the hamper that is just the way it may have to be for the first few weeks. However, this concept is hard to accept for most new moms because they feel compelled to put the dishes in the washer and wash, dry and subsequently fold and put away laundry while they have a few minutes. New moms can worry that their house is a mess and there is laundry piled in the living room and dishes spilling out of the sink.
They may compare themselves to moms they feel are perfect and have it all together. The danger in this that a case of the baby blues can turn to postpartum depression and the chances increase with sleep deprivation. The reality is that new moms should take advantage of any help offered them by their spouse, family members or friends. New moms should not try to be “supermom” and do everything themselves. They should accept help, ask for help or even demand it if they need to. Even a breastfeeding mom can pump and have their spouse take a run at the middle of the night feeding. If an in-law or other helpful family member or friend is willing to take some time during the day with the baby, then the mother should take that time to sleep.
Sometimes having the baby out of the house say on a nice walk in their stroller with a grandparent can give a new mom time to breathe, rest and maybe even sleep. The pressure some new moms feel to entertain company comes from always being the hostess. However, with a new baby in the house mom should take advantage when the visiting relative or friend may actually just be there to help.
A one or even two-hour nap can go a long way to making a new mom feel rejuvenated.
Naps are not the only solution to feeling rejuvenated making use of an attached bassinet and not actually having to leave the bed for nighttime feedings can help a new mom sleep more as well. When the baby begins to fuss, mom can simply pick them up for their feeding. This may help mom and baby settle back to sleep more quickly after the feeding. Also, new moms and dads as well tend to sleep better when their baby is closer to them not down the hall or even on another floor of the house.
Attached bassinets keep the baby safe and allow everyone their own space to sleep peacefully.
Peaceful sleep may seem like a distant memory to most new moms but keep in mind this period does not last forever. Of course, every family and baby is different but babies do eventually sleep all night which means mom and dad get to sleep all night as well.