How to survive sleep deprivation
Sleep... Sleep... The most elusive aspect of parenthood, yet something that is desperately needed to function. Lucinda Hutton from Nurturing Mums, knows all about feeling tired with two little ones to look after and a business to run. She let us in on a few secrets and tips on surviving the sleep deprivation.
No one can prepare you for the sleep deprivation you experience as a new parent. When your baby is first born you are euphoric and could stay awake and watch them for hours… but after a week or so of very little broken sleep, we are all a bit jaded. Here are my top tips for surviving sleep deprivation!
naps are your friend
I KNOW it can be really annoying when people tell you to ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ as there are always a million things to do… mountains of washing, online food shopping to be ordered and squeezing in a shower for yourself… BUT… if you can close your eyes and just ignore that washing for 45 minutes and rest, you will feel SO much better and able to tackle those tasks. If your mind is racing, an eye mask and leaving your phone out of the room can help.
prepare meals in advance
Us new parents are so focussed on our baby’s nutritional needs but not always on our own. It’s great if you feel up to it before the baby comes if you can batch cook some meals for the freezer that can just be popped in the oven once your baby is here.
create your own bedtime routine
It can often be quite hard to unwind as you are always ‘on duty’ as a parent. Whether it’s a bath, pillow spray, switching off screens, reading a book or popping on an eye mask… try your best to relax and set yourself up for a good night’s sleep, just like you do for your baby.
ask for help
It is in no way a sign of failure to ask for help. You will get lots of visitors in the early days – let them be useful; ask them to help load the dishwasher, let you have a nap, take the baby whilst you have a shower… anything that means you can use your alone time for sleeping or resting is a winner!
try not to compare yourself to others
Sleep deprivation can make you feel quite low. It can be hard when all you see are people around you whose babies are supposedly sleeping better than yours. All our babies are different and have tricky phases at different times – we all have good nights and bad. Comparison is the thief of joy, just focus on you.
It does get better
You may not think you can get used to living on broken sleep, but your body does adjust and cope somehow. The day will come when your baby will sleep better and it will be bliss!
Nurturing Mums is a postnatal course based in London, founded by mum of two Lucinda Hutton. The course is perfect for first time mums with tips on sleeping, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, baby development and first aid. Second time mums are more than welcome to join for more information and to make new mama friends in their local area. To find out more about the courses and how you can sign up, just visit the Nurturing Mums website.