Parents of young children know only too well that looking after a newborn on little or no sleep can be completely draining, both physically and emotionally. Although it doesn’t always feel like it at the time, this phase doesn’t last forever and sooner or later your baby will sleep peacefully through the night.
To help you get through these challenging times, we’ve put together some tips to help you when you’re knackered with a newborn.
Housework and gardening can wait – this time is just for you and your baby so don’t try and do everything at once. If friends and family offer to help don’t play the martyr; take them up on it gratefully and give them specific jobs to do while you rest. Many couples have also found it helps to take things in turns, by sharing domestic and parenting tasks as well as weekend lay-ins.
Grab the chance to rest whenever an opportunity comes up
Many people will tell you to sleep when your baby sleeps and this is a great idea if you can. But for some new mums sleeping during the day is virtually impossible, so don’t worry if you can’t. Just use the quiet time to switch off your phone and have a lay down, even if you just watch the TV or read a magazine.
Make sure you eat properly
A nutritious meal and plenty to drink like water, tea or fruit juice can do wonders for both your physical and mental health when sleep is hard to come by. Where possible, try to avoid very sugary or high-fat snacks for a quick energy fix, because although they may offer short term relief from tiredness the post-sugar slump can be miserable. For a quick boost try toast, cereal, fruit or yoghurt instead.
Get out and about
A little exercise goes a very long way so try bundling up and going for a walk with your baby. Exposure to daylight has also been proven to help babies sleep at night – which means more sleep for you.
Although tiredness can lead to a lack of motivation, try and resist the temptation to stay home and vegetate on the sofa. A decent breath of fresh air can make you feel much less isolated and give you something to look forward to.
Try a supportive nursing pillow
When you’ve got a newborn, much of your time is spent propped up feeding. Why not make this time more comfortable with one of our nursing and baby support pillows? This handy multi-purpose pillow brings your baby up to the perfect height for easy positioning and latch-on during feeding. It’s also hypoallergenic and filled with soft, durable hollowfibre making it wonderfully supportive and comfortable. For slightly older babies, it’s also great for tummy time which encourages them to push up and crawl.
Join some support groups and make new friends
Getting enough sleep when you’ve got a newborn is notoriously difficult and many new parents are left completely exhausted. It’s a happy time but also a potentially very stressful one.
There are loads of baby classes or groups out there, many of which are free, where you can take your baby along and meet new parents like yourself. They’re great for letting off steam, gaining new parenting tips (like how to get more sleep!) as well providing the opportunity for some social interaction. Sometimes a good giggle and a massive cup of tea can work wonders!