7 Signs that you’re sleep-deprived:
- You feel nauseous. A stomach ache is a sign that you are not getting enough sleep.
- You have a buzzing headache.
- You are especially crabby.
- You cry easily and your morale is low.
- Resentment sets in. This is not pretty. You are mad at your baby for not sleeping, but you hold it in. Then your husband asks what’s for supper and you rip his head off.
- You’ve lost your patience. You are singing a heavy-metal version of Rock-a-Bye-Baby.
- You are reading this blog post.
When things can’t get any worse, just remember you are not alone. Everything’s going to be alright. Here’s what can help:
- Get someone to do ALL the housework and ALL the meals. Your husband should now be your manservant.
- Limit visitors and outings. The world can wait. Mommy getting her sleep and regaining her sanity is the best gift for the baby.
- Take efficient naps. Yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times: sleep when the baby sleeps. True, this helps, but try to control the length of your naps. If you go over 30 minutes, you’ll fall into a deep sleep and wake up all groggy and really pissed off that you can’t stay in bed. The ideal nap lengths are either 20-30 minutes or 1.5 hours long. It’s also best to nap earlier in the day. “Sleep when the baby sleeps” also means going to bed at 8pm, even if it’s still daylight.
- Learn to co-sleep and breastfeed in bed. This will be easier when your baby is older (maybe around 3 months) and able to reach your breast while you’re still lying down. You may not be actually sleeping, but you’ll preserve your energy by remaining in bed.
- Don’t panic if you can’t fall asleep. Just do something relaxing. Resting is the next best thing to sleeping. If you are stuck in bed with your baby, who won’t let you leave his side, have a book next to your pillow so you won’t go stir-crazy.
- Take care of yourself. Eat well and regular meals. Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine. Give yourself positive affirmations (“I am a good Mommy. I am doing the best I can. Everything will be fine.”) And get out there! Take a walk or do some gentle activity that takes you out of the house (like yoga, with or without your baby).
- If you feel you are at the end of your rope, put the baby in his crib. Tell him you’ll be right back and close the door. Call reinforcements so you can sleep for 1/2 hour. If no one can relieve you, just take a 5-minute break in another room. Don’t worry! Your baby will be fine. Take care of yourself first, and you’ll be a better mommy.