Survival Tips For Exhausted Moms With Babies

Congratulations! You did it. You made it through your pregnancy and you survived labor. And now you and your little bundle of joy are trying to find a routine, learning to cope together, and to explore your worlds in a totally different way. It is such a special time, and I truly hope you are enjoying it. It’s one of those priceless times that are often grumbled about but later regretted that they passed by so fast.

Sleep deprivation is probably the hardest thing to deal with, so is the challenge of figuring out what you can do to help your baby sleep at night. However, let me assure you those times will pass. Your little one will eventually learn to sleep through the night and you will be able to leave the house without make-up again.

I loved being a new mom. Although it was tough in many ways and I felt sometimes really clueless. Until my son was 2 years old (he is 6 years old now) he was one of the worst sleepers. He fell asleep as soon as I opened the house door or put him in the stroller or the car. However, at night he would wake up every 2-3 hours for about 6 months. As soon as he was out of his crib and in my bed he would fall right back asleep (most of the time) and be a happy camper as long as mommy was next to him. Never mind, that it is mommy who does all the chores during the day, running around and taking care of the baby during the day, while the little price could drift of to dream land whenever it suited his liking. Unfortunately, he didn’t really learn to sleep by himself until he was two. I was very exhausted because of lack of sleep. But it really was my own fault. Does this sound familiar to you?

So, with my daughter in my second round of new mommy-hood I did a lot better, helping my baby to sleep through the night much earlier. I would like to share some of the things I have learned (the hard way) that will help you enjoy this special time while still being able to attend to the needs and chores around you.

Newborn babies sleep in short bursts for up to 16 hours a day. This off-and-on schedule often leaves new moms very exhausted. The good thing is that around 6 months many babies sleep longer stretches and some babies sleep through the whole night, which makes your life a little better, too.  However, until your baby has learned to sleep for long stretches consistently you might want be to follow those tips;

•    Eat a meticulous diet. By ALL means avoid coffee, sugar and processed flour. Those foods require a tremendous amount of energy and enzymes for the body to digest them. You need the enzymes and the energy to keep you awake.

•    Eat a lot of raw and steamed fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, yucca, whole grain products) and some wild fish from clean regions.

•    Assure proper hydration. You need approximately half of your body weight of pounds in ounces of fluid. So, if you weight 120 pounds, you should drink about two quarts of liquids. In the summer your fluid needs are even higher.

•    Sleep when your baby sleeps. Get some shut-eye while you can. Give yourself permission to just let the chores wait.

•    Enlist help. Delegate specific jobs, such as running errands or watching the siblings, so you can take a nap.

•    Daytime is playtime. Talking. Spending time outside and playing with your baby during the day encourages sleep at night.

•    Spend much time outside. Even when it is cold or rainy, just bundle up and go for a walk. It will wake you up, help you get back in shape and the fresh air will do the baby well, too.

•    Keep nighttime calm and quiet. If you feed or change your baby during the night, keep the lights low and resist the urge to play and talk.

•    Begin a bedtime routine early. It might involve a warm bath, a bedtime book and a soothing song. Consistency is key.

•    Don’t respond to every little whimper, neither at night nor during the day. Babies sometimes need just a few minutes to fall back to sleep on their own. Besides, they need to learn to wait a little bit, yet know that mommy will always be back.

•    Consider sleeping arrangements. The risk of suffocation or strangulation increases for babies who sleep with adults. Babies who sleep with parents also have a much harder time to learn falling asleep on their own — a skill that eventually will help everyone get the shut-eye they need. You may want to consider having your baby sleep in a bassinet in your room or in a crib with a baby monitor. Later, you can sleep for a few weeks next to your little ones crib on a mattress or inflatable bed on the floor, so he or she gets used to the own bed and won’t require constant body contact.

•    Babies sleep best when they are properly fed. As they are ready to eat more than just milk (at about 4 months) you can feed them rice cereal before they go to bed. If your baby tends to be colicky, avoid cereals that are based on grains that contain gluten.

Remember, nobody is perfect. As you get to know your baby better as well as your mommy talent, you will find that things get easier. The most important thing is to be grateful and enjoy your little one and your time together.

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