5 ways to cope with lack of sleep after your baby arrives

By Dr Richard C. Woolfson   — December 20, 2017
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    It’s a fact of life that sleepless babies mean sleepless parents. One of the biggest challenges for you and your spouse when caring for your new baby is learning to cope with the lack of sleep, especially in the first four months when it’s too soon to sleep-train her.

    Your husband complains that he struggles to focus at work. And even though you’re on maternity leave, you’re also exhausted at home.

    You’re both cranky, and this is affecting your relationship. It’s time to regain control of your lives, here’s how.

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  • Split the work
    2 / 6 Split the work

    There’s no need for the two of you to get up during the night to feed or settle your newborn.

    Set up a simple schedule so both of you will get adequate rest.

    Even if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll probably be able to express milk, so that Hubby can give the baby a bottle feed during the night.

    Related: 5 things to expect when Baby is born

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  • Accept help
    3 / 6 Accept help

    Your relatives or friends offer to look after your baby for a few hours? Take advantage of the opportunity.

    Having some time to yourself helps lower your stress levels and you’ll feel more energised afterwards.

    Try to sleep during these brief times when she’s in someone else’s care. The rest and relaxation will do you good.

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  • Get forty winks
    4 / 6 Get forty winks

    Take short naps whenever you can, even if you only shut your eyes for five minutes

    Don’t rush around to complete household chores the moment your baby nods off during the day.

    Imstead, put your feet up and try to rest. You’ll be amazed at how a short nap can revive you.

    Related: New parents: Stop comparing your babies

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  • Prioritise
    5 / 6 Prioritise

    Cut down on unnecessary chores around the house. Those sleepless nights with your new baby mean that you’ll have less ability to concentrate on daily activities and less energy to complete routine cleaning.

    So just give some of them a miss. They can wait until tomorrow or even be omitted altogether.

    You’ll both survive if the home isn’t mopped every week!

    Related: Best tips for planning a vacation with your baby

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  • Take it in stride
    6 / 6 Take it in stride

    Bear in mind that this phase is only temporary. No matter how stressed you and your spouse feel about the lack of sleep at the moment.

    Be positive and look forward to the more restful months ahead.

    Rest assured that your baby’s sleep patterns will gradually improve over the next few months. And your life will steadily return to normal.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: 10 things every new parent should do

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