How to Cope With Sleep Deprivation

dad and infant sleeping

dad and infant sleepingPerhaps one of the hardest struggles for parents with new babies is losing out on sleep.  During the first year of a child’s life you can expect to lose at least 44 days of sleep.  Sleeping eight hours straight at night will be a thing in the past – for now.

Read on to learn how to cope with one of the downsides of being a parent.

Sleep when you can

Sleep when your baby is sleeping. This sounds so simple but it is actually very hard to do.  Once the baby is asleep there are so many things you can think of doing like finally taking a shower, having a quick bite to eat, tidying up, and so much more.  Well, forget about all of that and JUST SLEEP.  You will function way better when you are minimally sleep deprived, not to mention your mood is better too

Use your time wisely

When the baby is awake, be assured that it is OKAY to leave the baby to do your household chores, take a shower, get something to eat, etc. Check the baby every 15 minutes or so to assure yourself that the baby is fine.  You should be able to approximately tell when the baby would get hungry and so try to work around that schedule.  The baby will be fine in a safe comfortable crib and even if she cries she will be okay.  It’s what newborns do – they sleep, feed, and cry.  When you do this, you will be able to afford sleeping with the baby.

Say “yes” to help

Accept help when offered/Ask for help. It’s understandable that you do not want to leave your baby in somebody else’s hands but you will really appreciate the help that you get.  Responsible trustworthy relatives or close friends (non-smokers) who have experience taking care of babies and are parents themselves will know what you are going through and if you get an offer, grab it!  Use this time to sleep.

Let baby soothe herself to sleep

Help your baby to be able to soothe himself to sleep. As soon as the baby is introduced to the outside world, whatever she experiences will be her norm.  If you rock her to sleep often, this will be what she will know and expect.  Avoid rocking the baby to sleep when it is not necessary.  Newborns will normally feel drowsy after feeding, you can burp the baby and then gently lay her in the crib to fall asleep.  What you are trying to do is letting the baby sleep on her own which in turn will make her sleep last longer.

In the midst of all this sleep deprivation (the amount of sleep deprivation you never thought was possible to survive), do know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. You may not see it yet but this suffering is only temporary.