Strategies to Stay Sane With a Newborn and Sleep Deprivation

Photo Credit: Parker Michael Knight

Can I have a Newborn and lots of Sleep?

If you are getting lots of sleep in the first few weeks after bringing home a new baby, either you have exceptional help or you’re doing something wrong!  The new addition to your family brings exceeding amounts of joy, but she also brings about significant changes in the way you do things and to the things you’ve grown accustomed to…like SLEEP! Dealing with sleep deprivation from the start can help save your sanity, I promise.

Ah, sleep. Something we take for granted until we have a little baby relying on us 24-7 to attend to their every need. What we wouldn’t have given for a nap in those early days home with baby, right?

The Best Sleep Deprivation Tip?

The best advice anyone ever gave me for dealing with sleep deprivation was to “nap when the baby naps,” a tip I found to be easier said than done. Newborns sleep for very short stints and by the time I got them down and went in to catch a little shut-eye myself, they’d be awake crying again. It was a vicious circle, but it certainly didn’t stop me from trying to nap while they were asleep during the day.

However, since I was sleeping during the baby’s downtime and attending to them every other minute, other things weren’t getting done. Important things too, such as cooking, cleaning and having “me time.” But along these lines, I think it’s important to remember that this time in your child’s life will pass very quickly. You have to take care of yourself too and if that means having a house which is a little bit sloppier than usual or spending a little extra money on take-out, now is the time to do it. Don’t feel bad! Do whatever you need to do to get by.

Forget About a Full Nights Rest

Nighttime wasn’t any better for me either. As soon as I’d put the baby down they’d be up within an hour or two to nurse. And it goes without saying that your husband isn’t exactly helpful in this area. It was my job, nobody was able to help. However, by the time baby number three came along I had learned a few tricks.  I figured out that when he was a little bigger I could nurse him laying on my side.  This allowed me to snooze a bit while he was eating. I was too scared to try this with my first two, but by the time #3 came along I was so sleep deprived that I was willing to try anything.

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