Ahhh, the old phrase- “sleep like a baby” is NOT TRUE! My baby will not sleep! it should be “sleep like a husband” because he is the only one getting all the sleep around here these days.
Its awesome swapping war stories with other mamas. I find myself having hilarious conversations with complete strangers on the playground, in line at the grocery store or at a random birthday party. The thread that bonds all of us is motherhood… being a mom is one of those gigs that forces you to get your shit together even when you are not ready at all! But the conversations I have are interesting because its incredible how fast you can connect with another human being on these universal moments in motherhood.
One of the most talked about topics is Sleep. Precious precious sleep.
Babies and sleep. I heard one dad describe the sleepless nights of new parents as being a form of psychological warfare. Babies break you down through sleep deprivation and build you back up to their liking, They have ultimate control. You do their bidding every single time. They cry you answer, they cry you feed them, they cry you help put them to sleep. The early weeks (birth to 12 weeks) otherwise called the “fourth trimester” can be brutal. Babies don’t just “sleep like a baby”.
My hubby is incredible and will wake up 10x a night if I asked him to, but as a nursing mama sometimes its just easier to do it myself. I know the quickest route to sleep for everyone is to give him the boob (not my husband, the baby… gawwwd)! Being sleep deprived can make you do some weird things- like spending money you don’t have on online shopping while you are awake nursing, or leaving the house in the morning with your slippers on.
5 Ways to combat sleep deprivation in the fourth trimester
1. Go to bed earlier! Try to sleep when that baby goes to sleep for the night, even if its only 8pm! Just do it! This phase will be over soon and you can go back to your night owl ways. Just leave the kitchen dirty or tell your partner to clean up!
2. Lemon water before coffee. Yes coffee is a must have in the morning especially when you are zombie walking through the house at 6:00am wondering where the night went. Just have one big warm glass of water with lemon to set your system straight and hydrate naturally before loading it with stimulants.
3. Dream feed that baby: try the good old “dream feed”… this is a helpful tool and may buy you a few more precious hours of sleep at night. Either nursing mama or partner with bottle gets the baby up a few hours after putting them down for the night and gets a good amount of milk in their belly while they are drowsy. This can help them sleep longer so you can catch some more zzzzz’s!
4. 20 min power nap: YES do this, set your phone alarm and take a quick cat nap even if you are in the Target parking lot. Just do it- research shows that short naps can help recharge your batteries.
5. Exercise. I know the last thing you want to do is move unnecessarily but trust me- it helps! Getting fresh oxygenated blood through your body can help combat the effects of being tired, plus you will be working toward getting your pre-baby bod back!
And if all else fails remember this is a phase and it WILL get better!!!! Cheers to you mama!