Updated: Mar 23
The recommended amount of sleep for an average human being is 7-9 hours a day. Ask any new parents around you, and most will tell you that it is a pipe dream.
Sleep deprivation is very real when the newborn arrives, and the change in lifestyle can be extremely draining. With that in mind, here are some tips for the new mums and mums-to-be on how to find time to sleep!
1) Manage expectations and contingency plans beforehand
Discussing and having a plan with your partner on sleep management before the baby is born can help manage expectations of each other.
It would also be good to discuss seeking outside help from nannies and babysitters as backup plans before the baby arrives in case you both get overwhelmed. A list of possibilities on standby would be great.
2) Tag team with your partner
Teamwork does wonders. Be it caring for the baby, doing the laundry, or simply ordering your dinners, split your duties with your partner and work out a schedule that allows adequate rest for each of you while ensuring the baby is cared for.
3) Don’t paiseh - Accept help from others
There is no written rule that parents must be the only ones caring for the baby. Get assistance if you need it, and if you trust the babying skills of the one offering help, take it.
4) Don’t paiseh - Learn to say NO
If friends and family wish to visit, and you feel not up to having visitors, just be frank and reschedule the meet-up.
However, if they are close friends and family and you trust their babying skills, have them over and instead of tiring yourself out hosting them, don’t be shy to ask if they can help take care of your little one for a short while u catch a quick nap.
5) Coffee is not sleep
Although coffee might be able to keep you awake and alert for a while, it does not mean the amount of rest you need has been cut short. Try to keep caffeine consumption in moderation as you will want to avoid being unable to fall asleep when its bedtime.
6) Sleep when the baby sleeps
It may feel tempting to clear out your chores while the baby is asleep, but there is a logical flaw to it when it comes to your own rest. If you work while your baby sleeps and babysit when your baby is awake, you will essentially have no time to rest during the day! Sleep when your baby sleeps, and think up ways to multitask taking care of your baby and completing your tasks when you are fresh and alert.
7) Seek professional help if needed
If you find yourself sleep-deprived but are still having difficulties sleeping, it may be good to consider seeking help from professionals such as a sleep therapist.
As a new mum, this is the time you need to ensure you are in the best frame of mind. This is the time your baby is fully dependent on you for even the most basic of needs. Do make sure you are able to get adequate rest, for the sake of yourself and your precious little one.