Ask any new parent how they’re holding up and chances are that you will hear a tired groan, instead of getting an answer. Nursing and caring for a baby is a challenging task that leaves parents feeling fatigued and worn out. Add to this the countless sleepless nights they have to spend. You can easily see the fatigue in their puffy eyes and bent bodies. Feeding your baby around eight to ten times a day, changing their diapers, cooking food for yourself, managing household chores, and handling your nine to five at the same time can take a toll on your mental and physical health.
It’s important that parents get some break from this mind-numbing chaotic daily life every once in a while. If parents want to provide the best care for their little ones, it’s important that they care about their own health too. When you get that much-needed personal time to rest and relax, you get rejuvenated and keep going strong. To make sure that you are able to manage a little time for yourself, the first thing you will need to do is make a plan for it. So let’s dive and discuss how to can plan and manage to relax even with a baby in tow:
1. Sleep Whenever Your Baby Sleeps
Your baby sleeps at regular intervals, and on average, they may sleep for an hour or two at a stretch. This could work as an opportunity for you to compensate for your lack of sleep. Sleeping whenever your baby dozes off is also one of the best times for you to sleep because you don’t have to worry much about feeding or changing diapers when they’re sleeping. Remember that when your baby is sleeping, all household chores should take the backseat if they aren’t urgent, and sleeping should be prioritized instead.
2. Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help
It is crucial to learn to ask for help. You might want to do everything on your own for your baby. Often parents don’t reach out for help because they feel like they may be a burden to others. Or, it’s probably because you think you can do it all on your own. But you’ll soon end up exhausting yourself if you do that. Instead, break your inhibitions and reach out to close family members and friends for support. Grandparents usually are happy to lend you their helping hand. Getting to spend time with their grandchildren is a joyful moment for them and you asking them to spend time together would make them happy. When people you trust take turns caring for your little one, you can manage to get some much-needed respite from all busy schedules and get your rest.
3. Take Turns For Night-Time Duties
As a mother, you brought your child into this world, but both parents have to bear the new parenting challenges that come their way — lack of sleep included. Both you and your partner are equally responsible for changing diapers, taking your baby for a stroll, putting them to sleep, or looking after them while the other parent is busy with their work. The same goes for nighttime duties. However, if both of you have not had enough sleep, there’s not much you can do anyway. So, instead, divide the nighttime duties. Decide beforehand whose turn it will be to take over for the night. You could go on alternate nights. Moms could express their milk and store it for the fathers to feed the baby when it’s their turn to stay up.
4. Go Easy On Household Chores
Do not worry too much about not being able to put up with cleaning and maintaining your house every day. Sometimes, the laundry and dishwashing can wait. If you know you are terribly sleep-deprived, get a window of an hour or two to sleep. Avoid wasting that time on chores. You have nothing to prove to anyone and people will understand you have other urgent duties to attend with the baby. Prioritizing sleep over other tasks is important because that will directly affect your health, mood, and ability to take care of your child. Once you are well-rested and rejuvenated, you will anyway be able to take care of the chores.
5. Keep The Crib Close To You
It may help if you place your baby’s crib close to your bed. It will provide a sense of comfort and security for your child, and you too will be a lot more confident when your baby is nearby. It’s also practical as when your baby cries or makes some noise, you will hear it more clearly. When sleeping, it’s better to avoid sleeping with your baby in the bed. There is always the chance of falling into a deep sleep and rolling over your baby without intending to. This can cause discomfort to the child, and in worse cases can even prove fatal. The baby’s crib is the best place to get your baby to sleep, and your place is right beside the crib in the bed.
6. Make The Best Use Of Parental Leave
There’s a good reason why most offices have both maternity and paternity leave. Make use of it. A lot of fathers refrain from taking paternity leave because they think that it can affect their jobs. That’s not true. It’s important for fathers too to take their leave of absence so they can help and support their partners in the early days after the baby is born. When both the partners are present, they can take turns to get some much-needed sleep.
Since your baby is the one dictating here, it may help if you set their sleep schedule right as well. Create a consistent plan for your baby so they fall asleep at the same time every day. Don’t make a habit out of cradling your baby at night so they fall asleep. Instead, leave them in their crib and rock the crib gently or just sit by the side. Feed your baby well before bedtime, so they don’t wake up to pee or soil their diapers later. What are some things that you do to get some quality rest? Let us know in the comments below!