5 ways to cope with lack of sleep after your baby arrives

It's a fact of life that sleepless babies mean sleepless parents.

One of the biggest challenges for you and your spouse when caring for your new baby is learning to cope with the lack of sleep, especially in the first four months when it's too soon to sleep-train her.

Your husband complains that he struggles to focus at work, and even though you're on maternity leave, you're also exhausted at home.

You're both cranky, and this is affecting your relationship. It's time to regain control of your lives.

SPLIT THE WORK 

There's no need for the two of you to get up during the night to feed or settle your newborn.

Set up a simple schedule so both of you will get adequate rest.

Even if you're breastfeeding, you'll probably be able to express milk so that Hubby can give the baby a bottle feed during the night.

ACCEPT HELP 

If your relatives or friends offer to look after your baby for a few hours, take advantage of the opportunity.

Having some time to yourself helps lower your stress levels and you'll feel more energised afterwards.

Even if you can't sleep during these brief times when she's in someone else's care, the rest and relaxation will do you good.

GET FORTY WINKS 

Take short naps - even if you only shut your eyes for five minutes - whenever you can.

Instead of rushing around to complete household chores the moment your baby nods off during the day, put your feet up and try to rest. You'll be amazed at how a short nap can revive you.

PRIORITISE 

Read Also
Study: Men don't hear a baby's cries at night!
Study: Men don't hear a baby's cries at night!

Cut down on unnecessary chores around the house.

Those sleepless nights with your new baby mean that you'll have less ability to concentrate on daily activities and less energy to complete routine cleaning.

So just give some of them a miss - they can wait until tomorrow or even be omitted altogether. You'll both survive if the home isn't mopped every week!

TAKE IT IN STRIDE 

Bear in mind that no matter how stressed you and your spouse feel about the lack of sleep at the moment, this phase is only temporary.

Be positive and look forward to the more restful months ahead.

Rest assured that your baby's sleep patterns will gradually improve over the next few months, and your life will steadily return to normal.

This article was first published in Young Parents