Ask any new mom how she’s doing and, more often than not, the answer will be “exhausted”. She might throw in a few happier adjectives to make sure you know she loves this new gig of hers, but “exhausted” is probably the first word that come to mind. Exhaustion from yes, the mental and emotional stress of caring for a new baby, but also from the fact that sleep seems to be a thing of the past. When I was pregnant with Isabelle, I never could have imagined how little sleep I would get over the next year. And how short those stretches sometimes were. We had a period of several months where Isabelle would wake every 45 minutes. Every. Forty five. Minutes. The word I most often used to describe myself during that first year was “zombie”.
Getting less sleep is very much a part of being a new parent, but sleep-deprivation shouldn’t have to be. Without sleep, you’re going to be irritable, lethargic, and unable to concentrate. Depression and anxiety are much more likely when you’re not getting enough sleep, which the National Sleep Foundation lists as 7-9 hours per night. I know plenty of moms (myslef included) who had weeks or even months where they were averaged half that! But if there’s anything that I’ve learned over the past 4 years of parenting, is that getting more sleep is possible. Here are my top 5 tips for getting more shut-eye as a sleep-deprived new mom.
(Side note: All of the photos in this post feature our amazing new bed-in-a-box mattress from Olive Sleep. Check out tip #5 to read all about why updating your old mattress is absolutely worth it to get more zzzs!)