Those first few months with a newborn can be both magical and exhausting. On one hand, you are completely in love with this tiny little human but on the other hand, the little one just won’t let you sleep. The baby needs mama and dada to help him/her get through the night’s many discomforts - hunger, dirty diaper or just some irritation/need for a cuddle.
After those first few months, babies will be able to sleep peacefully through the night thanks to their more stable bodies and all the efforts made by mama and dada in trying to sleep train them. Now it is mama’s turn to wake up in the middle of the night. Even if the baby is sleeping and doing just fine, mothers sometimes wake up thinking that they heard their baby cry or whimper only to find that their baby is sound asleep.
They may have just heard the sound of the wind outside, a stray dog outside or perhaps their own pet. This is bad for the mom since she is already exhausted from all of her mom duties and night-time is the only time she can truly rest. Not getting enough sleep can have serious mental and psychological effects and can also be a cause of postnatal depression. There are a few things moms can do in order to try and overcome this. A few simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in getting better sleep.
1. Cut Down The Caffeine
It may not seem easy to do at first, especially if your day starts with a cup of tea/coffee. You can try replacing your favourite drink with a placebo drink. Try drinking a glass of hot water in the same mug/cup that you use for drinking tea/coffee. This will trick your mind into thinking that it has gotten the usual tea/coffee. If at all you feel like you can’t get through the day without it, then have one cup in the morning, but no more caffeine after that. This way the caffeine will be out of your system by bedtime.
2. A Bedtime Routine For Mommy
You follow a certain bedtime routine for your baby to get them to sleep. This may involve feeding your baby, cleaning them up, changing their diaper and clothes and swaddling them into bed. You could also try something similar. Have a glass of milk, take a quick shower, change into comfortable clothes, brush your teeth and go to bed. Tuck yourself in and make sure you feel all nice and snug. Spraying some soothing scent on your pillowcase or your night suit can also help. Try using a vanilla scent since it is not too overpowering and is actually quite relaxing.
3. A Nice Dark Room
Try to make the room as dark as possible. Using dark curtains/drapes can help with this. You can find blackout curtains in the market which help make the room dark. You can also try using an eye mask as this will help shut out the light and ensure you sleep through the night.
4. Meditation Techniques
There are certain meditation techniques that will help you relax your mind and allow you to get that beautiful, deep REM sleep that you deserve. Slow, rhythmic breathing will help you start to fall asleep. You can also look up meditation videos on YouTube that are solely made to help guide your mind and body to feel drowsy and eventually fall asleep.
5. Take Help From Your Husband
You can help each other get to sleep if both of you are having a hard time falling asleep. You can offer a shoulder, neck or back massage and he could do the same for you. If your head hurts or you are too tired, request him to massage your head and arms. This will help make you feel relaxed and eventually fall asleep.