For the first six months of your new infant’s life you will get very little sleep, especially if you choose to breastfeed. The natural sleep pattern you experienced before having your baby, with ebbs and flows from deep sleep to REM, are often cut short with nighttime feedings. It is safe to say that nearly 100% of parents suffer from infant-induced sleep deprivation at some point in the first six months, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend every day in a state of exhaustion.
Changing Your Perspective on Important
Yes, it may have been important for you to keep all of the laundry washed, dried and folded each day before baby was born, but that will need to change after baby arrives. The same can be said for other household chores like cooking and cleaning. You’re not going to give up on cleaning all together, but you will need to change your perspective on important.
- Put the most important chores at the top of the list.
- Limit the number of important chores to five or less each day.
- Move the remaining chores to the bottom of the list – for older children or spouse – or for another day.
Getting Sleep When You Can
No matter how hard you try to fight it – you will need to adopt the afternoon nap as part of your daily routine. When I was raising twins, our afternoon nap was at 10 AM each morning. That was the time when they wanted to take a nap and I was finished feeding, dressing and playing with them for the morning hours. Adopting the naptime schedule gave me time to rest and the energy I needed to take care of my older children and remaining important chores in the evening.
Sleep deprivation is never fun, but it is a part of raising a newborn. If you find yourself extremely tired and you cannot manage to get a plan together that works, ask for help. Sometimes a complete night of rest is more than enough to revitalize your mind and give you the strength you need to formulate the plan.