Parenting – Cope with new schedule
There will be days when you bring the new baby home that you think you’ll never get to sleep again. In the meantime, try to get some rest and sleep whenever you can. The baby won’t be sleeping through the night for several weeks, perhaps months. While she’s adjusting to the schedule of night and day, you won’t be able to sleep through the night until she does.
Until she’s sleeping through the night, try to sleep when she sleeps. Many new mothers try to do everything at once, and start cleaning or doing the laundry once the baby goes down for a nap. You’ll only make yourself more tired if you try to be supermom.
If you can get some help in those first weeks with the cleaning and laundry, by all means, do so. If you can have a friend or relative in to watch the baby for an afternoon while you catch some much-needed sleep, try to take advantage of that whenever you can.
When you’ve been so busy all day with new baby chores and everything else you have to do to maintain a household, and possibly take care of older siblings as well, it can be hard to wind down just because everyone else is asleep.
Make some routines to help yourself unwind at night. Take a warm bath – not too hot, hot water can be stimulating – and play some relaxing music. Even if you’re not breastfeeding, avoid caffeine throughout the day and especially at night. Drink water or decaffeinated or herbal tea. If foods that have a lot of preservatives or sodium can make you jumpy, try to avoid those as much as possible. Try to eat very natural foods, such as salads, green vegetables, fruits, and warm healthy soups.
As soon as you’re able, try to get out and walk for a little bit each day. The fresh air and moderate exercise will help you and your baby feel relaxed and can help you get to sleep at night.