5 Ways For New Parents To Get Rest

Being a new parent is an incredible experience full of more rewards and joy than most people can possibly imagine before it happens to them. However, there are of course plenty of negative factors as well! Chief among these is the unavoidable lack of sleep that new parents experience. Unfortunately, exhaustion is the price new parents pay for all that joy, and while it’s a price people will gladly pay, it remains extremely stressful and generally unpleasant.

To some extent, there’s no way around the exhaustion. As a parent to a newborn, you just won’t get the sleep you’re used to. But, it’s still important to try to maximize the sleep you can get, to stay as well-rested as possible. So, here are 5 tips for new parents hoping to get a bit more (or better) rest!

1. Nap With The Baby
Many new parents make a crucial mistake, and take baby naps as excuses to get things done. Of course, if you have a particularly pressing need, you may occasionally need to use this time for productivity. Just remember, however, that sleep should be your #2 priority behind caring for your baby. You won’t be the person, or the mother, that you need to be if you’re too exhausted, so take these opportunities to sleep a bit.

2. Let People Help You
It’s normal for new parents to want to do everything, and at least in the early going to rebuff offers for help. However, try to delegate a bit if you have close friends or family offering to help. Particularly if you have friends or family who have cared for newborns before, allow them to help out for an afternoon, evening, etc. so that you can get some rest.

3. Relax While Awake
It’s not all about sleep, though sleep is most important. It’s also important to relax and practice effective stress relief. Even something as simple as parents giving each other quick massages at home, or taking a nice long bath on occasion, can do the trick.

4. Get Comfortable
Another underrated tip is to improve your bedding situation to maximize comfort. If there was ever a time to splurge on a new bed or mattress, this is it! Check out Dreams UK to look at a few options, and try to find a bed that helps you sleep easily and comfortably. New parents are naturally stressed, and that can lead to tossing and turning, even when exhausted. With the right mattress and bedding, however, you can drift right off to sleep.

5. Buy Satellite Cribs
Finally, try to keep cribs in a few different locations – not just the nursery. A crib by your bed, a crib in the living room, etc. give you multiple places to set your baby down and get a bit of rest any time you feel overwhelmed!

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Shock, Horror!

As I type this post, I am lying in bed which for a Saturday morning at 09:32am is absolutely unheard of due to one little rascal (aka Bubblebutt) who usually has me up by the crack of dawn a long with his sister.

However, something crazy happened to us last night, after the tears and him being unsettled which really is nothing new, we decided after he fell asleep, to go to bed a long with him due to being absolutely shattered physically and emotionally.

We all fell asleep quite quickly, and I woke to his usual grumblings, with my husbands words echoing in my head “he’ll probably be up by 12-01:00am” to which I felt the usual despair. When I looked at the clock it was 01:00am .. I rocked the Moses basket and he fell asleep, I wasn’t convinced though, as he usually plays these tricks on us little fecker, my boy.. He stayed asleep and the next time he woke , I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the clock and it was 04:00am!!! I woke the husband and he was as shocked as I was.

So up I got, did a feed and put him back down around 05:30am and apart from a grumble, he slept for another 2.5- 3hrs!!! The husband and Thunderpants are in the living room, there hasn’t been any crying and I feel really relaxed for the first time in ages.

The only difference to his routine was that his bath was later AND…. We changed his milk from Aptamil comfort, to Cow and Gate….coincidence? E seems to be in less pain and I’m really pleased as no parent wants to see such a small child in discomfort. No idea what changed and I’m not questioning it! Now we are off to spend the day as a family, happy, relaxed , and alert!

Colic…as welcome as a fart in an airtight room

So.. according to the doctor, bubblebutt has Colic.  He has become unsetttled throughout the day unless in the car, is pulling his knees up, trouble getting wind up, his little hands go into fists, he cries and is really a grumpy wee thing that I cant really do anything for.

I had heard of this before as a friends daughter had it when she was born and it sounded horrendous but not something that I could relate to as Thunderpants was a really good baby who took things in her stride, didn’t even get upset when she was teething etc.  So you can imagine that it has come as quite a shock to us and I take back any moans that I ever had previously of our first child cause man was that easy compared to the hell we are all experiencing right now.

It usually gets bad around the 03:00am feed, I can’t seem to settle him and just when I think I have, he wakes up crying again. My whole body tenses, I panic, get angry and just feel general despair. I cry too as its hard to see him like that, I feel guilt that the husband has to get up because he has work and ends up sleeping in which makes him feel bad for not getting work done and ts all a vicious circle. I keep repeating to myself that it will pass and I know that it will but its really very hard and I can see why it gets parents down and can cause things such as PND.

I can’t seem to enjoy the wee man at the moment, it isn’t right that he should go through this pain for someone so little. I was lucky enough to be told about cranial osteopathy from someone on twitter. I booked an appointment for tomorrow but there was a cancellation for today and I took him up at 11:00am. Unfortunately it was when he was due a feed and I forgot to bring a bottle with me. I have another appointment on Thursday which is free of charge and I am hoping that she can settle him but I did notice that he was a bit better after the appointment.

So right now I am running on empty as is everyone else in the house, I feel sorry for Thunderpants as she is being woken too but she is most understanding and if I have a wee break down she soothes me and the baby! She’s a wee smasher and I am so lucky that shes such a sweetheart, don’t know what I would do without her 🙂 I know in a few months we will look back on this as a distant memory but right now its a living hell.

 

Why I Feel I Need To BreastFeed

Ok, so I know about the benefits of breast feeding… As we all know, I feel as though I’ve finally, 5 yrs down the line come to terms with not being able to BF when thunderpants was born due to my post natal depression.

I have my own mind and said with baby number two that if it didn’t happen, Thunderpants is living proof that I haven’t fucked up, she is healthy,happy, intelligent, and in my eyes that’s all that counts.

Now with 13 days before my due date, I am faced with a bit of a dilemma which brings about judgement from many others , male and females but to be honest, my guilt is not because of those dumb fucks but my own.

You see, the thing is… I decided around 28wks pregnant that my anxiety was creeping up and it was causing arguments in the house between me, husband and child. It created a vicious circle which I could identify as a result of effective CBT, big up to my therapist as he was good at his job! Word!(that’s for you LN)!ha ha

I did what was best for me, and my family and I started on the lowest dose to see me through. These are safe when pregnant, I watched (in awe), one of THE best clinicians in my opinion, Dr Roch Cantwell from the Southern General’s mother and baby unit, deliver a speech at the perinatal mental health conference where he discussed the low risk to baby and the benefits. Let me tell you, the benefits outweigh the negatives and even the negatives can be rectified very easily.

My only concern or guilt.. Is that if I can’t BF, he will have some withdrawal symptoms. I know that it would take a few weeks for this to die down and I know I made my decision based on good intentions but I feel some guilt. One which I have created but know I just needed to write it down to see how actually, in the grand scheme of things , will be something that I can deal with.

It’s at this point where CBT helps because I can rationalise and objectively look at the bigger picture… I can thought record this and know by the end that I am going to feel good about my decision and not over think or have worst case scenarios running through my mind and that everything will be alright.

Had I not decided to take them, things right now could have been much worse, my mood could have dangerously declined, I could be an utter mess right now …. But I’m not and I take comfort and can feel empowered that its me making these decisions based on my own thoughts and not taking on board what other people think. You know what? It feels pretty fucking good. It would be at this point that I would say “who knows what the future holds, it could all go tits up” but why spoil positivity 😉

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