Lack of sleep can cause some serious health problems for you over time and the issue with sleep loss is that it often creeps up on you. You might feel fine for a few days, but after a week or two you’ll notice that your reasoning abilities are impaired, you’re thinking slower, reacting slower and might even start making bad decisions that could affect both you and your babies well-being. So treating sleep loss seriously is something that I would recommend all new mothers and parent should do, as the health hazards could be quite serious in the long run. First of all, don’t be afraid to reject any additional responsibilities. A lot of new parents might feel guilty for dropping extra work responsibilities, opportunities or chances to go out with friends again – but the truth is that when you have a child, this becomes the biggest responsibility in your life. You can’t balance everything and still take on additional responsibilities while ensuring that you have a healthy and functional home life or an setting that is conducive to your child’s well-being. So learn to say no and remember that your child always comes first for a while. The same applies to postpartum depression. If you start feeling overwhelmed, exhausted or simply depressed – take this seriously. Don’t let it affect the relationship you have between you and your partner or you and your child, as when you’re in a negative mood, you may become less tolerant or lash out at your child unnecessarily.
Remember that you can always hire a nanny to help you around the home and consider talk to a therapist or a psychologist if you think you may need to take medication or something down those lines to help you function better. Finally, this little hack may seem impossible, but if you’re the stay at home parent for the day or the week etc., try sleeping when your baby sleeps at first. This will help you to get on their level in terms of their sleeping cycle and can give you the chance to recover without worrying about having a crying baby wake you up in the middle of the night. Generally after 8 months your child should start sleeping through the night fully, then you don’t have to worry as much about staying in sync with their sleeping cycle (or can at least have a relatively normal sleeping cycle again).
Sleep deprivation is a real thing for new parents. When I had my first child I would actually hallucinate. I would ask my husband to take the baby from me when there was no baby in my hands. No one warns you how your entire sleep schedule will be adjusted but it really is. You need to learn how to wake up a few times in the middle of the night and function. You need to function well enough to take care of a baby.
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