Nouveaux parents : 10 conseils pour gérer le manque de sommeil - Élhée

New parents: 10 tips for dealing with lack of sleep

The arrival of a baby in the family is an immense happiness, but it is also synonymous with disturbed nights and lack of sleep for the parents. In the first months, as we know, a baby does not sleep through the night and sleep deprivation is one of the most difficult aspects for new parents to manage. So, while waiting for your baby to "sleep through the night", here are some tips that you can apply to best organize your sleep time and experience this stage peacefully.

1. Sleep when baby sleeps

During the first weeks, up to 2/3 months, sleeping when your baby sleeps is your best antidote against sleep deprivation. Remember this is a “golden rule”. Once your baby has fallen into Morpheus' arms, press the pause button and rest! While it may be tempting to iron laundry or scroll through social media, prioritize your health and sleep. A 30-45 minute nap and you'll wake up a new person!

2. Choose a healthy diet

During your pregnancy, you took care to eat well to provide your child with all the vitamins and nutrients essential for his growth. You will now have to take care of your diet to give the same attention to your body; eating well will do the greatest good for your body, your heart and your mind . And because once you return home with baby in your arms, you will probably have neither the time nor the desire to spend 30 minutes in the kitchen, anticipate your meals as much as possible. And if you are equipped with a large freezer , don't hesitate to fill it with your favorite dishes during pregnancy!

3. Hydrate!

Insufficient hydration can increase the feeling of fatigue. It is therefore advisable to drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of water per day, favoring water and infusions. Even certain foods with a high water content count in your daily intake! A sticky mouth and dry lips are signs that you need to increase your water intake. One of the simplest ways to hydrate is to bring a bottle of water or a water bottle with a straw, which you can sip in small sips. And for an energizing touch, water infused with ginger and lemon is a great option!

4. Exercise

Moving your body is a great way to promote a good night's rest. Moderate exercise releases chemicals that reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and increase the duration of deep sleep. Ask your doctor, midwife or gynecologist when it is possible to resume physical activity, beyond simple walking (this depends on the type of delivery and any other health problems). Gentle sports such as walking, yoga, pilates, swimming and moderate-intensity aerobic exercises are often the most recommended for a smooth recovery.

5. Reduce screen time before bed

Studies confirm that eliminating screen use at least an hour before bed improves sleep quality and reduces the time it takes to fall asleep. For example, leaving your phone in another room helps you resist the temptation to hang out on the internet and send messages at all hours of the night.

6. Everyone has their own night :)

Bottle feeding makes it easier to distribute tasks related to feeding your baby during the night. When breastfeeding your baby, it is also possible to express milk for nighttime feedings, so that your partner can also feed your baby. Every other night, so that each of you can get in a little extra sleep! Use a bottle like the BibRond Élhée, which promotes a natural transition between breast and bottle and allows anyone who feeds your baby to provide a breastfeeding experience similar to breastfeeding.
It is important to remember that skipping a breastfeed to sleep, even for 2 or 3 days in a row, sends a strong message to the body to re-evaluate its milk production needs. .

7. Dare to ask for help

When you become a parent, everyone around you would like to help you, but often they don't know how. Communicate with your friends, your family and dare to ask them if you feel the need. If you don't have time to eat well, ask a friend who likes to cook to prepare some small dishes for you. If you need some time off to take some time just for yourself, ask a grandparent to watch your baby for a few hours. Communicate with your partner and establish a schedule that works for you both.

8. Discover meditation

Cultivating mindfulness can be very helpful for people who have difficulty falling asleep. It has been found that connecting with yourself promotes rest for the body and mind, and there are many ways to achieve this, depending on what is important to you. This can take the form of meditation combined with stretching, chanting, humming... If this is new to you, there are many mindfulness and guided meditation apps.

9. Be kind to yourself

When we have a baby at home, we want everything to be perfect... we put pressure on ourselves to "ensure" on all fronts: A clean and tidy house, well-prepared meals, an impeccable glow... but know that perfection does not exist and that the first weeks with a newborn often reserve their share of surprises, unforeseen events, incomprehension, fatigue... and this is not abnormal. So avoid putting pressure on yourself as soon as you get home. Over the weeks, you will generally learn to better understand your baby and his needs, your daily life and your new habits will slowly fall into place and you will be able to put in place the right reflexes and habits when the time comes!

10. Listen to your emotions

Postpartum depression refers to depressive symptoms that prevent a mother from caring for her baby, her home, and herself, and lack of sleep is a significant factor in postpartum depression. It is more common in parents who have a history of mental health problems or who faced significant stressors during pregnancy, but it can affect anyone. Postpartum depression is not uncommon and many new mothers suffer from it. Don't be ashamed or afraid of being judged, take care of yourself and consult your doctor, midwife or health professional in whom you trust and who will be able to listen to you and provide appropriate help.

In many ways, sleep problems are inevitable for new parents, but you can take steps to reduce their impact on your daily life. Try to take care of yourself and incorporate better habits into your routine and think about the people around you who can provide support. This period will not last for years, remember that it is just a period and soon you will get full nights back! The more you take care of yourself, the better you will be able to care for your baby.

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