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Sleepy and tired after having a baby? Read here!

Sleeping after having a baby is challenging in the first few months. Even when baby is bigger it still wakes up in the night. That affects our sleep quality and duration and causes discomfort that affects our daily life.

Lack of sleep affects our productivity, mood and interaction with others. The sooner we adapt and find a work around the problem, the better. Here we will provide some tips that will help you to cope with the problem.

Sleep when the baby sleeps

This is one of the easiest ways to catch up a bit wit the sleep. You may be tempting to use this time for taking care of other tasks, but getting rest is more important when you are exhausted.

Share the shifts

Switch roles when one of you is exhausted.

Asking your partner to help in the night and also during the day is a good way to recover and get some extra sleep. Here by help we mean that only one of the parents takes care of the baby until the other one is taking a rest and vice versa.

There are parents that make the mistake to do everything together around the baby. This way both are getting exhausted and none of them is taking rest. You should avoid that and take turns instead.

One parent can sleep until the other is awaken

This is especially valid in the night. Some parents tend to wake up both and care together for the baby. This is nice at the beginning but can quickly drain your energy in a long term.

Instead of that take turns, so until one of you is awaken, the other one can take some rest. If baby is crying too laud or you wake up easily and have hard time to fall asleep again, then you can consider sleeping in another room when the situation requires it.

Optimize the feeding

When babies are small, they require feeding at regular intervals. When the mother is breast feeding, she will need to wake up multiple times in the night to feed the baby.

Despite the fact that only the mother can breast feed, there is still a possibility for the father to help with the feeding so the mother can take some rest.

One of the options is to pump milk in advance and prepare it in a bottle for the next feeding. This way the father can take over some of the feedings and spent some good time with the child, while the mother is having some extra sleep. You can buy manual milk pump in every baby shop. Some pharmacies rent professional electric milk pumps. You can buy also reasonably priced electric milk pumps online. We can recommend the Medela Swing models which are quite practical

In some cases you can also combine breast feeding with formula feeding. This may be particularly useful in situation when you don’t have enough milk to pump in advance. It is also useful when the mother needs to go out and leave the baby with the father or other family member.

In the first weeks the baby should be fed frequently and on a regular intervals, but the bigger is the baby, the longer are the intervals between the feedings. You should consider that when optimizing your feeding cycles.

Have a proper baby bed setup

We would recommend having a separate bed for the child, placed near the parents.

It may be tempting to put the baby in its own separate room, but in the very beginning this is not practical. You need to feed the baby frequently and it will wake up often as well. You don’t want to run 10 times every night to the other room. It is better to have the child in your room to ensure that you can react quickly when needed.

Some parents leave the baby to sleep between them in the bed for the adults, but we will recommend to avoid that and have a side bed instead.

Side bed

Having a side bed directly next to the parents bed in the first few months is an optimal solution in addition to the normal baby bed placed in the parents room. This ensures the safety of the baby, the comfort of the parents and also quick reaction because the baby stays close to you.

We found quite practical the babybay side bed, especially with the additional roller set that allows you to move it between the rooms. Since you are going to use the side bed only in the first 6 months, we recommend you to see if you can borrow it from a friend who recently had a baby.

Later on, when the child is bigger, it can sleep in its own room.

Father can help a lot

In the past there was the expectation that the mother is taking care of the house and children while the father is working to cover the needs of the family.

Fortunately, nowadays the situation improved and fathers have plenty of time to spend with the family. This helps to balance the load between the parents so they can both enjoy the time with the children and also help each other to ensure that each of them have an opportunity to relax as well.

This is especially valid in the first few months after the birth. In this time the mother needs an extra support. If you have bigger children, care can be split – mother focuses more on the baby and father spends more time with the bigger children so they remain happy and receive the expected attention.

Sharing the house work, shopping and similar tasks will also help to balance the load and allow time to rest for both parents.

There are no tasks exclusively reserved for the mother, apart from the breast feeding. As you can read above, even in this case there is a way to help each other.

As a bonus, the connection between the father and the children strengthen and he can also enjoy the time spent with them.

Optimize the house work

House work is never ending. Today you clean the house and tomorrow it is dirty again. You just did all the laundry and soon a pile of dirty clothes will be there again. Same with the dishes, cooking, etc.

Exactly because of the repetitiveness of these tasks, optimizing each of them them even a little can give you the extra hour a day you need to relax. Fortunately nowadays there are plenty of home appliances that will do some of the work for you.

Get the right home appliances

Here are some of them that we recommend you to consider if you don’t have them yet at home:

  • Washing machine – hopefully every home has it nowadays, but you can still optimize by replacing your old washing machine with a new one with higher capacity or with washing dryer.
  • Dryer – dries your clothes and saves you time since you no longer need to hand them out by hand. If you have enough space at home, we will definitely recommend getting one. In case you are not tight on budget you may consider getting a high end appliance like the ones offered by Bosch or Miele.
  • Dish washer – if you still don’t have it at home, you should definitely buy one. It saves you time every day and will usually clean the dishes better than you. We will recommend you to buy a bigger one, because the small ones are not enough for a family.
  • Robot vacuum cleaner – it is a life saver if you have small kids that bring home sand every time they are back from the playground. It vacuum cleans the house with a press of a button (and removal of some obstacles from the floor). After you get it you will most probably forget about the regular vacuum cleaner. Just make sure that you are buying a proper one because some of the cheap models are totally useless.

Find good cleaning detergents

In addition you can reduce the time needed for cleaning by finding good cleaning detergents for bathroom and kitchen. We recommend you to try the Sagrotan bathroom cleaner which definitely stands out.

Reduce time for shopping

You can also optimize the grocery shopping by reducing the number of times you go shopping and the time spend there. Doing a big round of shopping once a week is more efficient than running to the shop every time you need something. In the ideal case you will go once and buy all essential products for the week. Then you can do a few quick rounds during the week to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

Ask friends and relatives to help

If you are lucky to have your relatives near you, asking them to help may give you some time for rest. Grandparent are usually very happy to spend time with the children and take care of them for a few hours. This is usually the case also for other relatives.

If your relatives are far away, you can still ask a friend to look after your baby until you are having a nap.

You will be surprised how much happiness can bring a small baby to the people near you who came to help.

To use pacifier or not to use pacifier?

That’s the dilemma of many parents. Some will tell never, others will tell that they cannot survive without it.

The truth is that there is good reason you can find pacifiers in every baby shop. They usually help babies to calm down and relax. We really like the Philips Avent Ultra Air Night because they glow in the dark which helps to quickly find them in the night.

So if the baby is waking up often or crying a lot, feel free to try out giving it a pacifier. Then you can decide on your own if it is useful or not.

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