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How to zzzz (when baby has other plans)
Self‑Care

How to zzzz (when baby has other plans)

This blog is a collaboration of real Mommy’s Bliss moms and dads based on our real experiences as parents who’ve been there.

Sleep deprivation...the struggle is (yawn) real.

Sleep. Ahh, we never really knew how good it was - until it wasn’t. The day you have your baby...actually give birth...can be one of the happiest, most overwhelming experiences of a young mom’s life. But sleep deprivation starts almost immediately, and unfortunately, it’s inevitable. Even the best-laid plans go out the window a bit when a new baby takes over. Read more about The Sleep-Time Cost of Parenting here...

It’s tough to feel like yourself, let alone take care of a newborn, when you’re running on fumes and broken sleep. Between worrying about baby, breastfeeding struggles, and the general newness of life as you knew it, can add up and be exhausting.

Read more about lactation and breastfeeding support here 

Rest-assured (pun intended), this will pass even if it feels like it never will. When was the last time you heard a mom say, “my high schooler just won’t sleep through the night?” Soon enough, and with some really helpful tips, you’ll get the rest you need, and baby will sleep all night long. That’s bliss. Let’s talk about sleep deprivation and how to ease the pain...

  • Sleep when your baby sleeps. It’s not always possible thanks to laundry, life and housework, but when it is…go for it. Set an alarm if you’re worried about not waking up when you’re needed.
  • Go to bed early. It might sound like a big “duh” but it might feel tempting to settle in with Netflix or a book when you see a window. But for most new moms, sleep trumps binge-watching...at least for a few weeks. Try a hot bath before lights out to help you relax and unwind.
  • If you have a partner, ask for help. Divide and conquer. Taking turns can allow each of you to grab some precious sleep before it’s your turn again. If you’re breastfeeding, ask your partner to dress the baby or change diapers so you can replenish for a moment. Or take turns if bottle feeding. Flip a coin, if you must and pray you’re lucky. Remind yourself that you’re a team. No bench warmers allowed.
  • Moving your body helps! Seems like the last thing you want to do when you’re already exhausted, but regular movement might just make you feel less tired. Try to go for a short walk whenever possible…with or without baby.
  • Chill - Try relaxation exercises. Learn relaxation techniques online or just ask Alexa to help you. Just sitting still and taking a moment to focus on you is helpful when it comes to relaxing your mind and body.
  • Ask any mom friend, or relative who’s been there to stay with baby for a few winks and grab a much needed nap. Return the favor when you can.
  • Familiarize yourself with baby’s sleep patterns…if a pattern can be detected. The part of the program where baby wakes up every few hours is short-lived and as they get older, a pattern will come into focus so you can better plan for your own sleep.
  • -Be mindful of postpartum depression. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate feelings of stress, impatience, and inability to concentrate, all resulting in increased risk for postpartum depression. Most of it is normal and will pass in time, but if you feel like you need help, there is no shame in reaching out to your doctor or a helpline for advice.

Our Mommy’s Blissers have been there and survived the sleep deprivation of those newborn days and continue to navigate the bleary-eyed time with toddlers and young kids. Let’s see how they are personally getting through it.

“We found that doing shifts was a key component that worked for us as well. For me, sleeping in another room was helpful so if the baby woke up, my husband would take care of the baby and I wouldn't be woken up. Just knowing that the baby was taken care of, and we had even shifts was a huge mental weight that was lifted off of me and allowed me to be able to get decent rest.” Ashley L., Mommy’s Bliss

“We almost instantly realized, as new parents, that we really needed to have a minimum 4-hour chunk of sleep each - alone and away from the baby. We worked that schedule in shifts as best we could. I started pumping early, so my husband could have a bottle to feed him at that time. That helped a lot, and also knowing the baby was in the other room and accounted for. The whole "sleep when the baby sleeps" adage didn't really work for me as a first time mom because George had really weird breathing when he slept (a lot of newborns do!) so I was never able to get into that deep sleep when he was nearby because I was constantly waking in a panic at the littlest sounds and checking he was breathing ok. Beyond that, it was all about caffeine and sheer will power to get us through.” Katie B, Mommy’s Bliss

“My husband and I actually played a game of Yahtzee to decide which of us would handle the nighttime feedings. I wasn’t breastfeeding so it was easier to split the long nights. First and foremost, I got whip smart at Yahtzee to up my odds. Even if relief came in the form of just one or two nights a week to settle in for a few solid hours knowing baby was cared for, was the peace of mind I craved. It never seemed to be enough, but it definitely helped, and honestly, sometimes he lost on purpose if he knew I was exhausted. For the record, I never lost on purpose . My mom came for the first couple weeks and would take my son for the entire night – feedings and all. Those were the nights she wore a halo, and I woke up not only ready to care for my baby, but I actually woke up missing him. Glorious.” Jen L., Mommy’s Bliss

At Mommy’s Bliss, we’ve been there, and we know that the elusive 8-hours of dream sleep you so deserve, feels like it may never happen, but we promise, in time, it will. Ride the wave with Mommy’s Bliss Reset my Body and Lift My Mood to help get your body and mind back on track, and one day (very soon) the zzz’s will come - for you and baby. In the meantime, try to enjoy the cozy middle of the night feeding sessions with their little hands wrapped around your finger and the quiet, sleepy one-on-one connection time. Albeit exhausting, these are the tiny, fleeting moments that you’ll remember and may actually miss one day. After a great night’s sleep.

This site is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Please consult your physician or other health-care professional.

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