These are the greatest three words a parent can say.
And, for the most part, I’ve been able to say them for several months now.
But defeating the need for sleep is a tremendous challenge for all new parents.
Here are my top 5 tips to beat the need for sleep:
Don’t Over-Caffeinate/Eat Well. These two definitely go together. The urge to grab coffee or a soda can be overwhelming. Give in from time-to-time, but be judicious. Caffeine leads to crashes, while messing up the rest of your system. For me, over-caffeination absolutely kills my stomach. Along the same lines, eating healthy, nutritious meals can keep you naturally energized throughout the day. (Bonus: Taking multi-vitamins will help, too.)
DVR Your Life. I can’t express how important our DVR has been. We can completely time-shift our TV programs, allowing us the time to get things done around the house or run errands and fast-forward through commercials. When the baby was first born and not sleeping as much, we would watch our favorite shows during 3am feedings. Now that she sleeps more regularly, we watch shows after getting her down for the night.
Planning, Planning, Planning. Trying to figure out dinners each night of the week can be exhausting and lead to an inordinate amount of pizza delivery, which is not good (See #1 above). We use Sundays to plan for the week so we can be more efficient after work in every way possible. We plan shopping, errands, meals, baths.
Take A Day. Pick one day a week to do NOTHING. Make no plans that day except for quality family time. Protect this religiously. It won’t help your social life, but it will help you deal with the rigors of the week.
Give Yourself A Break. You are new parents. You are juggling so much. You may realize it’s been a week since you took a shower and three days since you brushed your teeth (I know this from experience.). Know that you aren’t the first couple this has happened to and you most assuredly won’t be the last.
The days of sleep marathons are over. But you don’t have to be a total zombie. Make these small adjustments and rejoin the human race!
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