I can hardly believe that my new little guy was born 2 weeks ago. Where does the time go??? It is amazing to me how this little person is instantly a part of our little family, as if he’s been around for ages. It’s funny how starting all over with a newborn makes you feel like a brand new mom again. You’d think that once you get to baby number three, you’d sort of have this whole motherhood gig figured out!
Although, I have to say, one thing I do feel like I’ve finally gotten right this time around is sleep. I went into this pregnancy knowing that one of my biggest mistakes last time around was that I did not make sleep (or self-care in general) a priority. I ran myself ragged, to the point that I was close to breaking down.
I promised myself right from the start that this time would be different. It’s not easy and I’m not perfect, and there are days when I just can’t seem to get enough sleep. But I am sleeping a ton better than I did with my previous two babies. And I thought I’d share with you everything I’ve learned about getting good sleep in those early weeks.
I want to thank to Ergobaby for sponsoring this post and giving me an excuse to share a bunch of pics of my sweet lil’ boy.
Getting Good Sleep During the First Postpartum Weeks
You’ve got to make sleep a priority.
Yes, caring for your infant is obviously of utmost importance. But you’ll do a much better job if you are getting good sleep. So make it a priority from day one. Make a plan, tell your loved ones, whatever you need to do to make sure that you getting good sleep remains at the top of your priorities.
Naps are essential.
It is very unlikely that you are going to get a full nights sleep for the next few months. So in order to really get enough sleep, you will have to take naps. If you’re like me, your first thought is, “Heck yeah! I love naps!”. But when it comes down to it, you somehow forget to actually do it. Baby falls asleep, and instead of lying down right away to take a nap yourself, you tell yourself that you’ll just get a couple of things done and THEN you’ll lay down. Next thing you know, baby’s waking up and you forgot to take your nap!
Don’t do that. Stick to your plan, and take a nap when you planned to take a nap. Even if you don’t feel utterly exhausted at that very moment, at least lie down and rest. If you don’t fall asleep in 20 or 30 minutes, then maybe get up. Or maybe just take that whole time to rest, even if you do it with your eyes open. As your nighttime sleep improves, you’ll need naps less and less. But in those first few weeks, naps are essential.
Treating your body well helps a ton.
Make sure you are nourishing your body. Eating well and staying hydrated will give you more energy while you are awake and will help your body relax and move into sleep mode more easily when you are ready to rest. And try to get a little exercise during the day – and I do mean a little. Don’t go out and try to walk for miles. But moving around periodically throughout the day, even for just 5 or 10 minutes at a time, can make a difference. My first and last babies were born via c-section, so I know all too well how hard it can be to move around in those first weeks. For me, it is literally walking back and forth across the living room a few times a day, slowly building up to more as I’m able.
Small pockets of sleep can make a big difference.
One of the biggest sleep mistakes I would make with my first two babies is to skip sleep if I thought I’d only get a few minutes of shuteye. If I thought baby was going to wake up soon, I would tell myself there was no use in even trying to get any sleep.
But what I’ve found this time around is that those small pockets of sleep can make a big difference. Sneaking in even just a 5 or 10 minute snooze can give you just the little boost you need to get through to baby’s next nap and your next opportunity to get some real sleep.
Keeping up on sleep is easier than catching up on sleep.
I am so guilty of telling myself I’ll catch up on sleep. If I’m just a little tired, I’ll convince myself that I can push through and just sleep a little longer later. But it rarely (if ever!) works out that way and I just get more and more tired until I’m to the point of complete and utter exhaustion. It is so much easier to just go ahead and keep up on sleep. Planning for naps and sneaking in those smaller pockets of sleep are so important for this.
You’re chances of getting good sleep are dependent on baby’s sleep.
Let’s not forget about baby! If he’s not sleeping well, you’re not sleeping well. That’s just reality. Help your baby get the best sleep possible by setting him up for success from the beginning. All three of my babies seemed to have a strong Moro reflex – that startle reflex that looks like baby feels like he’s falling. Any small noise and their little arms fling out and wake them up! So I love swaddling because it holds the arms in close to the body and helps them sleep more soundly.
I recently got to try out Ergobaby’s Swaddler, and I just love it for my little guy. I’ve tried a few other swaddlers in the past, and this one is different. The Ergobaby Swaddler is designed with pockets for the arms that actually keep baby’s arms inside the swaddler – others I’ve tried don’t have that and my babies seemed to escape rather easily and tended to scratch their faces (no matter how well I kept their nails trimmed). At the same time, this swaddler allows baby’s legs and hips to move naturally – the design has been designated as “hip healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
Since blankets in the crib are a big no-no safety-wise, using a swaddler is a wonderful and safe option for keeping baby bundled and warm and sleeping more soundly.
And just one more picture because I can’t get enough of this sweet pea!
I always love hearing from my readers. It would be great to know what you do to help yourself and your baby get good quality sleep. Do you have any tips? What do you think of these tips? Please share by commenting! 🙂
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ergobaby.