When you first come home with your little bundle of joy, endorphins are flowing and adrenalin is running high.
You might spend days, even weeks living off that baby buzz, filled with happiness and completely focused on learning to navigate your new found responsibilities.
But eventually, it will hit.
The lack of sleep will hit you like a pick-up truck and you’ll find yourself wondering if you’re even able to drag yourself to the loo.
But bub’s not about about to offer you any extra sleep just because you asked for it, so you safely assume you won’t be sleeping like a baby any time soon.
There are some things you can do to make the lack of sleep a bit more manageable though. Here are our top tips, as provided by mums who have been there.
It’s a cliché but it works… when baby sleeps you’ll be tempted to tackle any one of the million things you’re behind on, but seriously get some sleep. You can catch up later. Of course this becomes more difficult after your first baby when you have a toddler to care for!
Do what works for you and your baby, as opposed to what you think you’re supposed to do or following the advice of books. If you’re happy to rock your bub to sleep, ignore warnings of making a rod for your back and follow your instincts.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t grab a coffee or some chocolate when you need it. And God knows finding time to cook nutritious meals can be hard! But if you can, try to drink plenty of water and increase your fruit and vegetable intake. It’s amazing how much more energetic you feel when you have a healthy diet.
Share the load with your partner if you have one, and make sure you let him know when you’re simply too tired. If you have family or friends offering to give you a hand, say yes!
Have a stash of unfolded nappies, wipes, nappy cream and spare clothes ready on the change table before you go to bed to make night time changes quick and easy when you’re half asleep.
If you haven’t swept the floor for a week, so what? Haven’t taken a walk or done any exercise – who cares? You can always catch up on the washing/do your filing/cut your hair later. Some days you might not get around to having a shower. As long as your baby is loved and cared for, that’s all that matters. The rest will fall into place eventually.
Life with a newborn is busy, but remember to take some time out for yourself – even if it’s just a 20 minute bath! Making some time for yourself with rejuvenate your soul, leaving you happier, healthier and more equipped to cope with the demands of your exhausting – but amazing – new life.