New Mothers how to Cope with Crying Babies and Sleepless Nights

Becoming a parent is a joyous occasion. All the proverbial nuisances of all those strangers touching your stomach are at an end when your bundle of joy decides that their time for life outside the womb is here. Finally comes the moment that you are holding your newborn in your arms, and its time for you to go home. The dreams you had of what to expect of motherhood, will slowly come to an end with your first night home. Soon your sweet darling is the source of no sleep, no time to eat, and the house is a mess while your stress levels are unbearable. Newborns can be a source of a lot of sleepless nights, so here are some steps for you to be able to deal with your newborn.

Sleepless nights are difficult without proper planning; so for a first step, sleep when your newborn is sleeping. Why is it then that new parents do not sleep you may ask? Newborns can sleep anywhere from 16 -20 hours a day;sounds refreshing now, doesn’t it? Well, the problem here is that most infants do not sleep 16 hours uninterrupted at night. They require a lot of one-on-one care, especially when breast feeding, whenever they want it. Until three months or so, you are on their beck and call. So when your little one falls asleep, take a nap so that when they are hungry or need changing, you are rested up. And if you are breastfeeding, expressing your milk and storing it in the refrigerator, or freezing it, allows your partner to help out with the late night feedings. So pump away momma, it will invest in your sleep later!

Secondly, eating properly and nutritionally will enable you to maintain your stamina a bit longer each day. Taking care of a newborn is time consuming, and you will begin to forget your own basic needs. Always take time to eat a well-balanced daily consumption of your fuel. By eating around 1800 calories a day if breastfeeding, or 1500 calories if not, you will be able to renew your strength. By not consuming enough of the proper foods, or any foods in general, you will notice your sleeplessness is progressing into a downward spiral, leaving you more irritable then usual. And instead of grabbing a bag of fast food, grab yourself an apple or fruit salad. Not only does this refresh and renew faster with out the bloated feeling, but will help you shed some pounds you gained in pregnancy.

Establishing a schedule around bedtime will help to alleviate baby’s confusion of night and day. Sound like a Johnson and Johnson commercial to you? Well, it’s truly important to try to get a normal routine for you and your little one. Start by feeding your baby 30 60 minutes before bed, as a just fed infant may fall asleep for you, but may wake up with a nasty gas bubble. Waiting allows you to make sure there is no gas, and less spit up problems occur this way. Follow up with a nice, warm sponge bath or bath (depending on age). Next, rub a baby lotion while massaging your little one. I recommend using Johnson and Johnson lavender scented bedtime lotion. The scent of lavender has a calming effect on all humans’ noses, and will put you both into a better mood. Dress the baby for bed and sing or read just until they are slightly awake. By doing this before nightly bedtime, the baby may become more aware of this ritual as the bedtime ritual versus the midday nap time. This will take time and practice, so take it easy and reread the first paragraph!

When baby does wake in the middle of the night two or three times (or more), always remember to keep your calm, and if need be, walk away as a crying baby is safer than a shaken one.

Someone once told me that a screaming baby is a healthy baby, and this by far is the best advice I can give new parents. The pressures of becoming new parents mount up enough to making child rearing unbearable. Don’t fret, this is a common feeling; it’s only a transition phase. But before you become too frantic and do something in a fit of anger or frustration, place the baby into a safe place and walk away. You can call a family member, friend, your partner, or an outreach number to talk out your frustrations. Shaken baby syndrome takes the lives of thousands of babies each year and /or paralyzes, or mentally retards a child. Regardless of the case, when you are calm, you will be able to put your child asleep faster then if you were uptight, as they can sense your frustrations.

Chores can be overwhelming now, so time management skills are essential. By letting the laundry sit, vacuuming goes by the wayside, and asking for help from family members that live with you, rest can be achieved. By putting up your feet in a recliner or taking a hot bath, you will be able to relax and care for your baby better. Not only will you feel more alert, but your healing body will thank you. Your body needs the energy to heal, as well as your mind so take a load off and enjoy it. Chores will be there tomorrow, and so will your child, so take a moment for yourself.

Maintaining adult conversations with your partner, family or friends is key now; by venting, you can loosen up when overwhelmed, allowing you to fall asleep quicker. A lot of new mothers feel isolated now more then ever, as the bundle of joy barely does anything but scream and coo. Talking with adults will enable you to feel what life is like outside of diaper changes and such. You will be able to vent off any pent up anger and talk out any concerns of “what ifs” and “what is this?” At the end of your endless day while you lay in bed, you will be able to fall asleep a bit faster, because the rambling, endless thoughts of the day will be less.

Overall, being new parents is a very rewarding job that only rewards you more with each passing day. Regardless of the ups and downs of it all, sleep will return to a normalcy that you now crave. But by following the steps outlined for you here, you will be able to catch the sandman as he scoots by racing on his motorcycle. Who knows, maybe you will be blessed with sleep tonight and maybe tonight will be one night you’re able to sleep better.