Sleep deprivation is no joke for new parents!
Those all-nighters you pulled during college are child’s play compared to the crushing exhaustion you feel as a new mum or dad.
Most parents cope with a certain level of tiredness. But if you're feeling low, bad tempered and unable to cope or enjoy things, you need to find a way of getting more sleep, or at least more rest.
Here are some tips that may help you feel more rested.
Sleep when your baby sleeps
Try to rest when your child sleeps. It might be tempting to use this time to catch up with housework or other chores but sometimes getting rest is more important. Set an alarm if you're worried about sleeping too long.
Get an early night
Try to go to bed really early for, say, one week. If you can't sleep when you go to bed, do something relaxing for half an hour beforehand, such as soaking in a hot bath.
Share the nights if you can
If you're breastfeeding, ask your partner to help with nappies or dressing in the morning so you can go back to sleep. Once you're into a good breastfeeding routine, your partner could occasionally give a bottle of expressed breast milk during the night. If you're formula feeding, they could share the feeds.
Ask friends and relatives for extra support
You could ask a relative or friend to come round and look after your baby while you have a nap.
If you're on your own, you could see if a friend or relative could stay with you for a few days so you can get more sleep.
Be aware of the symptoms of postnatal Depression
If you can't sleep at night even when your baby is asleep or you feel tired all the time, these could be signs of Postnatal Depression. Other signs include feeling down or hopeless and not enjoying the things you normally enjoy.
If you think you may be depressed, talk to your health visitor or GP as soon as possible so you can get the help you need to make a quick recovery.