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  • Forthe Baby

New parents exhaustion is real, the best ways to beat it

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Introduction

If you're a new parent, it's no surprise that you feel overwhelmed. It's easy to feel like you're not doing enough, or even worse, that you're doing it all wrong. But the truth is that exhaustion is normal and inevitable when raising a baby. How can we beat it? Here are some tips on getting some much-needed rest:


Sleep when the baby sleeps

Sleep when the baby sleeps.

When your child is sleeping, you need to take advantage of that time and give yourself some rest. If you’re used to going out late at night, it may feel weird to stay home with a newborn who is sleeping through the night (and won’t wake up until morning). But remember: new parents need their sleep too! Make sure your baby is in a safe place and being monitored while he/she sleeps—it's best not leave them alone even for an hour or two after they've fallen asleep—and then take advantage of those precious hours when your child isn't awake!


Take help from others

The only thing worse than being tired is trying to be tired and failing. The best way to beat exhaustion is to let someone else do the work. If you are feeling exhausted, ask for help from your partner, your children's grandparents and other family members, friends who have children (or friends who don't), babysitters or nannies...basically anyone who has an extra pair of hands (and probably some experience with kids).

You may be hesitant to ask for help because you're afraid of seeming incapable or weak. But remember that it's okay to lean on other people when you need them. If someone offers their assistance, accept it with gratitude and grace. You deserve some rest and relaxation.


Protect your sleep

In a friendly tone:

You are not being lazy or wasting time if you take an afternoon nap. You might be tired and frustrated, but that is okay. If you are feeling guilty about taking naps, then stop! Don't beat yourself up. Think of it as a way to recharge your battery so that you can keep going and doing what needs to be done.

Don't feel like because you're taking naps that means that everything else in your life is going to fall apart. Napping doesn't mean that your child won't get fed, or their clothes will go unwashed (even though both of those things might happen). It's okay for things not go according to plan sometimes!


Exercise during the day

The best way to combat the sleep deprivation is by exercising during the day. This will help you maintain a good mood and keep yourself energized. Unlike later in life when exercise becomes more of a chore, it can be fun when you're young, so take advantage of that! Here are some exercises that are easy to do:

  • If you have room in your home, try doing some yoga moves or stretching.

  • Do some pushups or sit-ups if there's room for them where you live (or even just lying down on the floor).

  • Try some crunches and lunges if those are possible where you live as well (or just lying down on the floor again).


Don’t feel guilty about taking a nap

  • If you’re tired: You are tired. You deserve to nap.

  • Naps can help you recharge and get through your day, night, weekend and holidays!

Naps are a great way to recharge and get through your day. They can help you get through the night, weekend and holidays! Napping is good for your mind, body and soul. Make sure that you have a comfortable place to lay down; whether it be on the couch or in bed. If you need some more convincing, here are some ways that you will benefit from taking a nap:

1) They can help you get through the night 2) They will give you energy for your day 3) Your body needs sleep to function properly 4) You will feel refreshed and happy afterwards.


Learn to do things one-handed

One of the best ways to stay awake, alert and ready to face the day is to learn how to do things one-handed. You didn't think I was going to say it was easy, did you?

If you can get into the habit of doing things on one side only (or, in some cases, with just your feet) then it will become second nature. Here are some examples:

  • Eating - eat only with one hand for a week and see how much easier it becomes!

  • Drinking - drink from that glorious cup holder thingy on your car or subway seat with your right hand; hold cups with both hands when hanging around with friends. Or even better: use an app like Stumptown Coffee Roasters' Happy Hands which lets you order coffee while holding onto your baby.

  • Showering - shower standing up holding onto something sturdy (like a wall). This way when you're done washing up, simply turn around and go back into the bathroom without having had to turn off all the water first or move any towels out of place


Make a sleep schedule

Sleep schedules are crucial for new parents. Your whole life is about to be disrupted, and this is one of the areas you can control. If you establish a sleep routine early on, it will become second nature by the time baby arrives.

A good sleep schedule will include:

  • Consistent wake times and bedtimes

  • Consistent naptimes

  • Consistent nap lengths

This is where it becomes important to know your child's temperament. Some kids will sleep through the night without a problem, while others have more trouble. If you have a child who doesn't sleep well, try using white noise machines and other tools to help them fall asleep more easily



Take advantage of the power nap

  • Power naps are good for health. A power nap of 20 minutes can help boost your mood and alertness.

  • Power naps improve performance. Studies show that power naps increase productivity by 34 percent, speed up reaction time by 64 percent, and improve memory recall by 34 percent.

  • Power naps are good for creativity. When you're tired, your brain is naturally inclined to come up with more innovative ideas than when you're well rested—so take advantage of it!

  • Power naps are good for memory. Even if you don't feel like there's any room left in your brain capacity after a busy day with baby, just 10 minutes spent dozing off will help to solidify what's already there (and maybe even jot down some new information).


Find me time even if it is in the bathroom.

Even if it's just for 10 minutes, find me time. Many people look down on this idea, but I think it's essential to your sanity as a parent. Even if all you do is take a shower and listen to music or watch TV in the bathroom, that's fine! Just knowing that there will be an opportunity where you can just relax and think without kids is important. I'd prefer it if they were asleep while I was doing this time, but it worked out well when they were awake as well because they needed showers too!

* Find time to read. I like reading, but not all the time. I think it's important to take a break from reading and indulge in other activities that stimulate your brain. A good book can really help you get out of your head and into another world, especially if you're having trouble sleeping at night due to insomnia or anxiety.


Become a pro at multitasking.

Being a pro at multitasking can help you stay on top of your game and get more done in less time. It can also help you get more sleep, which is always welcome as a new parent.

When it comes to multitasking, everyone has their own strategy for success. Some people like to turn on music with high-energy beats or white noise to keep themselves focused; others prefer silence, because the lack of sound requires them to concentrate on their work. Others find that having something else going on in the background helps them stay productive: maybe they're checking email while writing an article or watching Netflix while folding laundry. Whichever method works best for you is great! Just make sure that as long as there are two things happening at once—whether they're sounds or tasks—you're paying attention fully and not distracted by anything else that could pull your focus away from what needs doing right now


Conclusion

It is important to remember that there is no magic cure for exhaustion. The best you can do is find ways to cope with it. It might take some trial and error, but eventually you will find something that works for you. One thing we know for sure: in order to be able to care for your baby, you must care for yourself first!



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