Finding Rest: Naps After Birth

There are many reasons why you may feel tired after the birth of your child, there are ways to avoid common pitfalls and find the time for the rest that you need.

Feeling Tired After Birth

Feeling tired after birth, also known as postpartum fatigue is very common. Even if you spent your whole pregnancy working out every day, your body is still recuperating from the physical riggers of bringing a child into this world. The fatigue can be even worse if you are recovering from a C-section which, although has become increasingly common, is still major surgery.

There are other factors that contribute to postpartum fatigue. Because immediately after giving birth you are now caring for a newborn around the clock, along with your other children if you have them, you are unable to take adequate time to heal.

Working Out Sleep Schedules with your Partner

When it comes to parents’ sleep schedules, having a newborn in the house can wreak havoc! During the first few months of life, newborns usually sleep for two hours at a time. Because newborns usually only sleep for two hours at a time (even at night), parents tend to lose sleep and don't get the recommended full 8 hours straight a night that most are used to.

Some of the common techniques parents use when it comes to working out sleep schedules is to swap on and off nights, for example: "Today is my day, tomorrow is your day." Another is for one parent to get up for the late night feedings, and the other, the early mornings.

However, it all depends on what works well for your specific situation. For another example, maybe dad needs a full night sleep to do well at work. So in a situation like that, mom could do the night time "shifts" and when dad gets home from work he takes over while mom catches up on sleep.

When to Nap

It is a task to try balancing the needs of your newborn along with those of your older children, other family members, and your own. So "sleeping when the baby sleeps" may not always be an option for you.So setting a schedule and routine early on can be very beneficial for everyone - especially you.

Experts say that waiting until about two months of age is a good time to start a routine for your newborn. They will begin to notice the patterns and will adjust to them. Before that time it is best to adjust yourself to your baby’s sleeping and eating patterns.

So adjust yourself to your newborn’s schedule, and get the things you need to get done early as possible so that you can have more freedom to schedule in that nap.

When Not to Nap

If you want to get in a good nap while you can, then as silly as it sounds, it is good to know when not to nap. Don't nap when you haven't finished washing the bottles because having to get up from a nap to a screaming infant and no clean bottles is no fun. Don't sleep when you know you have to make dinner in five minutes because waking up from a nap to have to stand in front of the stove is also a drag.

The best time to nap is when you have a good two hours with nothing ahead of you that needs to be done. If you can tackle all that needs to be done before the baby falls asleep for the next 2-3 hours, then that would be your perfect chance for a real nap.

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