Handling Fatigue as a New Parent

For couples, having the first baby is definitely one of the most wonderful things that will happen in their life. It is an exciting and joyous event. However, it can also leave a lot of new parents the feeling of being overwhelmed and exciting. For some, being a new parent is even much harder compared to adjusting to a new job. It’s because being a new parent means there will be sleepless nights, endless feedings, and other responsibilities. 

New moms can feel really tired in the weeks after birth because it’s difficult to balance taking care of a new baby, taking care of yourself, and as well as your family and home. If you are a new parent and you’re currently suffering from fatigue, don’t worry because you’re not alone, and what you are feeling is normal. To help you handle the exhaustion of being a new parent, we are going to give you some tips that you can try. 

1. Get Plenty of Rest

When you are taking care of a new baby, sleep will always be on your mind. It’s because, in the first few weeks of a baby’s life, it is almost impossible for new parents to get a straight sleep of 6 to 8 hours every night. Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day, and they do it 3 to 4 hours at a time. Here are some of the ways you can do to get plenty of rest even when you’re taking care of a baby.

  • Try to sleep when your baby sleeps

When your baby falls asleep, instead of watching the TV or scrolling through your phone, it’s better to try to get a few minutes of sleep if you can. This can help you replenish your energy and be ready again when your baby wakes up. 

  • Put off household responsibilities

This advice is for new moms. In the first few weeks after giving birth, your primary responsibility is to take care of your baby and yourself. You need to make time for sleep, even if it means you also need to cut back on chores, such as doing the laundry, dishes and cleaning. You can just ask your husband to be in charge of those chores in the meantime. 

  • Limit visitors

When you have a new baby, there are lots of visitors that may come to your house. But you need to keep in mind that you are not obligated to always host and entertain guests. To be able to get your much-needed rest, try to limit visitors as best as you can. 

2. Eat Healthy Foods and Stay Active

Eating healthy foods is very important for new parents, especially for new moms. Breastfeeding moms need to eat healthy foods for the baby to get the nutrients they need. But aside from that, healthy foods and exercise are also important to overcome fatigue. These can help you have the energy you need and feel rested, as well. Always remember to drink water and avoid overloading on caffeine and sugar-packed beverages. 

For new moms, if your doctor approves of exercising, then you should do a few minutes of physical activity at home. You can do it while the baby’s asleep, or maybe you can take the baby with you for a walk. This will also help you relax your mind and regain energy. 

3. Create a Schedule

Another effective way of handling fatigue or maybe avoiding fatigue as a new parent is by creating a schedule. When it comes to taking care of a baby, mom and dad should be a team. For example, dad can do the last feeding of the night while mom goes to sleep early to get a good rest, and to be ready when the baby wakes up in the middle of the night for another feeding. 

You can also try to divide the week in half. For example, both of you can try to go to sleep as early as possible, then from Thursday to Saturday, dad can do the middle of the night and early morning feedings. Then mom can tackle Sunday through Wednesday. This way, dad can get an uninterrupted sleep before most workdays, and mom can sleep through on the weekends. 

4. Take a Break

Being a new parent comes with lots of responsibilities. Especially when you still need to go to work. But for optimal functioning and mental well-being, breaks are necessary. You don’t really need to have a vacation for a week because even a five-minute break can help in boosting your energy levels. For example, when you are going to take a shower, you can ask someone at home to hold your baby for you for a while, so that you can shower in peace. 

5. Ask for Help

As much as you want to be a super parent, you cannot be everything to everyone. Therefore, you can also ask for help from your family and friends. You can share nighttime parenting jobs with your partner, such as feedings, diaper changes, and other baby duties. 

When there are visitors, you can also ask them to help you with the dishes, or by simply holding your baby while you do some chores. You can also take advantage of babysitting offers. You can take a nap while a trusted friend or family member babysit for you. 

If you have some extra money to spend, you can hire some help, too. During the first few weeks after giving birth, you can hire a baby nurse or a doula. If you want to be hands-on in taking care of your baby, you can instead hire a helper that can do the chores at home while you take care of the baby. This way, there will be less stress for you as you don’t need to think about the chores that you can’t do. 

6. Embrace Your New Normal

Another way of handling fatigue as a new parent is to accept your new way of life. It’s normal to commiserate about the lack of sleep, but fatigue will be easier to handle if you accept that it is your new life now. When you do this, you will start to sleep soundly again consistently. 

Remember that as a new parent, or as a parent in general, you will never figure it out. It’s because there will really be nights when your child is not tired at night, and there are also days when they will get sick. Your child will continue to grow, change, and need different things. The best thing you can do is to just simply roll with those punches and always remember that you are an incredible parent. 

These are the best tips we can give when it comes to handling fatigue as a new parent. Being a parent and taking care of a child is tough. But you need to relax, stay calm, cool, and collected because you are going to get through it no matter what.