“You’ll sleep again!” Is a common quote spouted off to new parents. However, in that moment of needing club bed and dj pillow, you wonder how soon is soon? I had the to chance to chat with Dr. Hanna from Kaiser Permanente, Orange County about the importance of sleep for new parents and for the everyday person. The talk was supposed to last 30 minutes, but we chatted for almost an hour and a half. He shared so much information with me that I decided to break this post up into 2 different posts, one for new parents and then the other of the everyday person. With that said, when can I join club bed and dj pillow?
There are no words to describe the feeling of waking up in the middle of the night to a little human smiling back at you. However, as the days turn to nights and the nights turn to days we need to realize that sleep is just as important for us as it is our little. To the person that says take a nap while your baby is sleeping obviously hasn’t had a baby! Are they going to come clean my house, cook me food and do my laundry? I didn’t think so….
When talking to Dr. Hanna he reminded me that yes, getting all that stuff done is important but our sleep and well being is even more important. When we as a parent are rested, we are more likely to be slower to anger, slower to get frustrated and most importantly be present. He made it very clear that we as new parents will sleep again but that we need to normalize our new reality not minimize it.
Being a new mom our hormones take around 18 months to come back to reality. Having a child is supposed to be the best time of our life, it is work, but it pays off. With our emotions running wild we may find hard not to be a “helicopter parent.” Dr. Hanna introduced me to this term, it’s a parent that hovers, worries, and watches every move the child makes. This can be part of the reason as to why we may find it hard to sleep. We want to watch every breath our child makes, however we need to understand and realize that they will be ok. We can not stress about every second of everyday as it will put stress on us which will make it hard for us to calm down, relax and then sleep.
Another thing that he mentioned is shift taking. Talk to your local family members, baby sitter, husband or wife to take turns watching the baby. This will allow you to sleep peacefully knowing that someone is watching your child and you won’t have to sleep with one eye open!
Daily living is hard and can be stressful, but remember being a parents is good stress. The goal and outcome of this stress, is knowing that you’re blessing the life of this little human. When we started the conversation, I asked if there was a list of tips for a new parent to get sleep? He laughed and said “I wish, but you just have to ride this adventure through and sleep when you can.”
And by the time they are 4 or 5, they will be a little more independent… then you’ll probably be on the next baby and starting all over again!
For more information, visit http://www.kp.org/orangecounty
Stay tuned for part 2…..