When preparing for parenthood, you’ll hear many people saying that you should get as much sleep as possible before the baby is born. I used to smirk at such remarks when my wife was pregnant, thinking that they were overreacting. Still, our little lad turned out to be a bad sleeper. Until he reached the age of two, we were occasionally really exhausted and nervous.
We realised that every single moment he falls asleep is precious for us to recuperate and get ready to meet his needs when he wakes up. Here are five quick and effective relaxation strategies that helped us go through his bad sleeping periods.
Get some sleep
A rule of thumb is that mom should sleep when her baby is sleeping. Luckily, I had flexible work hours back then, so we would both lie down and take a nap when our little boy would finally fall asleep.
What we also used to do is grab a pair of earphones and play a relaxing playlist to calm down and drift into sleep. It was also a nice opportunity to listen to some music that we both like and actually commit ourselves to each other for a couple of minutes.
At that time he had two daily naps, we would have some rest during one of these periods of sleep. We’d use the other one either to tidy up a bit or do other relaxing activities shared in this article.
Retain your hobby
At one point, I realised that I need to log out from my daily chores and errands, just for a few minutes. When I was younger, I played the guitar in a band. During the pregnancy, I’d play some relaxing music to my wife and the baby in her stomach. It really helped her relax in some stressful situations. So, when I put my kid to sleep, I’d plug my Yamaha into the computer, put on my headphones and jam for an hour or so.
My wife likes literature so she prepared a pile of books to read them when the baby was asleep.
The point is that you should get back to your hobby or simply do something that makes you happy. But it’s important that it’s a practical thing and not just sitting and doing nothing. That way, it will simply help you clean your head from all the noise and micro-tasks that you have to deal with during the day.
Turn to physical activity
Staying physically active is extremely important when you become a parent. By this, I don’t mean going on a harsh diet or strict gym regime to show off on Instagram.
What I mean is that babies squeeze every single joule of energy from your body. So, you need some sort or recuperation to be able to successfully handle all the baby’s needs. For instance, our son had colic from the third week to the ninth month of his life. What really soothed him during that period was the physical contact so we carried him around the apartment.
He would really calm down after a half an hour or so but after a few weeks, I felt lower back pain. That’s why I started doing these lower back stretches when he would fall asleep.
Also, when the weather was nice, I would go running or fast walking. My wife likes yoga so she would go to her yoga class two times a week. In a nutshell, I scratched her back and she scratched mine in order to eliminate back pain (literally). So, support your partner to work out and you’ll both feel better and have more energy for your kid.
Prepare a relaxing bath
If you want to rejuvenate and relax both your mind and your body, indulging in a relaxing bath every now and then is the right thing to do.
While in films we usually see women relaxing that way, there are no gender restraints for this soothing activity. Fathers can also lie down in the bath and let all the stress they’ve piled up during the day simply vanish with the vapour from the bath.
If you want to make the atmosphere even more relaxing, you can light a scented candle and enjoy your bath as long as you can. You can use a Laura Ashley discount code and order a bunch for a fraction of the price.
Also, pouring a few drops of essential oil into the water will add to this homemade rejuvenation treatment.
Meet up with your friends
Parents who spend most of their time with their baby shouldn’t neglect their social life. Of course, you can’t go back to the period when you were a party animal (at least you shouldn’t) but you should see your friends from time to time.
My wife and I have a so-called ‘social schedule’, by which we’ve defined when each of us goes out.
We’ve also realised that we’re less edgy and nervous after we’ve re-established some bits of our social life, plus we always hear about some interesting business opportunities.
So, take care of your mental health and find at least one slot per week to go out with your friends when your baby is asleep and your partner is at home.
Looking after your baby is the most beautiful thing in the world but it can get a bit intensive and exhausting from time to time. That’s why partners should support each other to find some me-time. The part of the day or night when your baby takes a nap or goes to sleep is the best period for relaxation. These are some of the things my significant other and I do to let off some steam. I hope these tips will help you start doing something for yourself and make your life even more beautiful.