A little nighttime reading
Taking care of yourself when you're a sleep-deprived parent
Tracie Kesatie is Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and the founder of Rest Well Baby. She is all about helping tired families sleep. In this guest post for Slumbr, she provides tips for parents of babies and young children on how to practice self-care when sleep deprived.
Children require a lot of love, time and attention, and as parents we frequently find ourselves feeling completely spent at the end of the day. When you add in a sleepless baby or toddler, then those feelings of exhaustion are usually magnified. While it is not always easy to find the time to take care of yourself, making the effort can help you feel like a better parent, partner and friend. Here are a few tips that can help you refill your tank:
Enlist a support system
Whether it is your family, friends, a loving caregiver, or a mom/dads group - look for trusted people who can support you. Being able to run errands "kid-free", take a shower without an audience, take a nap or connect with other parents in the same situation can all help refresh your mind, body and spirit.
As busy parents it is so easy to make sure that our children are well fed, but frequently we forget to eat well ourselves. Sometimes we skip meals or grab something quick, but not necessarily healthy, instead of taking the time to properly refuel our bodies. Making sure that you eat well-balanced meals and drink water throughout the day will help give you some of the energy you need to keep up with your little one.
Find new ways to spend time with your little one
While it can be lovely to spend time with your child at home, it can also sometimes be repetitive and/or isolating. A great way to break up the monotony and have fun is to simply go out... going for a walk, going to the park, going to a music class, walking around the mall or going to a friend’s house can all be enjoyable excursions for both you and your child.
Pursue a hobby
I know you may be wondering how it's even possible to pursue a hobby when you have a baby or young child, but finding some time (even a few minutes) every day to do something that you really enjoy can help reduce stress. Reading, exercising, cooking, knitting and listening to music are some common examples, but the possibilities are endless.
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Tracie Kesatie is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant who also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Boston University and a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Cal State University. She is an experienced mother of three well-rested kids who understands firsthand the effects of sleep deprivation and the benefits of healthy sleep habits. Tracie is passionate about helping tired families get the sleep they need and she uses her extensive training and experience to develop supportive, individualized sleep solutions for the families that she works with. In addition to working with private clients all over the world, Tracie facilitates pediatric sleep workshops, sleep support groups and holds speaking engagements throughout the Los Angeles area. She has also appeared as a special guest on the Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family television show giving gentle sleep tips to new mom, Debbie Matenopoulos.
Image credit: © Can Stock Photo / Antonio_Diaz