7 New Mom Sleep-Saving Tips

It's understandable if the term "walking zombie" describes you during your new mom days. As you recover from pregnancy and childbirth, you're nurturing an infant who wakes up several times a night feeling hungry (or wet or colicky or disoriented) and needs you to be awake too. Luckily, this is temporary. Once your baby can sleep through the night, you can return to a regular sleep schedule. But most infants won't for least seven to eight weeks, often longer. The good news: You can almost always sneak in sleep. These sleep-saving moves will show you how.

Delegate a Nighttime Feeding

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Let a loved one take the 2 a.m. shift for you. If you enjoy thinking of yourself as the exclusive source for all of baby's nourishment, get over it. "One component to postpartum depression is sleep deprivation," says Marjorie Greenfield, MD, ob-gyn at the University Hospital of Cleveland and Case Medical Center. "So if you've really bottomed out, you need one full night's sleep -- even if that means giving the baby a bottle of formula."

Delegating feedings is how Julianna Caplan, of Washington, D.C., stayed sane after the birth of her twins, Norah and Josephine. Every week or two, she handed off a 3 a.m. shift to an overnight guest -- her mother, a dear friend, or a regular babysitter (at $10 an hour). "Getting six hours of uninterrupted sleep made me feel like the Energizer Bunny," Caplan says.

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