3 Traps that Zap
The tactics may seem to promise pep, but they're buzzkills. Pass!
Nibbling a few jelly beans
Yeah, there's an immediate sugar high, but you're only going to crash a short time later, says Dr. Bauman. Such refined simple carbs send blood sugar levels on a roller coaster. Avoid those sweet temptations by keeping healthy snacks, like fruit and nuts, on hand.
Ordering a late-day latte
After six hours, roughly half of the caffeine you sipped is still coursing through your body, according to the National Sleep Foundation, which means a cup of joe can interfere with that night's sleep. It's best to skip caffeine after 2 p.m. Perk up with a brisk walk around the block instead.
Sleeping in on the weekend
You may be desperate to make up for lost zzz's whenever possible, but experts say that inconsistent sleep patterns can throw off your body's internal clock. Try to train yourself to go to bed and rise at around the same time each day. Bonus: Your cherub's middle-of-the-night wake-up calls might become more tolerable.
New-Mom Energy Makeovers
Try the tricks that helped these women perk up.
Carrying a Load
Kirsten Wilson, of Eugene, Oregon, mom of 5-month-old Cieran
Then: Cieran wanted to be held constantly. Come naptime, a delirious Wilson seized the rare chance to clean up the house. "I was definitely dragging," she says.
Now: At the encouragement of Mary Ann Bauman, M.D., Wilson helped Cieran get used to playing in his infant seat for up to 15 minutes. "If he saw me, he'd cry, so I peeked in to check on him," Wilson says. She straightens up while her son hangs out, which allows her to rest while he naps. "I'm rebooted!" she says.
Jessica Hughes, of Pearland, Texas, mom of 4-month-old London
Then: Hughes is a single mom who works six days a week, and she spent every other available moment by her daughter's side. London even slept in a bassinet next to her bed. "I heard all the movements she made, so I never slept deeply," Hughes says.
Now: Dr. Bauman convinced Hughes to transition London to her crib -- a shift that went well, because she was already napping there. Hughes is a new woman: "It's that quality rest that helped my energy level."
Toiling too late
Marie Rafferty, of Los Angeles, mom of 6-month old Josiah
Then: Rafferty and her hubby own a business and work from home, "so we tag-teamed caring for the baby throughout the day." Instead of getting to bed early, "I wound up working late into the night," she says.
Now: A sitter watches Josiah for a couple of hours a day so Rafferty can buckle down. It's also given her time to exercise (a big rejuvenator!) or hang with her honey. "We even went to the movies," she says. "I'm more rested and happy these days."