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8 Steps to Mastering Baby Brain

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Being a mom means no rest for the wicked. At times, I feel like I’m barely staying afloat. In addition to tending to three little ones, a dog, and a husband, I somehow have to prioritize time for myself, too. Lately I seem to be in this crazy fog – all the time. Even when I do get a chance to do something for myself (like hold a conversation with other adults), I feel like I can’t find the right words. What happened to my quick wit and comprehension of things other than poopy diapers, lunch boxes, and superheroes? This is what I call “Baby Brain.”

The symptoms? Loss of vocabulary, feelings of fogginess, and the remnants of a really bad hangover (WITHOUT the well-deserved glass of wine). New mothers are wired to focus on their newborns and nothing else, almost like baby tunnel-vision. This often leads to funky feelings of exhaustion and neurotransmitter fatigue (YEAH! My “baby brain” went away for a second there).

Sound familiar?

Here are 8 tips to help bust your baby brain and get your mind back on track:

 

Stay hydrated

  • This tip sounds easy, but you would be surprised how many of us don’t get enough water. Studies show that humans should drink close to eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids per day. Try carrying around a reusable water bottle with you so you can sip whenever you want. I love S’well or Yeti water bottles.  

Drink Nursing Tea

  • Nursing tea is a great way to increase milk flow and relieve common indigestion problems that come from breastfeeding. My favorite nursing tea is Milk tea from Jasmine Bay at five elements or Mother’s Milk from Traditional Medicinals. (You can buy it at Whole Foods as well as online.) The tea is made of herbs such as fennel seed and anise which work to increase production.

Go to bed early

  • The best time to go to bed? When your children do. Getting on your kid’s schedule lets you make the most of your sleeping time.

Create a routine

    • Let’s face it: if you have kids, the odds are they are either going to wake you in the middle of the night, or wake up long before the alarm clock is scheduled to go off. Either way, you’re back on mom duty. There’s no way around those givens. So why not anticipate? Creating a routine can streamline and ease your days and nights, and once your routine becomes second nature, you won’t have to even think about it!

Schedule a nap

  • Naps! The benefits are substantial. As new mothers, sleep is scarce, and you’ll take it whenever you can get it. My suggestion? Nap when your children nap. You’ll get a nice break, and your regenerating brain cells will thank you.

Invest in self care

    • Like sleep, when you have a baby or kids, time for yourself becomes nearly non-existent. But don’t let it be! Pamper yourself! Get a massage or get your nails done. Treating yourself when having a newborn can come in the smallest ways– even going to the grocery can feel like a luxury. When you take the time to have a spa day or a shopping day (or honestly even 5 to 10 minutes to yourself) you get a little rest and allow your body and brain to re-energize.

 

Talk to other adults

  • Sounds so simple, but when being a mother to young ones, conversations with other adults (sans kids!) are few and far between. Even the thought of talking to another adult can seem revolutionary. Every once in awhile it does your brain good to self-indulge in big words and complicated sentences: your brain needs the grown-up stimulation.

Take time to meditate

  • Often, when new mothers have spare time, they are spent cleaning and tackling to-do lists. What if you spent those ten minutes meditating? Just those few minutes to check  in with yourself and your feelings can do wonders. Meditation helps relieve stress and keeps your mind in the moment. Need direction? Headspace is my favorite app for guided meditation. Give it a try, even if it’s literally just a minute.

 

Do you suffer from baby brain? What is the best advice you’ve received to beat this ailment? Tell me in the comments!

 

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15 Comments

  • Adrienne Rogerson

    I haven’t had baby brain for years. My kids are 21, 17, and 10. I have perpetual “mommy brain”! It’s basically the same thing 😉 The only thing I would like to add to your list is to invest time in a hobby. I think hobbies keep the mind and creative juices flowing with the added benefit of relieving stress.

  • Jenna

    My sister is due in a few days, but I have to show her this! Her second little baby 🙂

    • Antoinette

      well said Adrienne, I am totaly with you, a hobby is a must, it keeps me from the crazy train 😉

  • Jmc

    I have chemo brain right now. It is eerily similar to baby brain! I have added doing 10 to 15 minutes of some sort of puzzle work (crosswords, sodoku, brain teasers) to my day to help keep those neurons firing which has helped.

    I am interested in adding meditation to my day, thank you for the app suggestion!

  • Genevieve Online

    You’re great woman. So proud!!

  • Elba L.

    I’m due Oct. 10 so no baby brain yet but I’ll keep this blog in mind when the little one comes. Any advice on handling a newborn and 3 year old? As a stay at home mom I’m trying to prepare myself beforehand.

  • Maverick

    I’ve found that this post is a lot like what happens at my high school. I have a really nice school system that likes to take care of its teachers. I’vetalked to enough of them to know that our 20 minute “reading time” isn’t exactly to get students reading (even though it’s a really good benefit) it’s so teachers can have 20 peaceful minutes to relax during the 8 hour school day. At 12:20 everyday, students pull out their book of choice, and stop talking, while the teacher sits back and enjoys the peacefulness of a quiet classroom. It’s almost like a child’s nap time in a home. And, even though I’m not a mother and have zero experience with kids, I would still recommend mothers with children who can read to not only have a nap time, but to have a quiet reading time too!

    • Maverick

      And different mothers can even use this time for different things. Like the post about meditating with kids, books can open up feelings for children and help them learn what they mean. Books can also teach kids thoughtful lessons on how to respect, be honest, and care for one another. Or if you have multiple children then you can have them read together as a bonding exercise that enriches the mind.

  • Gabrielle

    Amazing !!!

  • Gabrielle

    You’re great woman. love you so much

  • Koz

    First-time mom of a 2.5 mos old here, & I would say: if people/family offer help, don’t be ashamed to take it! People like being helpful & it’s easier for someone to be patient w/ a squalling baby (yeah, I’ve got a fussy one) if they know they’re giving him back in a couple hours, lol! And then yes, meet a friend for those couple hours. Use big words, heck, curse aloud for a bit, haha

  • Melanie

    For sure I have baby brain… For years now ! So much lack of sleep. It’s been 7.5 years that someone is waking me up every 2 hours at night (to see the bright side, 2 hours is way better than every 20 minutes like in the first months of my three princesses…). I need to think more about myself, I totally give everything to my daughters, husband and pets. Even if I know it’s important to take time for myself… I would like to start to take time to meditade. I say that to myself quite every night but forget about it every day… I might have no brain at all in fact now haha. “daddy, where is my intelligence came from ? probably from your mum as i still got mine” 😂😂

  • Lidy

    I’m a first time mom and all I can think about is my two month old baby. I’m always listening to experienced moms so thanks for the tips.
    Yesterday I cooked (my husband has been doing it these past months) and it felt so relaxing! It made me put my energies in something different. That was like a reset to my brain. So my tip will be: do small things that makes you think in something else. That way you can disconnect and when you go back to your baby you are like new!

  • liza

    you’re spescial. i love u so much, and i’m glad that i know things about u, i know who u are, and i can talk about u. i really want to see u soon. i love Padalecki family, i love you’re 3 munchkins, i love Jared, i can’t describe u only with words, you’re something special for me❤❤

  • Dawn

    I’ve raised 5 kids ages from 31 to 22 now, only one, the oldest, is a boy, and vividly remember baby brain! It evolves to mommy brain then to mom brain, then there’s the whole empty nest syndrome. Once you’re a mom you’ve entered into a whole new realm of existence. Thank you for sharing your experiences and lessons learned. I have 4 girls and a daughter in law, 4 who are moms of young ones and I am sharing your blogs with them. They are all good moms but a little extra wisdom never hurts. God bless you and Jared and your beautiful babies.

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