Yes. Yes you will.
Sleep deprivation is the pits. There is no denying it. For many it is the hardest part of parenting. So what can we do to make this easier on ourselves?
Firstly, we need to look at our expectations. What were you told your baby ‘should’ do. Did you expect them to be sleeping 7-7 at 6 weeks old, or even 6 months?
Also, what expectations do you have on yourself? Are you trying to ‘do it all’.
Did you know that for many babies, they will be having their most unsettled sleep at around 9 months old. Not particularly helpful when that’s often when maternity leave is ending!
So what can we do to help us get through?
Here are a few pointers that may be useful to you. Please join our online community for information and support and to meet like-minded parents and share your tips!
- What is happening for your baby at the moment? Often sleep will be more unsettled and interrupted during times of major development. These periods of change can be overwhelming for our little people. When we are overwhelmed we may look for sources of comfort in a partner, friend, or something we enjoy doing. Children will reach out to their caregivers for this comfort and reassurance. Give lots of this during the day and allow time for connection. Top their love tank up for the night ahead!
- What do the days look like? An overtired baby is not fun. The cortisol (stress hormone) and adrenaline is on overload and this interrupts sleep even more. Try to spot those tired cues early on and encourage daytime naps at these opportunities. Lots of fun and fresh air in between will help regulate their circadian rhythm (the body clock) and give you time to enjoy each other.
- What can you change? Do you feel you’ve done all you can when it comes to your child’s sleep, but nothing is working? What can you change to make this easier on you? Remember, no one (sadly!) ever won an award for being Supermum. What can you delegate, or let go of for a short while? Can someone help you with the washing, or walk the dog, bring you a meal? Can you perhaps lower your expectations on yourself for a time to allow yourself more time to rest?
- Be kind to yourself. Being a parent is amazing, but it is also hard work! It’s okay to not enjoy it all of the time. Try to find some time for you each day. If you haven’t tried mindfulness or guided relaxations yet, I’d encourage you to give them a go. 5-10 minutes each day changes your body on a cellular level and truly makes things easier to manage. You can sign up to the Headspace app for free or find these on YouTube. I’d really encourage you to give them a go. Hold some space for yourself before you give out to others!
Subscribe to receive regular tips & tricks on breastfeeding & sleep and to receive your free Breastfeeding guide.
Remember what an incredible job you are doing. Raising the next generation is a great responsibility and honour, but it’s also incredibly tiring.
You are amazing!