Guest Blogger Lizzie shares her own experience of being a New Mum and her top tips on how to survive the sleepless nights.
It’s 3.40am and I’m up for the third time already tonight. I’m willing my baby to speed feed (is that even a thing?) and the realisation dawns on me that I’ll have to change a nappy as well... after almost four months these long nights can get a little bleak. To function as a parent/human 24 hours a day – particularly with the exhaustion that comes from getting up several times a night - can soon become a struggle. So how to claw back forty winks when you feel like you’ve only had fourteen?
Here’s some handy tips to help you through the sleep deprivation:
Sleep when they sleep
It’s a saying as old as the hills, but even now with a sixteen week old baby I’ll nap during the day. We went through a *blissful* period of about a fortnight when I *only* had to get up twice a night, but now we’re back to 4-5 times a night (growth spurt? Teething? Who knows!) I can’t make it through the day without a nap, let alone psych myself up for the next night to come.
My daughter is now in a relatively steady habit of napping for an hour or so about 11am, so I’ll try to steal away then as best as I can. If bed isn’t an option, then at least I'll have a rest on the settee with my eyes closed and a couple of colourful cushions and a throw to keep me warm and my spirits high.
Leave the lights off
When you do have to tend to your little one in the wee hours, then keep the lighting low so you don’t switch on too much and can easily get back to sleep yourself. Have your changing station organised so you know where everything is as you stumble around in the dark – wipes, water, nappies and more wipes. These fabulous Moroccan Storage Pots are a great place to keep cotton wool, and will make a beautiful addition to future nurseries as well.
On that note, these Pom Pom Baskets are a great way of keeping together all of those muslins, and the pompoms act as a beacon in the dark to guide you! The orange, pink and yellow is a personal fave, and will double up as a great bag to use on future day trips to the beach when my daughter is a little older.
Slip(per) into something comfortable
When your head is on the pillow but the baby cries are luring you out of bed, make sure your feet will be snug throughout night time feeds - have a pair of slippers ready next to the bed for when you need to jump into action. These Babouche Sequin Slippers in jade green will make sure your toes are warm in the Winter and cool in the Summer.
Keep a glass of water within arm’s reach
We’ve all been there – you’re set up in the feeding chair with a baby happily guzzling away. You take a deep breath and could really do with a sip of water but that glass is just… out… of… reach… having been stung by this one too many times, I now have a bright coaster on a little table next to the feeding chair so I know where I need to put my water bottle and will make sure it’s topped up in advance of the night ahead.
Go with the flow – it’s better for morale!
Have friends with babies who sleep through the night when yours won’t? Take a breath and relax. Each baby has their own pace of development and it will all come together in time. Comparing what your baby does with other babies might work when yours is the first to roll, but when it comes to sleep, it really isn’t great for morale to know you’re the only one still up a lot.
There are so many factors at play – weight, how you’re feeding, teething, growth spurts… plus unless your babies were born on the same date, remember that even a week is a huge time when it comes to developing in those first few months. Of course, it can help to know what to expect and there are some great books, websites and apps out there to assist – The Wonder Weeks, Your Baby: Week by Week…. My favourite is BabyCentre which I also used while pregnant as it has some handy articles, and can make for a good midnight read.
If you have some tips to share with our community of New Parents, drop them in the comments below!
Image Sources: Postcards Home, Postcards Home, Postcards Home, Burst, Burst
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