It can be really hard to change how your baby sleeps when you’re not sure how, are probably chronically sleep deprived, lacking in confidence and probably in patience too. Changing another person’s habits, never mind those of your baby can be tough but changing your own sleep habits so your better able to cope with sleep deprivation in the short term is much easier! ⠀
I think as a new mum struggling with sleep deprivation it’s important to remember to take care of yourself too. Self care is not selfish, it’s vital in order to get through the tough times.
Consider your own sleep habits now that you're a mum. Perhaps how you used to sleep before your little one came along now needs to change so that you can get the rest and sleep that you need when you can. If how your baby sleeps is too much to cope with and you decide that you want to ( maybe) try sleep training, changes won’t happen overnight, so think about when and how you can get as much sleep as possible in the short term so that you are better able to be consistent and follow through when you do decide to start making changes to how yout baby sleeps.
The following tips will help you get the rest you need to help you overcome sleep deprivation in the short term. ⠀
- Consider going to bed a bit earlier! Many mums report that sleep during the first half of the night (7-2) seems to come a little easier and so they use that time when baby is asleep to spend with partners or the rest of the family, catching up on TV or housework but instead perhaps consider going to bed earlier, ok you may sacrifice time with other loved ones but wouldn’t the quality of the time spent together be better if you’re a less sleep deprived? Instead of going to bed at midnight maybe go to bed at 10.30 or 11 instead. ⠀
- Nap when your baby naps! Another obvious one that many mums roll their eyes at but never actually do it. It may only be an hour or so but it’s an hour more sleep than you had before and you will feel better for it! Limit your morning caffeine intake so that nodding off when your baby does is a bit easier. ⠀Consider co sleeping at nap time if you’re comfortable with doing so, babies tend to nap better and longer with mummy close by and if your little one tends to wake early from naps you’re right there with them and can help them get back to sleep much faster if you’re laying with them the moment they wake rather than if your doing the washing up and don’t hear them for a moment or two. ⠀
- Consider your own sleep hygiene. ⠀Do YOU have a bedtime routine or ritual for yourself before bed or do you just go to bed when you feel your eyelids dropping whilst watching tv every night. We adults need to learn how wind down too it facilitates better quality sleep for us as well when we are able to get some.⠀Make your bedroom a haven for sleep, cool & ventilated. And dark to encourage melatonin production to help you feel sleepy! So if you have a particularly light bedroom consider getting black out blinds for your room as well as your baby’s. ⠀⠀
- Limit your screen time in the run up to bedtime or sleeping too as the blue hue in the screen backlight is known to be inhibit melatonin production in adults as well as children. So no more Facebook or Instagram scrolling on your phone right before trying to sleep, it could be one of the factors contributing to difficulty falling asleep as well. ⠀⠀
- Source your sources of support.⠀It takes a village to raise a child but we don’t live in villages anymore and our support networks are often not as close as we need them. Even if you don’t have overnight support or family close by to help , do you have another mum you know who could have your little one for an hour or two so you can catch up on sleep or can you get your partner to go for a walk with the buggy ( and the baby) so that you can have a bath maybe or wash your hair? ⠀You may not have access to the type of support you want or need but there is usually at least one person who may be able to help you out in some way even for just 1 hour. And if someone offers to help, accept it!! ⠀
If you are reading this because you have a baby or toddler who your struggling to get to sleep here are a few ways i can help you get more sleep, whenever you're ready.
1. You can join my community over on Facebook for sleep deprived mums wanting more gentle and respectful soultions to their babies sleep problems. Connect with me there and other mums who share your mission for more sleep using more gentle and child focussed methods. I created it to be space for commeraderies, support, inspiration or even just a safe space to come and have a good old whinge when sleep deprivation is kicking your butt! To join us over on FB Click Here!
2. If your thinking about maybe sleep training your baby i have a free baby sleep class that can help you decide on how to sleep train your baby or toddler and 7 Key points to think about before you sleep train so that when you do start you see success quickly and with as little stress as possible. To access that free training Click Here....but hurry as i will be taking that free training down very soon
3. You can work with me privately to help get you and your baby or toddler sleeping through the night. We can work together and plan a sleep solution speciifically for you and your family and have me hold your hand, offerif emotional support and accountability to help you confidently shape ho your baby or toddler sleeps To book a session with me click here to select a package that suits you and book our sessions together or email me for a free discovery call where we can chat and see if working together is a good fit for both of us!!