Those early days with a baby are long and tiring for everyone. But for all the mums out there with wakeful babies who just won’t nod off – tired takes on a whole new meaning.
If you’re having one of those rough sleep patches with your baby, and feeling like nothing works, here are a few things to remember at the end of a long day … and night.
Your baby is still figuring this all out
Babies come into this world wanting one thing only – to be close to mum and dad. So naturally, learning to sleep on their own, in their own bed, is a big adjustment. Some babies take to it; most (let’s be honest) don’t. It takes time and patience, and while there will always be that one baby in your mother’s group who sleeps through at six weeks, the rest of us are running the same sleep-deprived marathon.
So when someone inevitably tells you how well their baby is sleeping, smile, nod, and don’t let it break your heart. This whole sleep thing is not a competition, and no one wins points for getting their baby to sleep. Your little guy is doing it his way, he’ll figure it out all on his own, and you’ll be amazed when he does.
You’re doing the best you can
We’ve all had it – that feeling that maybe, just maybe, we’re doing it wrong. Surely there’s a secret sleep solution that everyone else knows about right? Nope. Please, please, repeat after me – you’re doing a great job, a wakeful baby is no one’s fault, and what works for some, definitely does not work for others.
There are so many techniques out there to help babies sleep, but go easy, and start small. Sleepwear is a good place to start. You could try experimenting with something like an ergoPouch baby swaddle or sleeping bag. They’re made from natural breathable fibres and there’s even an ergoPouch ergoEco-System, which pretty much takes the guesswork out of dressing baby for sleep. Great for unsettled newborns and restless toddlers who like kicking off their blankets. (Also, the range of prints are super cute, which actually helps a bit at three in the morning.)
Everyone has an opinion
This is may be the hardest part. The part when you tell people how tired you are, and how little your baby is sleeping, and they start offering solutions. Their heart is in the right place, but sometimes the endless stream of opinions can be overwhelming. It helps to choose just a few close confidants. Maybe that means reaching out to family, or a few friends, or a professional sleep expert. Look for the support you need, and then hang in there.
Try, try, try again
This parenting journey is a long one, and none of us know when we’re going to finally land a full eight hours. And even when we do, the tides can change and our babies or toddlers start waking again. All you can do is ride the wave, and keep trying new things that might help ease your child’s unsettled nights. White noise apps, blackout blinds, crying, cuddling, dummies or blankies. Your mantra is simple: whatever works.
So, whether you’re singing to an unsettled newborn in the wee hours of the morning, or guiding your toddler back to bed for the third time that night, take heart: they keep changing, and we promise, it gets better.
How do you cope when your baby doesn’t sleep?
(This is a sponsored post for ergoPouch)