I am tired. I am more tired than I have ever been. I live more on coffee than I ever thought I would but I’m surviving. When it comes to my own sleep as a new mom, I’ve tried to do what they say ‘ sleep when the baby sleeps,’ and as my confidence as a mother has grown, I am more able to do that.
The first few weeks after my baby was born were beyond exhausting-I fell asleep sitting up on more than one occasion. The hormonal high from labour carried me through 29 hours of awake time but after that, I had a hard time adjusting to this new person’s irregular sleeping pattern. It was tiredness that hit me like bowling ball, made me cry, feel anxious and weighed my limbs down. After about six weeks, I began to feel human again. I worked on recognizing baby’s sleep patterns and managing my own sleep around his schedule while training my body to function on less sleep….hence the coffee.
Baby sleep is the element of new parenthood that gives me the most anxiety. It changes from one nap, from one night, to the next. As is typical with being a mother, I get conflicting advice on sleep from many parties: Give them a routine as soon as possible; don’t bother with a routine; teach to sleep wherever; give him one designated place to sleep.
What is the answer? I don’t know. We started by trying to help him differentiate night from day: lights and noise during the day, darkness and silence at night. It seemed to work as he now sleeps at night, waking only when he is hungry. I rock him to sleep when he starts to look tired and naps every few hours throughout the day. Hooray!
I don’t know if this is the ‘right’ way to do things but for us, right now, it is working. Overall, we have a happy, healthy, baby and a somewhat rested mummy. As sleep needs change, we will do our best to adapt. I’m learning that the key to parenting is flexibility.
At times, I have also referenced this baby sleep cheat sheet from Pregnant Chicken. I recommend it to all new moms and wish you all luck!
Natalie Preddie is a Ddrops guest blogger. She is also a freelance writer who lives with her husband and dog in Toronto. They just had their first baby and couldn’t be happier! Natalie has been published in the Toronto Star, Star Touch Magazine, PAX Magazine, Vv Magazine,The Baby Post and her popular travel blog, The Adventures of Natty P. Natalie believes that travel is the best education possible and encourages family and friends to explore, discover and learn in order to grow. Natalie also believes in finding deeper solutions in mind/body instead of just treating symptoms. In 2014, Natalie won the Canadian Public Relations Society: Young PR Pro of the Year Award. This year, Natalie won Travel Writer of the Year 2015 for her series on Ontario’s Norfolk County.