Once you have a new baby in your life, thats it! The guilt hormone starts to float about your body sending your brain into overdrive and your anxiety through the roof. Never again will you be able to make quick decisions about your offspring, instead you procrastinate, ask friends, search facebook and do copious amounts of online reading - asking google, the same question just reworded - trying to find a different answer, if you happen to come across one you don't like!
We all know that you can find any answer you are looking for on google - good or bad, its all out there for the world to read.
I would say that SLEEP is one hot commodity, when it comes to babies, whether 6 weeks old, 6 months or 3 years. Counting how many hours they have slept, watching for their sleep cues, going to bed each night yourself, wondering what the night will hold, will I be up in an hour or two? should I even bother going to sleep? UGH.
Time and time again, I have seen parents get so worked up over sleep, both napping, bedtime and over night, that it consumes them and it's all they think about. ALL. DAY. LONG.
Certainly getting the baby to sleep can be a stressful event, it's also time consuming and tends to involve tears, both with and without props (and not just the baby!)
But overall, I find it can really eat away at parents, mentally, physically emotionally and can put a wedge between a couples relationship.
So, what can you do to stop worrying about your babies sleep? Here are 5 tips!
1. Stop counting the hours
It's not always about the quantity of the sleep it's about the quality, 12 hrs in bed with multiple wakings that are prolonged will be worse than 10 hrs straight. That would then bring to me to NAPS! They are often short with babies having 10 micro naps a day, so you end up rocking, bouncing, walking, having the baby sleep on you to the point where you feel trapped / held hostage. Unfortunately, naps are more difficult to change, so they do end up taking longer, than over night sleep which should always be your FIRST priority.
2. Stop reading
No pun intended as you are currently reading this, but reading from multiple sources' and getting countless options', can leave you feeling even more flustered or confused. Make sure that if you are going to do some reading, ensure that the source you are reading is reputable. There are so many opinions out there, that are not factual.
Daytime sleep, overnight sleep, and a solid daytime routine, all play a part in good sleep.
If you want to see how the day should look, our e.Guide is very helpful and lays out the daytime routine from 4 months to the age of 3 years.
You can download it here.
3. Be practical
As hard as it can be, look at your situation practically, are you doing something that you could be doing better? It's very likely that you are in a situation where your baby is relying on your or on something to help them sleep, but you just don't know where to start in breaking the cycle. In most cases, the worry comes from not being confident, unsure of how / where / when your baby should be sleeping. If you feel as though things are bad, you can get help to guide you through, this is not a parenting fail, this is a step in the right direction to make positive changes!
Easy for me to say! you would relax if you could sleep - right? When I say relax, I mean back off from giving yourself a hard time and questioning yourself over everything. We are often our own worse enemies, if your baby is very young and is too young for any kind of sleep training or you feel that something else is bothering them, then doing what gets them the most sleep is often the best - even if that does mean them sleeping on you - in a contradictory way, if you are doing it, try to enjoy it, there will be a time when your baby does not want to even hold your hand, won't give you any of their halloween candy and will get great satisfaction from winding you up! You will know when the time is right to make changes, please don't let anyone else decide this for you.
5. Ask for help
There is nothing wrong with asking for help, guidance or support when it comes to getting more quality sleep. Sleep is needed for emotional, mental and physical well being, if you feel really lost, there is plenty of help out there and I don't mean in the form of reading or buying endless books. I mean in the form of talking it through with someone and getting them to guide you through this part of your parenting journey, its ensuring that if you are going to make changes, you are doing so the right way.
Need more? We can help! contact us today, we don't bite!