When you were pregnant, all your friends probably told you the horror stories of labour and delivery. What they maybe failed to prepare you for was how tired you would be when you have children. Don’t be surprised if you hear yourself yell, “Help, I need some sleep!”
You may have had plenty of help when you first brought your child home from the hospital. At that time, you were probably able to sleep when the baby slept and rest as much as you needed. As your baby grows, however, you may find getting sleep isn’t quite so easy.
Often what makes the whole sleepless night situation worse is the fact that everyone asks you, “Is the baby sleeping through the night yet?” You’ll want to tell them yes, but the fact could be that your baby hasn’t got into a good sleep routine yet. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, so give yourself a break. You will be able to sleep all night again, eventually.
Here are some options you may like to try to see if they will help you and your child both get much needed sleep:
* Breastfeeding is one option parents choose for feeding their new-borns. If you’ve chosen this option, you may decide to pump part of the time. By pumping, your spouse can help feed the baby in the middle of the night so you can sleep.
* Again, with breastfeeding and pumping, you could take turns getting up with the baby at night. By sharing the load, you won't get one parent who is totally rested while the other parent is wiped out from getting up each night.
* If you’re not breastfeeding, it’s much easier to share feeding duties. You can prepare enough bottles for the night. They will have to be heated up before being given to the baby, but anyone can be taught to do that. This will allow you an opportunity to get a few more hours of sleep.
* Change your schedule so you’re going to bed earlier. It may seem odd to go to bed at 8:00 p.m. but it might be one way to get that much needed sleep you desire.
* Hire a babysitter to come over during the day for a couple of hours so you can get in a decent nap. If you have friends with children around the same age, maybe you can trade babysitting so you both can catch up on your sleep.
Consider the above suggestions when you’re yelling, “Help, I need some sleep!” Or you may be able to think up other ways to get the sleep you need. No matter which you use, make getting sleep a priority.