We know when you read this you probably thought, ‘what is sleep’? We know how you feel, rocking to and fro singing twinkle twinkle little star for the 1000th time at 3am is how our nights go. And when you’re up countless times in the night, it can make you feel like you’re doing something wrong (especially when Karen’s baby slept through from week 4. Yeah right!). Just know that every baby is different, some like to sleep and some need more comfort. You have done nothing wrong, you haven’t ‘made a rod for your own back’ and you are not the only one with a baby who doesn’t sleep. It’s more common than you think! But that doesn’t make it any easier when you’re exhausted.
Here’s 5 tips from our M&Y mums that might help.
- Ignore anyone who says their baby sleeps though. Everyone’s meaning of ‘sleeping through’ is different and comparing yourself can just make things feel harder
- Sleep when the baby sleeps… ha! How many times have you heard this! Lots of babies don’t actually go down for long naps, or if they do the temptation to eat/shower/clean/binge netflix is too high. And if you have a toddler there is no time for naps! So if you can’t nap when they do, try and go to bed early 2 or 3 times a week once the little ones are down (we’re talking like 7pm/8pm.) Usually the first part of the evening is when they have longer stretches (when they’re not cluster feeding that is!) and even just a block of a few hours for you can make a difference.
- If you have any friends or family support, ask if they can take your little one for a walk around nap time so you can rest without imagining you heard a baby cry
- Remember ‘this too will pass’. It’s hard now, so so hard, but eventually they will sleep longer and if you co sleep they won’t be in your bed when they’re 18!
- Use a premium nappy at night with high absorbency so you don’t need to risk waking up baby to change them (unless nappy is very full or they have done a poo). Mum & You eco nappies have unique technology that keeps baby dry for up to 12 hours.
- Follow Lullaby’s trust for safe sleeping and safe co sleeping (scroll for more!)
Safe sleep week
From 13th – 19th March is Safer Sleep Week and Lullaby Trust have some life-saving safer sleep advice to reduce the risk’s of sids (sudden infant death).
Do you know your ABC’S? This is a great way to remember how to protect your baby during naptime or night time. Safer sleep for baby, sounder sleep for you.
A – Always sleep your baby…
B – …on their back…
C – …in a clear cot or sleep space.
There are lots of tips and advice for safer sleep awareness week on lullaby trust website.
Recently the NHS updated their guidelines around how to safely co sleep with your baby. We think it’s great they are recognising that for lots of parent’s, the only way to get their baby settled is to have them sleep close to them. Many parents don’t set out to co sleep but when you’re so sleep deprived you feel your eyes might burst out of the sockets, you will do anything for some sleep. And it’s perfectly normal for your baby to want to be next to the person who they love and feel safe with! But it can leave you feeling like you’re doing something wrong when you’re not, so it’s great to finally have some guidelines to help parents co sleep safely. Lullaby Trust also have some great advice for safe co-sleeping:
Don’t co-sleep if:
- You or anyone in the bed has recently drunk any alcohol
- You or anyone in the bed smokes
- You or anyone in the bed has taken any drugs or medication that make you feel sleepy
- Your baby was born prematurely (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or weighed under 2.5kg or 5½ lbs when they were born.
- Never fall asleep on a sofa or armchair with your baby. The risk of sids is 50 times higher
Do’s for safe co sleeping:
- Keep pillows and adult bedding away from your baby or any other items that could cover their head or cause them to overheat.
- Sleep baby on their back
- To reduce the risk of accidents, do not bring other children or pets into bed with you.
- Check that baby cannot be trapped, wedged or fall out of bed or get trapped between the mattress and the wall
- Never leave your baby unattended in an adult bed
If you’ve read this with zombie eyes we really hope you get some more sleep soon. And if you have any sleep tips for other parents, share them in the comments!
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