Sleep less is absolutely NOT the same as Sleepless! So, stop skipping on snoozing or else you will literally go crazy.
You can’t blame colic, or fussy feeding for poor self-care. Make no mistake YOU might be the cause of your insomnia not your newborn. We MUST sleep in order to survive. This is parenthood not Guantanamo so stop trying to do EVERYTHING and GO TAKE A NAP.
As new parents our priorities must change. Let go of passed belief systems about what “matters”, tardiness, or FOMO (fear of missing out), what actually matters is the health and well-being of you and your family. That might mean being more flexible about timing, not showing up to every opening of an envelope, and abandoning the expectations of how things “should” be.
It is hard not to open your home to everyone and share the wonderful arrival of your newborn. But, often guests add undue stress. Stress is sleeps worst enemy. It is not the time to be white glove cleaning your house from to top to bottom making sure everything is just “so”. You need to be saving your strength and energy for literally the small things AKA your baby. Believe me, an invitation is a gift for those who are truly important. Maybe even those who will love on your infant giving you an opportunity to get some REM. These are the people who don’t mind what your house looks like, they care what you look like. You didn’t trade in your belly for dark circles. Trust, those who mind – don’t matter, and, those who matter - don’t mind. Others can wait until you get the sleep schedule down.
Sleep Deprivation is no joke. The lack of REM sleep can wreak havoc on your life. It will make you more exhausted (if that’s possible) cause you to constantly second guess yourself, have lapses in memory, feel disconnected, groggy, cranky, irritable and possibly even depressed.
Synchronized sleeping is golden. When their head hits the crib your head should hit the pillow. If you can’t actually sleep, just get horizontal. Laying down and taking the load off can be the reboot you need to get through. Don’t disrupt your nights every night. Sharing nighttime feedings can combat daytime drifting. If you are breastfeeding that’s ok, pumping and bottling in advance will give your birthing partner the ability to feed, also giving them time to bond and have some skin on skin.
Your Postpartum & Infant Care Doula from Maine Doulas is an incredible resource for times like these, don’t hesitate to call and seek support. If the sleeplessness is relentless you might need to seek the help of a medical professional to assure that the insomnia isn’t a side effect of physical or emotional illness.
Just remember sleepless nights will come to an end… until about your child’s teenage years… then sleepless nights are really a problem. We can, however, teach you how to swaddle a teen. No really.
PS. When you're ready to help your baby learn to sleep independently, check back with us for our exclusive in-home sleep training!