Deprived of sleep, walking around the house, holding a 2-month-old baby, who was pretending it wasn’t time to sleep, the lights couldn’t be switched off, I couldn’t even think of crossing the dark hallway…
That was me and my husband, for an entire hour, until our daughter couldn’t hold her eyes open anymore and started giving away to the tiredness and finally falling asleep. It lasted for almost 2 months, it was unbelievable how she never liked to sleep and to miss whatever was going on.
Some parents are lucky and have babies that sleep through the night easily, that is definitely not my case. My daughter’s first 2 weeks were fine, even though she wasn’t breastfeeding properly she slept beautifully. The nightmare started at 3 weeks, she suddenly decided she didn’t want to sleep anymore – not in the bassinet, not in the pram, not even holding and rocking her. It took us some time to come up with the technique mentioned above, and she would cry incessantly for hours if we tried to put her down to sleep.
Everybody talks about sleep deprivation when you fall pregnant. They all say ‘make sure you sleep a lot now’, ‘enjoy sleep while you can’, ‘have some rest’… I knew it was going to be bad, but I had no idea to what extent this would drive my life. I had never put a thought into it before my daughter was born, I didn’t realise how important sleep is… Well, now I know.
My daughter was a terrible sleeper, actually, she still struggles with falling asleep. But she’s a lot better, from waking up 5 to 6 times, to now only once or twice. I have been researching about it and found studies showing a direct link between compromised attention, negative mood, and disrupted sleep. The effects of bad sleeping accumulate and therefore the functional price new parents pay for common infant sleep disturbance is enormous.
Luckily there are some options for mothers going through the same problems. I have a few friends who spent a week at Tresillian and Karitane, they all commented on how helpful these stays were even if they weren’t 100% full-proof. One of the mums even mentioned that just the fact of not having to do any of the household chores and having someone to assist with the baby, it was worth the stay.
I am sharing this because I have never looked for help despite knowing there is help out there. I think I was a bit of a coward and I should have done it. Please don’t fall for the same mistake, your health and baby will thank you.
Love Xxx Helping Mum