Written by Charlotte Wenham, February 29, 2019
I felt blindsided after the birth of my first child. I remember walking round in a zombie-like state, a dazed expression on my face, my bloodshot eyes straining to stay open after a long night, and a guilty inner monologue whimpering around my foggy brain as if on a loop exclaiming “What were you thinking?” As a new parent, you will know exactly what I am talking about. Reality had hit. I was in full sleep deprivation mode, puzzling why it never came up in conversation, pre-birth, from all the bundle of joy evangelists. And nothing prepared me for the after-shock realization that I probably waved goodbye to my last night of decent sleep probably right before I even got pregnant!
Anxious for our “Mother of the Year” Award, we feel compelled to dedicate every waking (and sleeping) moment to the well being of our babies and all their needs (don’t we?). But no one can prepare us for the mounting sleep debt that we will succumb to, the toll it will take on our health, or how we can take control of our restless baby sleep nightmare – until it’s too late and we are already in dire straits.
Newborn sleep seems to be without rhyme or reason sometimes. It can be for two hours or four hours at a time – shorter or longer. Every baby seems to have their own unique rhythm. But, one thing’s for sure. It would be easier for me to promise you a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow than to give you an exact prediction of what to expect.
So… what can you do, if anything to survive your baby’s first year of sleeplessness?
- Give yourself permission to let things slip sometimes. Your health and that of your baby outweigh the importance of keeping a pristine home. Super moms exist. They seem to be able to do it all; but why? No-one’s going to give you a medal, so give yourself permission to take a break instead. Any opportunity you get to let go of impossible ideals in favor of grabbing as many restful moments with baby – take them. Focus on those precious early bonding moments. Let your baby’s biological clock rule your day more than the one on your wall.
- Set up the nursery to create the kind of environment that works with, instead of fights against, your baby’s urge to doze and help it to establish sleep patterns that work with your sleep needs. Things like keeping the room light in the morning and dark in the evening, making sure the ambient temperature is comfortable, and infusing the room with natural aromas like lavender.
- Nap when baby naps. Despite trying to get the baby to fit in with your life, you are tethered to their patterns at first. Leverage their nap times to reduce your sleep debt. Turn off your phone, dim the lights, drink some warm milk, wear loose clothes, visit the bathroom, and find your most comfortable place to rest (this is not always the bed. It could be a comfy chair or love seat). Only you know. Go to your happy place!
- Avoid anything stimulating like caffeinated drinks, using the computer right before your expected napping time and exercising just before you intend to unwind (there is a place and time to get out in the fresh air and move, but before you rest is not the best time!). If you must use your phone, utilize night mode or the blue light filter on your cellphone.
- Make sure baby is clean, comfortable and well-fed.
- Now, for my biggest words of wisdom (I apologize in advance for the shameless plug). Invest in a Baby Shusher. Using the natural calming tones of a human shush, Baby Shusher has been proven to put even the most sleep- resistant baby into a gentle slumber. By using a Baby Shusher as part of your sleep routine, you can almost guarantee that your turn for an uninterrupted and long-awaited nap will occur just a few minutes later. Baby Shusher does the shushing, so you don’t have to. By lessening the amount of pacing, bouncing, rocking you need to do, you increase your opportunity to concentrate on your own rest. The Baby Shusher is the #1 selling product of its type and there’s a reason why Baby Shusher has won several awards; it works! Anecdotal evidence suggests moms use the Baby Shusher on themselves too. Give it a shot. The only thing you have to lose is the insomnia!
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About the author:
Charlotte Wenham is the co-founder of pNeo, a Dallas-based brand accelerator. pNeo’s grass roots are in product design and consulting. By bridging the gap between products and consumers, pNeo has a solid reputation for high quality, innovative products that serve a real-world purpose.
Charlotte’s professional life began as an ER nurse, working in the busiest ER in Australia. She has channeled this experience into to making each day better for her community and this guides her decisions. pNeo specializes in juvenile and consumer healthcare products, drawing on the team’s real-world understanding as parents and healthcare professionals.
Charlotte’s passion and drive spills over to her personal life. She actively seeks new experiences and ideas. To this end, you will frequently find her immersed in a book, or challenging herself by jumping out of planes.
pNeo are always looking out for creative, innovative solutions. Charlotte would love to hear from innovators, investors and retailers interested in partnering to grow revenue. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-737-9177.