Sleep deprivation is torture: Will my baby ever sleep?
According to Wikipedia, sleep deprivation is defined as:
- the situation or condition of suffering from a lack of sleep:
- Also known as sleep insufficiency or sleeplessness, is the condition of not having adequate duration and/or quality of sleep to support decent alertness, performance, and health.
- It can be either chronic or acute and may vary widely in severity. Acute sleep deprivation is when an individual sleeps less than usual or does not sleep at all for a short period of time – usually lasting one to two days.
My own small addition to the above:
Or in some extreme cases, up to 5 years. Also known as #mumsleep or #mumlife.
Sleep deprivation is torture. There were times I swore I wouldn’t survive, functioning on a few short hours of broken sleep, I was the perfect poster girl for zombie mum.
There were many times Id wake to find myself on the floor of the nursery with one arm in the cot, a reminder of the 5 million bum pats I’d endured only an hour ago. I spent that many nights squashed up and twisted in my babys cot that I almost mastered the art of contortion.
I heard other mums talking of the dreaded 12 month baby sleep regression and I just couldn’t relate. Because my sweet babies had never slept well enough for me to understand the concept of a “regression”.
We tackled colic, reflux and bowel issues, separation anxiety, food intolerances, room too hot, room too cold, cat napping, power napping, NO NAPPING.
We tried bed sharing, cot sharing, soul sharing.
I researched, rocked, sleep trained, medicated, meditated, massaged, prayed to the heavens above LORD PLEASE JUST LET ME SLEEP!
I mastered the careful art of transferring sleeping baby to cot, without having to cut my arm off. I became a pro at the backward tiptoe game, slowly bypassing the creaky floorboards like a really fun game of silent twister, but there was no actual fun. This was serious business.
But guess what… My babies DID eventually learn to sleep, and I too now feel partially normal. Apart from an initial bout of INSOMNIA from my poor confused body, all has been good in the world of nod!
Now that I’m through it (for a while anyway) let me share with you what I have learnt…. Writing it here serves as a good refresher for me in a few months time! I’m sure I’ll need it.
I know right now it doesn’t feel like it, but your baby WILL learn to sleep independently. I promise! He/she will not always need you, and you WILL rest again.
If I could give you any advice about baby sleep, it wouldn’t necessarily be about a routine or about a sleep training technique or a dark room. I mean, do what works for you, there’s some incredibly helpful options out there. My daughter was 5 when I purchased a white noise diffuser light and I never looked back. For us, this worked.
Check it out here: www.hushlittlebabe.com.au/ /products/aroma-diffuser-night-light-white-noise-machine-for-baby-or-child.
Back to the story, if I could tell you one thing and have you hear me, it would be this…
This time is short.
Soon, sooner than you think, that teeny tiny baby that wakes you in the night will be gone. The 3am cuddles, that sweet baby smell, the fussing, the tears, all of it. You’ll forget about the exhaustion as you try so hard to picture that sweet baby in your arms drifting off to sleep.
Once this season is over, it will never return. You will look back on these wide awake non sleeping baby hours at stupid o’clock and you will miss them, even just a little.
Will it make you less tired? NO! But what it will do, is make it a little less hard.
Remember Mumma, this too shall pass.
Sweet dreams and baby cuddles,
from Linda at Hush Little Babe