The first step is to surrender to the fact that they will happen, and that it’s okay. Babies are not machines, they are living creatures that are developing rapidly and experiencing many challenging things. Sleep is developmental; there will be many ebbs and flows. Don’t expect that at any certain age they will magically sleep 10 hours straight. It often takes a few years for them to get there consistently. There will be leaps, teething, growing pains, colds, and gassy nights. It’s okay. It’s part of life with a baby. You will get through. ❤
You will probably cry. You will probably get frustrated, annoyed, even angry. You will likely have thoughts of harming your child. But you will get through. Here are a few thoughts that help me during those rough nights.
This won’t last forever.
My baby needs me right now. I am glad I can be here for him.
I love my baby even when I don’t like him.
Sleep is developmental. It isn’t his fault he’s having a hard time.
Someday he will be a grown man (with his own baby who won’t sleep.)
I am learning patience.
I am practicing real love and surrender.
Right now there are women WISHING they could trade places with me. Women who desperately long to have babies but aren’t able to. Women who are mothers of angel babies who would give anything to have their sweet baby crying in their arms once again.
I would miss this terribly if something happened to him.
My short term comfort is not worth risking damaging his long term emotional health. (when I’m tempted to try some form of Cry it Out)
I am not alone. There are other mothers awake right now; pacing the floor and praying their baby will sleep.
Other things I do are…
… ask my husband to take a turn. I try to do it as long as possible, since I know I can nap and he can’t. But at the end of the day, we are both parents and sometimes I. Just. Can’t. handle it anymore.
… step outside for a minute with him.
…be gentle with myself the next day. Nap. Take it easy. Don’t try to do all the things, just do the essentials.
…Squeeze my baby and tell I love him. Over and over. Sometimes I need help remembering it. Ha.
… Rock him in our big rocking chair in the living room
… deep breaths. The calmer you are, the calmer they will be.
Other ideas are lavender essential oil, soft music, etc.
If I’m really getting angry and realize that I may actually hurt him (sleep deprivation combined with the crying can really mess with your mind) I put him down for a minute and breathe.
What do I do with Noah when he won’t just nurse back to sleep? Well, I keep trying to nurse, lol. But after that–I walk him while gently bouncing. I pat his back to try to burp him. I change his diaper just in case that was the issue. I hold him with gentle pressure on his belly or in a sort of squatting position to help relieve any gas. (also can try bicycling their legs or massaging in a clockwise direction) I rock him. I hum or sing or just talk soothingly. I keep everything dark and calm, even if he’s acting wide awake.
Hopefully that was helpful to some of you. Much love and best wishes for many good nights and few rough ones. ❤