Oh no not again, you hear your baby crying out for you and part of you just simply wants to keep sleeping. Just a few more minutes your brain begs! On cue you are pulling back the covers and swinging your legs out of bed and going on auto pilot to feed or assist your baby. You are so very tired. If only I could have more sleep and if only they would stop waking your brain tells you. As soon as you have these thoughts then you feel that pang of guilt. My baby needs me. Perhaps this happens once or twice a night perhaps this happens every single hour.
The hard part is knowing what your baby really needs. Sometimes what you do works. Other times it seems to take forever and you find yourself crossing your fingers wishing that they would fall asleep. Quickly. Sometimes you wonder is it urgent, do I need to really go? Or could I just lie there and wait a little? Not sure, better to get up and help your baby you reason.
I hear these comments every single day from tired parents. What if, you could help your baby to relax and go to sleep easily. What if, when they woke during the night you could tell the difference that they really need something or when they will stir, murmur and fall back asleep without out you having to help them. This is achievable for every baby. Knowing what your baby needs, what to realistically expect for their age rather than just hoping for it to get better gives you confidence to make decisions around sleep and what to do and what not to do. Mums feel guilty for wanting anything for themselves. Then there are those around you who make you feel guilty too for wanting better sleep. Do not listen to them, they probably struggled just the same not knowing what to do.
In the fifteen years that I have helped parents achieve better sleep I can tell you – how you feel with very poor sleep well have you ever thought that your baby who is waking every hour or ever two hours feels just as tired.
They too do not know what to do, except to call out and ask for you to help.
They too would love to sleep, deeply until they needed a feed or felt rested and ready to start the day.
They are a little mixed up and the only way they know is to cry and ask for help from you.
Wanting better sleep for your baby and yourself should not make you guilty. Sleep is essential to your health, immune system, and your brain, let alone your mood. Your baby is just the same. Lack of sleep affects them exactly the way it affects you.
That grizzly mood, crying to go to sleep, can’t play, clinginess will disappear mostly, when you teach them how to sleep deeply.
If you would like to find out more, I am having a Baby and Toddler Sleep Workshop on Saturday 13th July . For more info or to book your place go to our website www.babysmiles.com.au or follow our facebook page. In a few weeks you can all be sleeping well. Your baby will thank you.