If you are anything like me you obsessed about newborn sleep with your first baby. You read tons of articles and books and tried all different strategies to get your baby to sleep longer and on her own.
I read so many books and articles on newborn sleep the first time around. From gentle strategies to cry it out methods. I dabbled in them all, but nothing really changed the situation.
A couple weeks ago I read a blog post titled something like “What Science Tells us About Newborn Sleep,” and it made me totally question my decisions to co-sleep with my first and soon to be second baby. And not in a good way. I’m not linking to the article because a) I tried to erase it from my memory, and b) it ended up being yet another source telling me I should have pushed my baby to sleep on her own.
Dear Exhausted New Mom,
If you can identify with any of the following, read on:
It’s a new day and, as you get up in the morning, you wonder how you’ll make it through. And to be honest, it doesn’t even really matter that it’s morning because you sleep and wake at all hours in accordance to the baby’s schedule. And “making it through” is almost moot because once the day is over you know you’re in for another night of frequent waking.
I recently had a humbling mothering experience. It was during a trip to my in-law’s house, they live 8 hours away. It had been a busy stressful week of organizing our belongings and cleaning our house in preparation for our trip. Nary a kind word had been exchanged between myself and my partner in at least 5 days. After a long drive after a full day’s work we arrived at the inlaw’s at 1:30 am.
Can you guess what it is? If you’re a new parent, you’ve most likely received it multiple times. Chances are, you’ve also given it. I know I’ve given it to new moms too. And I don’t think the particular advice in itself is bad advice. It’s actually very logical. But it’s not enough because it won’t work for every new mama. Have you guessed what it is yet?
For the first few months of my oldest child’s life, I was sure he barely slept at all. I spent countless hours hunched over books and websites, tears in my eyes, trying to figure out how to get him to sleep. My desperation for him to sleep more and better led to anxiety and worry about his perceived sleep problem, thus making it even harder for me to sleep when I had a chance.