If you are reading this, you are probably exhausted and worried about not only your child’s sleep but also your own. I know you probably can’t remember the last time you had more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep. You probably find yourself being short with others and irritated. Even the smallest of problems can make you upset. This can affect your relationship with others, including your husband. Moreover, a lack of sleep can also cause postpartum depression.
I always ask parents to take time out of their hectic schedules to rest before and during sleep training. Now, I know what you are thinking… “Is that even possible? If it was possible, why did I come to you?” Though sleep training requires a lot of energy, time, and most importantly, a commitment from parents, you still must consider your own rest in order for this plan of action to succeed. It may seem obvious but parents can be more productive, patient and make better choices for their babies with more rest. So how can we make this all happen?
My first suggestion is whenever your baby sleeps, so should you! Even though you cannot fall asleep with your baby, you can still lie down, close your eyes and empty your mind. Forget about those house chores! It is ok to order food, postpone the laundry even though that means your husband might have to wear that same pair of underwear for an extra day! It doesn’t make you a bad mother or wife, it just means that you are addressing your needs which will also benefit your child. Remember, you can always take care of these things after you take care of yourself.
Secondly, get as help as much as you can. Once you start sleep training, having a guest is not a good idea since it can over-stimulate your baby. However, if you want to accumulate energy for sleep training, consider help from those that you trust such as your partner, family members or friends. For example, ask your partner to take charge of night time waking so you can sleep at night. Your mother can come over and help you out over the weekends. You can set up a play day with your friends who can take care of your older one. If you can afford it, hire a housekeeper. Now is the time to use whatever support you can get.
Lastly, sleep train your baby. Teaching your baby how to fall asleep by himself/herself, stay asleep and enjoy sleep is the greatest gift you can give your baby. You may have already realized your baby’s sleep helps the well-being of the entire family. Once your baby sleeps well, you are not going to worry about your baby’s growth and development due to a lack of sleep. Moreover, you will have your sleep and even that date night back!
Being a well rested parent is one of the best ways to be a great parent!
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