If you are a new parent who has just been handed this shiny newborn baby and you are wondering how you will cope with those sleepless nights – don’t worry you are not alone. Unless you have one of those super babies – I think most parents will agree with me – ‘nothing really works’. So the two key points that got me through were ‘mentally preparing myself no sleep’ and ‘accepting help during the day so that I could catch up on sleep’.
A newborn is brand new to this big world, they don’t understand where they are and they are scared. So they want to be close so its only natural that they do not want to be put down.
So for my first point ‘mentally preparing myself no sleep’ – the first three nights we tried everything to get Matilda to sleep ‘not on us’ but in her Snuzpod so that we could sleep. But she wouldn’t, she would have a feed, fall fast to sleep on me but as soon as I tried to put her down she would scream. By the third night I spent two hours crying as I thought I would never sleep during the night again, I thought my husband would go back to work in a few weeks and this would be my life now. On the fourth night we said lets mentally prepare ourselves for no sleep but make the night fun. So we stocked up on lots of goodies and films and took ourselves off to bed at 11pm prepared to cuddle Matilda all night with her waking every two hours for feeds – we named it the ‘milky rave’. That night was no where near as bad as the first three nights and I think this was because I wasn’t expecting to get much sleep and so I wasn’t stressing about it. From that night forward things started to get easier, for the next few weeks I did start to get a little more sleep, I was able to feed Matilda, cuddle her for half an hour till she was in a deepish sleep and then slowly transfer her to the Snuzpod. I would then have an hour or so sleep before she was awake again for the next feed.
I am lucky enough to have parents that were able to come round every few days to hold Matilda whilst I had a nap in the afternoon. I would say if anyone offers to sit with your baby then take them up on it. During the first few weeks babies feed, sleep, repeat, so I would feed Matilda until she was asleep and then hand her over to one of my parents whilst I had a nap.
If you are a new parent just going through this stage then rest assured it really will get better, I know it is annoying when people say that to you when you are in the middle of it but keep smiling, cuddle your baby, take any help offered and stock up on netflix series, books or whatever will get you through the ‘milky rave’ nights. We are with you!