Like the majority of parents I know, we have had many periods where we’ve struggled to get our son to sleep or to stay asleep. In my two year period as a mother this is what I’ve learned and what to do when your baby won’t sleep. I’m sharing in the hope it might help other parents, particularly those new to this challenge. It also applies to toddlers.
Warning : this post contains some sarcasm which some people may find unhelpful.
1. Buy a spare phone charger and leave it in their room, you’re going to need a full battery if you’re going to be scrolling up and down Facebook all night, or googling products guaranteed to help baby sleep (save your money, they don’t)
2. Memorise the location of every creaking floorboard in your house so you know which ones you need to avoid as you back out of their room like a ninja
3. Practice your faux smile – you’ll need it when someone tells you how they never had any issues getting their little one to sleep
4. Order every book on contented babies and getting them to sleep from Amazon
5. Read every one of these books, rip them up and throw them out of the window
6. Keep headphones in your dressing gown pocket at all times. Even when baby is dozing off or nestled in to you, you can stick these in and listen to some music or something
7. Subscribe to a podcast or audio book service – seriously
8. Get a subscription to a TV service like Netflix or Now TV. Honestly, if that baby is going to be keeping you awake at hellish hours, you may as well watch an episode or two from a box set
9. Keep food and snacks hidden in your child’s room or next to your bed. At 3am when you’re feeding them or they’re just drifting off in your arm, you don’t need to be gasping for water or battling hunger nausea
10. Do whatever you need to get that child to sleep. Others may rant here but honestly if it takes singing, walking, having them sleep in you and then transferring them into their cot, just do it. It won’t be forever. Besides, who benefits from an exhausted mum and baby? Nobody.
On a serious note, this phase will pass. It feels hellish and like it’s going on forever, but it isn’t. Your body will adjust to sleeping less, your child will eventually sleep for four hours straight, and one day through the night. You will survive, and you might even choose to do it all again. You got this mama and you’re stronger than you feel right now.