As a parent we all know having a baby is going to disrupt our sleep. It’s a normal biological fact that babies will want to wake and feed overnight as their tiny tummies empty quickly.
It’s a beautiful and exhausting stage of parenting that sometimes requires some adjustment and lullaby music can help.
For me it would take about two weeks after birthing for my body and brain to accept the frequent night-time waking. It was hard and particularly difficult when the last trimester lack of sleep meant I felt so sleep deprived.
My Baby was a Cat-Napper
What made this even more difficult was the fact that my son was a Catnapping Baby. Only sleeping on average 20-40 minutes and taking a while to settle meant that he spent a lot of time in my arms.
I was completely okay with that in the day-time because he was my last baby and I cherished those times.
Night-time was another thing! I didn’t want to leave my baby to cry and even trying white noise didn’t help.
I Couldn’t Co-Sleep
We room shared but not bed shared. Although some parents do this very effectively, I never slept well when we co-slept. Perhaps my nursing background gave me a heightened sense of ‘what if we rolled on him? What if he went under the duvet, as babies do move around.
Overheating and smothering are SIDs risks and that was always on my mind. This meant my sleep was light and I couldn’t function on that.
Recently I was talking to a group of expecting mums all having first babies. They revealed that their number one concern that frightened them the most was lack of sleep. Second to that was were they going to make good parents?
As a sleep expert, I hear some really amazing stories. Many new mums fall into the belief that lack of sleep is normal and babies will get there in their own time, even if it takes years. Many toddlers have never slept more than a couple of nights through! Can you contemplate your baby or toddler never sleeping well for months or years for one moment? But it happens and isn’t uncommon.
SLEEP IS AS IMPORTANT AS NUTRITION AND EXERCISE!
We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping and there is a good reason for that.
Quality of life depends on sleep and lack of it affects short and long term health.
HOW SLEEP DEPRIVATION AFFECTS YOU…
Mental health – You are at increased risk of depression, anxiety and even psychosis. The risk of developing maternal depression is higher not in the immediate months after birth, but when your baby reached toddlerhood.
Expect to be forgetful, over emotional and cry over what once would have been a trivial matter. Tiredness makes you less alert and more vulnerable to accidents and injury.
Physical health – Can’t lose your pregnancy weight? Lack of sleep leads to hormone disruption. Elevated levels of a hormone called Leptin, signals hunger. Expect to feel hungry and never feel a sense of fullness. It can mask the additional calories that you need if you are nursing. Try to keep within your normal height/weight ratio for optimal health.
Diabetes, low immunity and even some cancers are linked to lack of sleep. While you sleep your cells are repairing and your brain is flushing out toxins.
If you’re not physically healthy, how can you expect to look after your baby?
Relationship health – Increased aggression, less tolerance and poor decision-making can impact not only you but the relationship you have with your child and your partner. Mood swings will be common which makes your interaction with your loved ones fragile.
Expect disharmony with your partner and less infant bonding.
Lullaby Music Made Sleep Better
We used Lullaby Sleep Music! I tried to find lullaby sleep music that had a song and instrumental but couldn’t find anything like that.
The solution was to make our own and thank goodness we did. It was the simplest solution that made settling faster and sleep deeper.
I have very fond memories when my toddler relaxed to sleep without anxiety, and when he slept all night, so did I.
And as a bonus it was our ‘go to’ sleep tool whenever his sleep was hard come.
After all he’s only human and we all need a little sleep help, sometimes.