Sleep (or lack thereof) is a huge adjustment for all new parents. I’m pretty sure we can all agree that we have never known exhaustion like new parent exhaustion. I often wonder what I was thinking when I would complain I was tired before I had kids….I want to go back in time and talk some sense into that naïve woman!
I think a lot of the newborn sleep exhaustion has to do with new parents not understanding newborn sleep. Newborns don’t sleep as we do. Once you understand their sleep patterns, it’s easier to sympathize with the shorter chunks of sleep and to take advantage of those day time naps/rests. But, there are lots of resources and sleep “experts” out there that give conflicting advice.
Recently, I stumbled upon a great website that’s sole purpose is to educate parents and caregivers on sleep. It’s a great resource for understanding sleep in newborns and young children.
It’s run by the Pediatric Sleep Council, an independent group of sleep experts (I like to call them pediatric sleep gods/goddesses). They came together to provide evidence based, accurate, and current information about pediatric sleep. It’s chock full of quality information, but user friendly. You can search by month to see what kind of sleep you should expect from your baby (it goes all the way up to 36 months!). You can search by problem/issue and see videos and posts addressing them. You can search for things like: when is a good time to start a bedtime routine, preemie guidelines, lost lovies, etc.
Understanding sleep in your baby is the first step to YOU getting more sleep. Take advantage of your baby’s sleep; make sure to rest when she sleeps. Even if it’s hard to nap during the day;
make sure to stop moving and REST.
The laundry can wait.
The dishes can wait.
Take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby.