5 Tips for Coping With Your Baby Who Won’t Sleep
Few things in a parent’s life feel more overwhelming than caring for a baby who just won’t sleep. Sleep deprivation isn’t just hard on our babies; it’s hard on us moms and dads, too! And as sleepless nights stretch into sleepless weeks, parents may quickly reach the end of their proverbial ropes.
If you have a baby who’s a tough sleeper, you’ve probably experienced this first-hand. But not to worry; there are ways to cope! These tips offer ways to catch up on your rest, re-energize your relationship with your partner, and reclaim your sanity. Here are five tips to cope with your baby who won’t sleep:
1. Tag-team with your partner. Make sure that you and your partner are working together as you care for your baby. If you’re bottle-feeding, take turns handling the “night shift”; that’ll ensure that one of you is getting a decent night’s sleep every now and then. If mom is breastfeeding, dad can offer to care for baby between feedings, so that mom can squeeze in a nap.
2. Ask for help. If your baby’s a truly tough sleeper, don’t be afraid to ask for outside help. Ask a family member or friend to take the baby for an afternoon, so that you can rest. Don’t have family or close friends nearby? Hire a babysitter to come once or twice a week, even if it’s just for an hour or two. You’ll be amazed at how restored you’ll feel after taking a short break from your baby!
3. Cut yourself some slack. Don’t expect too much of yourself; you can’t do it all when you can barely keep your eyes open! Take a hard look at your daily responsibilities, and eliminate any non-essentials. Cut back on your housecleaning, for instance, and consider buying frozen meals, or making double (or triple) batches of meals for freezing, or relying on take-out a few nights a week. Remember, these changes are only temporary; eventually, your baby will learn to sleep, and you’ll be able to resume your normal activities.
4. Observe date night. Chronic exhaustion can take a real toll on your relationship with your partner, so it’s crucial that you carve out quality time with each other. Try to set a date night once a month, and make sure that your date happens outside of your home and away from your baby. Your date doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive; something as simple as taking a walk together works perfectly! The change of scenery, as well as the focused time together, will help strengthen the bond between you both.
5. Make time for things you enjoy. Sleep is no doubt at the top of your list of things to do in your precious free time – that’s understandable. But try to make a little time to engage in activities you enjoy. Read a book, savour a cup of coffee, get a massage, go for a jog – these things will help recharge you mentally and emotionally. Just 20 or 30 minutes spent doing something you love can be enough to help you feel refreshed and invigorated.
The Baby Sleep Site® is owned and operated by Nicole Johnson, a baby and toddler sleep coach, wife, and the mother of two young boys. More than 400,000 parents visit The Baby Sleep Site® each month to find solutions for their children’s sleep problems, including personalized, one-on-one sleep consultations, comprehensive e-books on sleeping through the night, improving naps, and establishing routines and schedules, free articles on timely topics, and a strong community.