Jasper has never been a great sleeper, he is amazing in every other way but sleep has never been a strong point, so I am quite well versed in sleep deprivation. Before Jasper was born I used to be one of those people that loved sleep and needed around 10 hours sleep most nights. Now you will hear me say things like ‘we had a really good night last night’, when I got 6 hours of sleep and that’s without even mentioning that it was in 3 blocks! So I thought it could be useful to share my top 3 tips for coping with sleep deprivation.
We have tried so many different things to improve our quantity of sleep including, co sleeping, Jasper sleeping on a mattress in my room, me sleeping on a mattress in his room, changing his cot in to a bed, stopping night time milk feeds and so the list goes on. Whilst these things have all had a temporary improvement, it’s never lasted too long. I haven’t tried controlled crying or cry it out because I’ve never felt like I could do it but I would be interested to know if you have any experience of this. Although if you are ready this post you are probably in the tired camp with me.
Recently, I have been attempting to get Jaspy in to a really solid routine in an attempt to improve his sleep. Whilst his routine is now really good, in that he pretty much naps at the same time and goes to bed much earlier at around 6.30pm, he is still regularly waking up during the night. I think because he is so used to waking up in the night (I mean he has been doing it his whole life!) it will just take a while to break this habit. But getting him in to this routine, has pretty much been exhausting for me and I have felt the most tired.
Anyway, I’ll get on with my top 3 tips for coping on little sleep.
1. Day time naps – This one is more of a do as I say not as I do. I really struggle sleeping during the day because I always feel like a should be doing something else or tackling some of the many jobs. But when I’m really tired, napping when Jasp naps really helps me make it through to bed time. I used to fall asleep a lot putting Jasper down for a nap (these were the best cuddling with my baby – as you can see in the picture) but now that he naps in his own bed this doesn’t happen anymore.
2. Get outside – This is my most important tip. I always get tricked in to thinking a day at home will be easier when I am tired. But I just end up tiring myself out more trying to entertain Jaspy. I find going out for a walk or to the park is really great because the fresh air really wakes me up and Jasper has such a good time outside. If the weather isn’t in our favour, I like to take Jaspy out to a play group so then he can have a good time exploring and playing with the other babies and I usually get to have a bit of a rest too.
3. Hope and Optimism – I am usually an optimistic person and I am always saying things like tonight will be the night that he sleeps through. Although this has never actually happened it makes me feel much better and that I will actually get some sleep if I think I will. I think if I got stressed about the situation then I would be less likely to sleep in the opportunities I got. I also always remind myself that this won’t last forever and one day I will really miss seeing him in the night. So for now, I am going to just try and get in as many cuddles as I can (whilst still working on his routine of course!).
I hope you found these tips helpful and please share any tips that you have. How much sleep did you / do you need and how does your little one sleep? I would love to know in the comments or on facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thanks for reading, Jen x