Do you think we will ever get the chance to catch up on the Lost Sleep of Motherhood? Those endless broken nights spent nursing, wiping, changing and comforting followed by days that start in what used to be your night time and in which you continue to do exactly the same things as you were doing throughout the night turning life, for a time, into one eternal ground hog day.
I’m exhausted just writing about it.
Sometimes I dream of the day both of mine are teenagers and we can all lie in until 12 o’clock at the weekends. Misery Guts says we won’t want to by then, but I bloody will.
In the meantime I’m trying to make the best of it, and I don’t mean by doing things like ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’, because if you’re back at work and/or have other children that’s just not realistic. And I don’t know about you but sometimes a nap in the day can make me feel worse than if I hadn’t bothered at all.
Although Little B is now one and still not sleeping through the night I think overall I’m less tired than I was with BB, even though I went back to work sooner and already have a child to run around after. Just as I’ve done things differently with Little B in the parenting stakes, I’ve done them differently in the sleep stakes too.
So today I’m bringing you my 5 ways to (try) and get more sleep:
1. Consider investing in a bedside crib. Instead of physically being up and down like a yo-yo all night all you need to do is slide the baby over and then put them back again. We’ve got a Chicco Next2Me which is supposed to last from 0-6 months, but 13 months later we’re still using it.
2. Get absolutely everything ready the night before so you can set the alarm for the last possible moment. I lay both mine and the kids’ clothes out the night before, get the breakfast things ready and make sure all we have to do is get up, dressed and fed.
3. Negotiate a lie in day at the weekend. I get Saturdays and Misery Guts gets Sundays. Life is busy but I go out of my way not to organise anything before midday on a Saturday because those precious extra hours when I can bury my head under the covers and sleep on my own make so much difference. If you can’t manage the morning, agree a time over the weekend when you can go in the bedroom and shut the door for a few hours.
4. Make the most of car journeys. I don’t mean the nightmare ones where you spend the entire journey twisted round in your seat picking up/passing/pacifying/mediating, I mean the ones where everyone is happy and you can sit back, close your eyes and catch 40 winks.
5. Make the most of pillows. We have a pair of bolster pillows on our bed (I love PiP Studio for covers) and I don’t know what I’d do without them. I keep one on the sofa during the day so that when Little B is having one of those feeds that go on and on I can rest my head on it and sometimes even fall asleep.
They’re also brilliant in bed because of their shape – if I end up in a funny position when nursing I can bend them to make things more comfy. I also use them to stop Little B rolling out of bed, like those inflatable things you get down the lanes in bowling alleys, and to support my arm if I’m nursing sitting up.
I’m actually considering getting one long one like you get in hotels. The Yorkshire Linen Co has various sizes at really reasonable prices including king size and super king which run the entire width of the bed and which you could also use to make night time feeds more comfy – and restful.
If anyone has any other tips for getting more sleep I’d love to hear them!
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