Family Magazine

Tips for Coping with Lack of Sleep

By Mummyoftwo @RaspberryGiggle
Tips for coping with lack of sleep

Before you have children no-one really tells you what it is like to have a little one waking you up in the night.

For some people this doesn't last very long, however, for us unfortunate folks it can go on for years! I have spoken before on the blog about the sleep problems the Little A's seem to have.

Little Miss A is going through a stage of waking up every night at the moment - usually just as we go to bed. It wouldn't be too much of a problem if she would just lay still, however, she spends all night jiffling around in our bed, kicking and playing with my hair. I can't remember the last time we had an unbroken night's sleep!

So, how do we cope with a lack of sleep? OK, sometimes we don't cope well, especially me being a sleep lover! There are some things we have learnt over the past five and a bit years though that I wanted to share with you...

It doesn't last forever!

The main thing I would stress to anyone suffering with sleep troubles is that it doesn't last forever, even though it may seem like it at the time! By the age of 4 Little Mr A was really enjoying his sleep and would quite happily go to bed at 7pm and not get up again until at least 6am the next morning. Although it can be hard at the time, I keep telling myself that Little Miss A will eventually enjoy her sleep and I try and enjoy those extra cuddles whilst they last. I don't want to look back when they are teenagers and regret those extra opportunities for snuggles with my babies that I just didn't take.

What works for one person may not work for you...

Lets face it, every child is different. Whilst it may be frustrating to listen to your friends and family telling you how well their children sleep and what a great bedtime routine they have, that doesn't mean you are doing something wrong. We have tried everything with the Little A's to get them to sleep better. From cutting out daytime naps (not advisable!), bathing them every night (just excites them more!), stories and warm milk - nothing has worked for us at all! With Little Mr A we tried controlled crying for a night and he got himself so worked up it just wasn't worth the stress for any of us. I remember so many times sitting by his bed at 9pm (after 2 hours) crying because he just wouldn't go to sleep. Every time we tried to sneak out of his room he would start screaming again. It was exhausting and in the end we did it our way, even if that did mean less free time for us in the evening. Find something that works for you and try not to pay any attention to anyone else's routines!

Daytime naps!

OK so this won't work for everyone - if you have other children or are working you might not be able to fit in a sleep, however, if this is your first child and you are struggling with lack of sleep, forget the housework, have a sleep when they sleep. It is surprising how refreshed (and more human!) you will feel.

Accept help...

I remember when Little Mr A was a baby I didn't really want to accept much help. I didn't want people to think I wasn't coping or that I wasn't a good Mum. Now I can see that actually taking a bit more time out for me just to have a break would have really helped and these days if help is offered I will snap their hand off! There is no need to feel guilty, that break, even if only for an hour or so, can do you the world of good. Have a bath, take a nap, go and get a coffee - anything to feel that you have had a bit of space and 'me time'.

If all else fails you can always turn to a good old cup of coffee! If you have a Nespresso machine make sure you have plenty of Nespresso compatible pods in stock for when times are really tough. It will make it much easier for your friends and family to make you a quick coffee too when they come round to help!

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Tips for coping with lack of sleep

Stay at Home Mum to two children - Little Mr A born in 2008 and Little Miss A born in 2012. Blogging my way through dirty nappies and school runs!

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