How to survive a baby who doesn’t sleep


Let’s start off by saying this: I am not a sleep trainer. In fact, I am dead set against sleep training. I believe that it is unnecessary and unnatural. What I do believe in is the “suck it up method”.

Suck it up!

My toddler has just turned three and she still wakes up a few times a night. Up until recently, she was still waking up every two hours. When she was a baby she would wake up every half an hour some nights, most nights it would be hourly. Due to this I feel that I am an expert in the suck it up method. Here are my tips to survive those long nights and exhausting days.

1.    Co-sleep: this is my number one sanity saving tip. For me, there was nothing more soul destroying then finally falling into bed only to have to drag myself up, walk into the next room and collect a crying baby.  It was only until one night, when I was seriously considering sleeping on the carpet in her room, that I realized how idiotic I was being. I scooped her up and put her into bed with us. We all slept better and the continual wake ups were much easier to handle when I didn’t have to physically get up each time.

2.    Breastfeed: this follows on to the co-sleeping. if baby is sleeping next to you and baby wakes up, all you need to do is whip out your breast and latch baby, and go back to sleep. If you’re not comfortable with sleeping while feeding due to safety issues, I still find it is much less disruptive then having to get up and make a bottle. You can quietly lie in bed, read your book or scroll through your Instagram feed. Quiet, calm and peaceful.

3.    Don’t ever look at the time: It is a sure fire way to make you feel 100 times more tired. I would wake up, check the time and realize I had only been sleeping for 15 minutes. It made me resentful of the baby and made me feel so much worse. Once I had banned all clocks from the room, I didn’t know how long she had been sleeping for and I found that I could convince myself that I had been sleeping for a long time (even though I knew I hadn’t been). More about lying to yourself in point 5.

4.    Don’t change nappies: smother that bum full of barrier cream after the baby has had her bath and don’t change it again until morning (unless seriously necessary). It avoids waking the baby and yourself properly and enables you all to stay in the bed all night.

5.    Lie to yourself: the final point of my “Suck it up” method, is to lie. Lie, Lie and Lie some more. Never underestimate the power of a good pep talk. You are NOT tired. No one is going to hold your hand, brush your hair and make you tea in bed. Whining will not help you; it will only make you feel more despondent about the situation. A situation that you can’t change. Some babies just don’t sleep, one day they will. That day is not today, or tomorrow.

So suck it up princess, this too shall pass.

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Do you agree with Shannon's sleeplessness tips?

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