I wanted to write about something a little left field. I recently did some market research and some feedback I received was very interesting, so interesting in fact, its worth a blog.
A few mums had commented that the information they wanted was on how to cope as a parent of a child who doesn’t sleep well.
Now, we all know that sleep is my thing and I believe in what I do and the methods I use. I know that sleep training and sleep coaching has a bit of a bad reputation, and that is ok. There are always two sides to everything and people make informed opinions on what suits them. I’m not someone that madly tries to convert someone into thinking that sleep training is the absolute shiz. For me it is, but parents have to do what is right for them.
That being said, there are some tired mummas out there that want to know how they can cope better and I feel we need to help these mummas out. They don’t want to sleep train or they aren’t ready, it may even be one of you. Who knows. Here are some tips, not from me as a sleep consultant but from me, Joanna McEwan, a mum of 3 kids. Some tips may be controversial, I’m cool with that.
- Co sleep or room share. This will ensure you are not having to fully wake every time your little one does. It will maximise your rest time.
- Recruit help. I’m really bad at this, so don’t be like me! Ask for help. When your friends offer to take the kids for a few hours so you can rest, put your guilt away and say “yes please”
- Don’t feel too guilty about putting your child in daycare 1 or 2 days a week if you are not coping or simply need a break. Your mental health is top priority!
- Take turns with your partner so you get at least 1 seep in a week.
- Nap when the kids do. Your housework will still be there. Your house may be a mess but who the fuck cares. If you can afford it get a cleaner or ask family for help. Do the basics. Don’t stress too much about it and lower your standards.
- Diet is super important. Try not to rely too much on coffee or sugar. Your body will end up crashing and you will feel worse for it in the end. Look up healthy energy pick me ups. Some taste super yummy and actually work. Sleep deprivation can weaken your immunity too, so you are going to want to make sure your input is healthy.
- If things are getting too much, then PLEASE talk to someone. A GP, friend, family member, hubby just anyone. Let them know how you are feeling. Often the validation of feelings is enough to remove the stress, not the exhaustion unfortunately.
- Get out of the house, go to playgroup, swimming, walks or the park. It will help keep your mind off the fact that your bed is taunting you in the next room. This will also help your mental health.
- Talk to your GP or health nurse. Your little one MAY have an underlying problem like tongue tie, reflux or ENT issues.
If all else fails you can reach out to me. I will listen without judgement and I can give you some tips. I can even support you if you want to keep co sleeping. You make the rules; I can adapt my advice to suit. I am a mum first before a sleep consultant. I also want you to know that sleep training has come a LONG way from Dr Spock and crying it out. There are way more gentle and gradual methods of change. That’s all I’m going to say on that, on this post. Wishing you all the best tired parents.
About The Contributor: Joanna Minuzzo, Owner of Sleepy Time Baby