Sleep When They Sleep?
When you tell people you’re going to be a parent, or if you’ve just had a baby, you’re bombarded with advice. While their intentions are usually good, some of the advice we were given when we had our first child was, on reflection, useless. “Sleep when they sleep”, for example, is nonsense. Here’s why…
Before we dig into this, let’s talk about when children settle. It always seems to be when you’re in no position to sleep yourself.
When You’re Out And About
Our son seemed to be most relaxed when he was moving. He always falls asleep in the car, no matter how short the journey. It’s difficult to have a nap while you’re driving. His push chair also relaxes him but you can’t have a nap while you’re taking them for a walk.
When Life Needs To Go On
Just because you have a child that needs a whole load of attention, it doesn’t mean other aspects of your life will be put in hold. Sure, focus will shift. You won’t be going out for late dinners or popping out for a cheeky pint but the house still needs to function as a home. Laundry still needs doing (and trust me, there will be a lot of laundry with a new baby in the house). You still need to cook and clean. If your baby is sleeping but there are no clean clothes to put on them when they wake up, you’ll need to do the laundry rather than having a nap yourself.
When Only You Can Comfort Them
For the first few weeks of our son’s life, he would rarely sleep in his cot. I spent so many nights sitting up watching TV while he slept on my lap. There was no other way to get him to settle. I’d read horror stories of parents falling asleep with their baby on them and the child falling off and getting hurt or the parent rolling on top of them. You can’t sleep while they are lying on you so “sleep when they sleep” isn’t the best advice here.
The only advice that I can give is to persevere through the tough times. They will pass and things will get better. Before long, you’ll be able to get a decent nights sleep again and this will all be a distant memory.
Until next time,