Dedicated to my dear friend Anastasia, who is weeks off being a first time mum.
I googled this. Today. After about an hour of failed naptime. Hoping to find some kind of reassurance or help for this situation. What I found was annoying; it told me everything I should have done before this point, what to try next time, what I did wrong. I didn’t want to know how to get my baby to sleep, I wanted to know how to survive when my baby didn’t.
So, I decided to come up with my own list, for all the mummies out there with babies that are currently fighting that sleep, day or night. And yes. My baby is sleeping on me as I write.
1. Take a minute. If you’re worked up & crying, you may be overtired or simply lost sight of reality. It’s amazing how your baby actually becomes the most important thing ever. Someone would probably walk in and think I was grieving the way I sob when she won’t sleep. (I am. Grieving the loss of my free time.) But seriously. Going into another room for a minute won’t harm your precious one. Breathe. Stretch. Shake. Let it go.
2. Think like a baby. Remember when you first fell in love with your hubby? Remember that feeling when you didn’t even wanna sleep because it felt like valuable time together was being wasted? Your baby feels like that. (Or at least it’s nice to think) Time with mummy or sleep? Easy choice. Your baby loves you.
3. Cancel the nap. Forget the stupid schedule. You’re stressing, baby isn’t having it, just cancel the nap! I always find celebrating whilst I do this really helps change the atmosphere. Not like “oh fine you won’t sleep so I have to get you up” more like “YOU WIN you cheeky monkey!! Let’s play!!!” Put some music on, try and get some giggles out of your baby (this will fail with an overtired one) & just accept that right now, no nap is happening.
4. Get some air & a treat. I’ve found this only works if I have showered and dressed. Lol. Need to start doing that earlier in the day! It works with the above ^ pop baby in a carrier or buggy & go for a walk. The fresh air always calms me down & reminds me there is a world out there beyond naps & schedules. Often your baby will drift off so it’s a win-win. Pair this with a treat from a shop, even a chocolate bar can brighten the day of a parent with a nap-less child, trust me.
5. Take those extra cuddles. Get ’em while you can, simply put. Nap or no nap, time is still going to pass, your baby will still grow up and get married and leave you forever. 😳😅
Somewhere there is another Mummy, just like you. Crawling after a grumbling overtired baby. Pinned to the sofa because your child won’t sleep anywhere else. You are not alone. You are not a failure. You are a Mummy & that alone is an incredible achievement.