Parenting on No Sleep

Why do we say “I slept like a baby?”  Babies are horrible sleepers.  Last night I actually slept like a baby.  In fact all week I slept like a baby.  And by that I mean I woke up every three hours.  You see, I was up with a baby that is going through a sleep regression phase as well as getting teeth and possibly has a cold.  

It is amazing to me how we all as parents just power through it. In the last 48 hours I have had exactly 3 hours of sleep.  I still needed to go about my day and tend to my other kids.  So we really can’t afford to be sleepy.  Powered by more caffeine than anyone should actually consume, I got all of the kids to their after school activities, feed and bathed.  I am now settling in and preparing for another sleepless night since it’s 8:55 and the baby has already called out 4 times for me to come rock him.  

As I struggle with this, I remind myself this is just a phase and we will come out on the other side and I will sort of sleep again.  It won’t be soundly, because let’s face it, sleeping ended sometime in the first trimester and won’t get better until they are out of college.  So what advice do I have for someone going through this stage of parenting? 

  • I know you have heard it before but really take this to heart… LEAVE the housework and nap when the baby is napping. 
  • If one parent does the bulk of the feedings, give up one feeding and let your spouse or partner take one shift.  
  • Hydrate.  Keep your fluids up.  It’s easy to get run down if you aren’t sleeping and water will go along way at keeping you healthy.
  • Find a good show to binge watch.  If you are up with a little one who just isn’t sleeping, having something mindless to distract you makes the night go by faster.
  • Sticky notes!! You are tired.  You will forget things.  Write all important things down. 
  • Know your limits.  If you find yourself getting frustrated with the baby, make sure to hand them off to your spouse or other care taker so that you can have a break.
  • Repeat over and over: This is just a phase
  • Remember there was a time when you were younger where pulling an all nighter was just a normal college night. 
  • Know that just a few houses away there is probably another parent going through the exact same thing.  Good luck! 
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