Kender hit the 6 week mark on Friday and now he is SO much fun! He’s cooing, laughing, playing, and just being adorable. At night he usually sleeps for one 6-hour stretch, and then wakes up every 2 hours… I’m ok with that! 6 hours is A LOT compared to what I’ve been getting up to this point.I want to talk a little bit about my experience, and hopefully what I’ve learned can help my friends out there who are about to be moms for the first time.
People are going to tell you this all the time, but you’ll still be tempted to ignore them – Don’t! SLEEP IS IMPORTANT!!!! Everyone tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps, but it’s not always that easy. After you have a baby you get all these potential postpartum issues. I normally deal with a bit of anxiety, but after I had Kender it was intensified. Anxiety led to insomnia. Most nights I only slept for about 3 hours, and I didn’t sleep at all during the day. I told myself I could do it and that I didn’t need sleep, but that was a big fat lie. Everyone needs an adequate amount of sleep, especially moms. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I could just wake up, feed the baby, and then go back to sleep, but usually I’d end up taking an hour or two to fall asleep, then waking up an hour later to feed Kender, then taking another hour or two to fall back asleep, wake up an hour later to feed Kender again, and the vicious cycle continued. Even when someone else took all the night feedings, I just laid there awake feeling useless. Insomnia led to exhaustion and exhaustion led to depression. I felt horrible. Every so often I’d get so exhausted that I could actually get some sleep and when that happened, I’d feel SO much better the next day. It was like night and day. Sleep makes all the difference. Thanks to my doctor, amazing family members, medication and sleep aids, I’m doing a lot better. Don’t be afraid to let others help you and take medicine if you need it! My favorite sleep aid is called MidNight – it’s a natural supplement that contains the hormone melatonin. It tastes like cherries 🙂 It only lasts 3-4 hours and its not addictive, so you can take it in the middle of the night if you can’t go back to sleep after a feeding. Just make sure your husband is on alert to wake you up just in case you’re snoozing so good you don’t hear the baby.
The first couple weeks are tricky, so you probably won’t get much sleep… But don’t let it go longer than that! Sleep is needed for sanity.
Also, babies are insanely loud sleepers. If your baby is as loud as mine, don’t feel bad about putting him to sleep in another room. Kender is a grunter. We all slept a lot better when he slept in his own room, including him. Sometimes I’d accidentally wake him up because he was grunting so much that I thought he was already awake. Nope. Now I look for those open eyes. If his eyes aren’t open, I don’t touch him. He sleeps for a lot longer.
Well there’s my two cents about what worked for me. I hope it helps somebody.