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How To Cope With Sleep Deprivation After Birth

A newborn’s first instinct is to feed and sleep in a pattern and quantity that varies from baby to baby. It is impossible to predict how a baby will adjust to life outside the womb and what to expect, as every experience can vary greatly. This means each parent must be flexible and patient during those first few weeks.

I remember laying in my hospital bed following birth, my son swaddled comfortably in the crib next to me, just a few hours old. He slept all the way through the night and I didn’t sleep a wink because I was so eager to ensure his safety and wellbeing. We have evolved to instinctively protect our young and be on guard, which makes relaxing difficult from the offset.

After returning home, he began waking every hour for milk and cuddles, which I was thrilled to give him, but exhausted responding to his regular needs.

During that challenging time, I developed some ‘survival tricks’ in order to keep my energy up and maintain some sanity. Continue reading How To Cope With Sleep Deprivation After Birth

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Tips for Safe and Effective Co-Sleeping

Before I gave birth to my son, I decided that I would not be co-sleeping with him. I bought a crib and placed it next to my bed and produced a sleeping schedule that I felt was realistic for when I brought home my newborn.

Little did I know just how challenging newborns can be and the dramatic effects sleep deprivation would have on my mental and physical wellbeing.

Five days after birth, I hadn’t slept for more than one solid hour at a time. I was so exhausted, drenched in milk and sore from my caesarean section that bedtime soon became a sorry routine of tears, headaches and despair. My son wasn’t sleeping well and as a result I wasn’t either.

One miserable afternoon, I was laying on my bed with my baby and as he fell asleep during a feed, I dared to close my eyes just for a minute, only to wake four hours later to the sound of my sons happy gurgles. It was the longest sleep either of us had had all week. He clearly felt safe enough to sleep for longer, and instead of crying, he woke happy and rested. That’s when I changed my mind and decided to co-sleep, and it stayed that way for six whole months. Continue reading Tips for Safe and Effective Co-Sleeping

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