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It’s Time for a Family Nap: How we are coping with sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation…. It’s the one thing I had no way to prepare for when I was pregnant. I could prepare almost everything else that had to do with caring for my baby ahead of time but not sleep… I couldn’t “pre-sleep” or “stock up on sleep” beforehand but I sure wish I could!

Without a doubt, the hardest part about being a new parent is adjusting to the amount of sleep you will now get. Babies don’t sleep in and instead of sleeping in long stretches like adults; they sleep in short chunks of the 24 hour day. This new “schedule” can get kind of overwhelming and for me, it hasn’t gotten much better since Aiden was a newborn. He still wakes up several times throughout the night to nurse and I am often very, very tired. My husband also gets up at night with Aiden helping to soothe him, rock him, or sometimes just walk him around the house so I can get one precious hour of sleep. It is not easy! I am by no means an expert and just do whatever I can to make it through each day but here are some ways we are coping:

  1. Coffee – yep, I am guilty of relying on the Java for a pick-me-up. It helps!
  2. Saturday mornings with Daddy – I am getting up to nurse Aiden every single night. That’s 7 days per week even when I have to work Monday through Friday. On Saturday mornings my husband has very kindly offered to wake up with Aiden, give him some breakfast and hang out while I “sleep in”. This is usually until about 9am but still, I am grateful for it.
  3. Old T-Shirts- We’ve realized that if we put Aiden down with a t-shirt that has my scent he will sleep longer and more calmly. When I go in to check on him he often is clutching on to the shirt and resting his head on it. So cute!
  4. Complaining—sure, it doesn’t give us any more sleep but I feel better when I complain about it.
  5. The Family Nap—whether it be Saturday afternoon or Sunday after church, when Aiden goes down for a nap, we all get into bed and catch some Z’s too! Sometimes this is just what we need. 

I love the new show with Christina Applegate called “Up All Night”. It is so clever and right now, it’s the story of my life! To be honest, I just try to remind myself that this is only one season of our lives as parents and one day, Aiden will be sleeping all night... Although by that time I’m sure he’ll have me up for entirely different reasons!