A baby’s sleep is the biggest struggle for most new moms, and even second time moms all over the world, to me personally, it was the biggest struggle, the breastfeeding I could handle, the crying I could handle, but the lack of sleep was just too much to bare, it was affecting every aspect of my life; my job, my marriage and my overall well being and I am a strong believer that you cannot be the best mother you can be if you are unhappy.
Asking for help often makes new mothers feel like a failure, it certainly did for me, it felt like I failed as a mother because I was reading and hearing about all these mothers whose babies sleep through the night at the age of 2-3 months old, and immediately I felt like I wasn’t a good mother, I could not even get my baby to have a solid nap once a day.
I finally realized that this is just not true, just like we as grownups are all individuals and all have our own likes and dislikes, so babies do as well, each baby is unique and we should not compare our mothering to others (which is a very difficult thing to ask of any mother as it is so easy to start feeling insecure and second guess ourselves).
That is why my husband and I decided to get a sleeping consultant, we were getting up at an average of six times per night to give our baby girl her pacifier so that she would go back to sleep , she refused to nap for longer that 30 minutes during the day (she was a champion cat napper) , and she was just a difficult baby overall , once again; because of the lack of sleep.
We tried everything you can think of, and although the internet is an amazing thing, it gives broad advice, the advice you get is not tailored to your baby or your specific situation, and that can get confusing, I know that some moms have had great success with this, but for us, this just did not do the trick , my husband and I even started fighting because we each had our own idea about what would work, each confident it their own option. This created so much friction in our marriage, so getting a third party to give advice was the best thing we could have done, not only for our baby, but for our marriage.
We were going insane! My days and nights all seemed to blend together, with no clear distinction, napping while she slept was not an option as it was only half an hour and I had work to do, which I know a lot of moms would agree with , I read the other day “Sleep while the baby sleeps, so that means; do laundry while the baby does laundry?” – The whole idea behind sleeping when the baby sleeps basically only works for the first few weeks after birth, no one expects you to do any household chores or cook or clean, but this level of sympathy quickly disappears as your baby gets a little older.
So I was in desperate need of some professional advice, hence; the sleeping consultant.
A sleeping consultant evaluates all aspects of your lives, and your baby’s, they analyse all information given to them and then they work out a sleep schedule and provide you with the needed information on how to execute this plan. Our consultant did four follow ups and I had to log all activities and sleeping during the day so that we can see if anything improves as we progress, she was very hands on and we talked every day , I was very impressed by the level of commitment on her behalf and she motivated me every step of the way, even the days I felt like giving up.
The first four days were intense, the reason for this is that we changed our baby’s routine, which every mother knows is chaos to say the least, and difficult for everyone to adjust to. Since day two she slept so well during the night and only had one bottle and then slept again, our lives changed, and we got the needed sleep.
But then daybreak came, and chaos with it!
My baby girl screamed every time I put her in her bed for a nap , no matter how tired she was, she just would have none of it, we had to resort to an “emergency nap” ( which is getting the baby to sleep no matter what it takes, there comes a time when getting your baby to sleep is more important then HOW they fall asleep) and then after a few days, this didn’t even work for us anymore, she knew when we put her in her pram it meant she must sleep , and as you can imagine, this now warranted for an even bigger screaming match than placing her in her bed.
I honesty almost gave up, and the consultant just reassured me that consistency is key and that she would eventually realize that sleeping is not that bad. She was right, day five, everything started to change, she would sleep when she needed to and wake up much later than half an hour.
It took us about 2 weeks to establish a sleep routine and to get into the groove of things, both us and her, her crying (and mine) came to an end and we have our lives back! I would recommend getting a sleep consultant for any mother having issues with their baby’s sleep.
That being said; there were some days in these two weeks that I could see my baby was struggling and was just not having a good day, whether it be teething or her just not feeling herself, the intense routine went out the window, I honestly believe that we know our babies best, and we know when they need what, I followed the sleep plan for the most part, but I still believe that babies are individuals and also have “off days” just like we do , and we cannot expect every day to go according to plan and the way we would like it, babies are hard work , and some days are hard being a mother, and no consultant in the world is going to make your life perfect.
There is nothing like a mother’s love!