My baby is a terrible sleeper and I am about to go back to work – how do I handle sleep deprivation?!

crying baby

QUESTION:

“I have a 3 month old baby boy who is a terrible sleeper – constantly waking up throughout the night. I am going back to work soon and I am worried about how I will be able to function when I am so tired. My husband works nights and I can’t even get my baby to sleep long enough for me to have a nap after work. Does anyone have advice on how to handle sleep deprivation? I have almost given up on making my baby a better sleeper!”

ANSWERS:

Channy D.

I’m not sure what your babies sleep situation is but my daughter always sleeps better in our bed. Safely, of course! I’m not sure if it’s because she finds our bed more comfortable or if she just likes to be close to us but it has really saved my sanity!

Ann-Marie S.

My son is 24, he was a terrible sleeper for his first seven months or so (that’s how old he was when he finally slept four 4 hours in a row).

In retrospect I wished I’d addressed what was troubling him. I’ve always wondered if he had terrible colic that I wasn’t treating or perhaps a chiropractor may have helped as happened with a friends baby.

Hope it all settles soon for you.

Liz L.

Hang in there mumma, 3 months is very young, and it does get better as you learn more and settle into it more. How are you comforting your baby back to sleep in the night? The biggest turning point for us with constant night waking was to set limits on breastfeeding – if he woke before 12 we settled with shushing and patting, if it was after 12 we gave a breastfeed, and then again if he woke between that feed and morning time we would resettle with patting and shushing. The reason for this was he didn’t know how to resettle himself without being on the breasts, so he needed to learn that he could be comforted in other ways. We attended a 3 night in-patient stay at the nurture centre at north west private at 7 months old. It’s totally covered by hospital cover if you have private health. They taught us many ways to help Bub resettle and eventually learn to self settle. The baby sleep company does Skype or in home consultations to help you (there are other companies too)

As for dealing with sleep deprivation, I don’t think that there is actually a way to do that! You just need sleep!

Sabrina N.

I do believe that books and websites give you unachievable expectations about babies sleep. You read that they are supposed to sleep 14 to 18 hours, I personally don’t know a single baby who sleeps well. All my friends’ babies, all the babies in my family are terrible sleepers, that is just how it is, and books are full of lies, so we buy them thinking they’ll make our lives easier.
Having said that, I found that having my little one’s cott right against our bed, so I can pass my hand through and leave it on him or just next to his little body helped a lot. And it gets better eventually, with time and patience. Good luck!

Vicki C.

Mine was up every 2 hrs until just after 3months of age, it was when I moved him to the cot that he slept longer. Also ask your early childhood centre for help on sleep they can come help you or suggest a sleep school if really bad.

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