When parents bring their babies for treatment we often talk about how the baby sleeps. This can be a really problematic area especially for first time parents. Nothing can really prepare you for having your first baby, despite how much you read or classes you go to. Suddenly you have this little life to care for that is totally dependent on you for everything.
As with all new parents you can feel totally inadequate, unfortunately babies don’t come with a manual! Plus you will have had the labour, which is aptly named, mum may have had a caesarian which is major surgery and you are discharged very quickly from hospital these days. Quite often your family are scattered far and wide and there isn’t much experienced help around. Add to that lack of sleep, I always observe to clients that when people are tortured the first thing that happens is sleep deprivation. It messes with your head!
So mum and dad aren’t necessarily in the greatest shape, then you have the babies demands, the social media demands, the other parents who appear to be having no problems. If you can, don’t do social media and ignore what other people appear to be doing. One thing you will learn is that having babies can be a very competitive business. Try not to get sucked in.
Otherwise you can end up with agitated and distressed parents which will probably lead to an agitated and distressed baby who won’t sleep easily. They pick up on tension as they don’t realise they are a separate being from you. So what can you do to help yourself and your baby?
Firstly and simply make sure you eat properly, not just toast and chocolate! Before the baby arrives do some batch cooking and have things ready in the freezer. Make up sandwiches for the next day or have some hearty soup handy. Sleep when you can, don’t worry about anything else much, prioritise yourselves.
Try to get into the baby into good sleeping habits. If possible put them to sleep in the same place, get them used to where they will sleep. If they fall asleep on you put them into their sleeping place. Have the monitor on of course. I always think that a baby will sleep better in a quiet dark room with no distractions, rather than with you where the tv may be on and you are moving about and chatting.
Finally remember it all takes time and if today didn’t go to plan try again tomorrow. Try not to let yourself or the baby get distressed. If you need help call a professional rather than Dr. Google. It will all get easier it just takes time for you and your baby to understand each other. You may not think so but you know your baby best and the more confident and definite you are with them the calmer and happier they will be. Above all try to enjoy your baby, they are very rewarding.