When our first child was born I came home from the hospital feeling exhausted. I started the life with him extremely tired. I actually didn’t realize back then how tired I was, but now looking back the tiredness was quite bad. I wasn’t thinking straight. For example I couldn’t come up with ways to ease the baby’s stomach pain. Going to the doctor’s didn’t come to my mind. Almost like I didn’t remember there is someone called doctor or a place called pharmacy. Back then we didn’t get any help from anywhere.
At night when the baby was sleeping I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking that there is no point in falling asleep as the baby will wake up shortly anyway. I hated the sentence “sleep always when the baby sleeps”. As if it was that simple.
This time I have focused my energies on trying to avoid ending up in that kind of situation. No one can choose to have a child without any stomach problems, allergies or other things but I will try my best to get enough sleep to act when needed. Luckily our babies haven’t had any bigger problems but I want to be aware of the possibility of seeing the doctor or going to the pharmacy if things change. I want to remember the possibility of getting help. Because if you are really tired you may forget that. You just try to survive from one day to another without thinking anything else but surviving that one day.
I really want to enjoy this baby time. This will be the last time we have small babies and I would like to look back to this time period smiling and cherishing the memory. I’m hoping it’s possible.
When it comes to sleeping better, here is what we have come up with so far…
- We analyze every evening how did the day go. How much did the babies sleep? Did they have stomach or other problems? What do we expect for the following night? Then we make a plan.
- We update the plan before going to bed and make a plan b usually for a scenario that the babies don’t sleep as expected.
The other parent starts the night with the babies and the other one sleeps in the boy’s room with ear plugs. At some point during the night we make a change. This way we both can have one longer sleeping period every night which we find important.
We have asked for help. Mother in law comes once a month for a couple of days and other friends and family members come every now and then for a day.
We hired a nanny. She comes once a week for couple of hours. I can either sleep or do something fun with the older boy.
We don’t go to grocery store. We order groceries home delivered from a super market. It saves so much time!
We lowered the standards. Before I couldn’t think of letting anyone in our home if I hadn’t cleaned it up recently. Now I realized that I can’t always clean before the nanny comes for example, and when she’s here it’s often better to go to sleep than start cleaning the house.
I read all the books I have considering baby’s sleeping already before we have problems. Last time when I bought the books I was too tired to read them so I didn’t get any help from them.
I am tired, yes. I will probably look back this time and think “how did I ever manage and survive?” but right now I feel like I can do this and it’s a good feeling.
Any tips except “sleep when the babies are sleeping” are welcome!
Have a nice day!