Get More Sleep

by Catherine
(Gosford, Australia)

"How do I get more sleep?" is probably one of the questions most moms ask.

Well, I was really struggling with getting sleep in my baby's first few months, particularly as she was a difficult baby with colic who would cry for up to six hours at a time without sleeping. After breastfeeding her for the late night feed (which took at least three quarters of an hour and some extra burping time) it would then take half an hour or more to resettle her.

Advice I had received was that newborn breastfed babies shouldn't sleep for longer than a five hour cycle without feeding again. And that was very relevant for me because my baby stuggled to gain weight.

As a result I would only get about three hours' sleep in a row (5 hours minus three quarters of an hour for the feed, minus extra time for burping, minus settling time of half an hour, minus getting off to sleep time-despite being exhausted).

Since I also was the one staying home with my baby while my husband continued to work full-time, I would feel guilty waking him up during the night.

However, I eventually caught on to the idea that if I handed the baby over to him immediately after finishing feeding to burp and settle, I would maximise my sleep. And I only kept my husband up a bit later for his bedtime but not impacting on his total sleep.

Previously I often used ear plugs (which would fall out while I was sleeping) to get a bit of extra sleep while my baby cried. But this little change in our routine helped a great deal to get more sleep.

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