Try sleep training
If your baby isn’t sleeping, the first step is to always try sleep training.
There are several different methods and I recommned trying all of them. Each baby is different so one method might work and another might not.
My son responded to sleep training right away and began sleeping through the night but my daughter did not respond to any sleep training method.
Knowing that I had at least tried sleep training her helped me cope with the fact that she isn’t sleeping at night. I knew I had tried my best!
The reality is some babies are just bad sleepers, I know this first hand because my daughter never slept through the night until she turned one. You can read about my sleep struggle here.
Co-sleeping when necessary
If your baby is waking up several times a night, getting in and out of bed to go to them is exhausting. Rather than constantly getting up every time your baby wakes up, try co-sleeping.
In fact, some babies sleep better when they co-sleep with their parents so this may help you and baby get a little more sleep. If nothing else, you aren’t getting in and out of bed all night!
Talk to your babies doctor
If your child is waking up every hour, all night long like my daugher was, try talking to your doctor. There may be an underlying issue like acid reflux, a food allergy or something else. I found out my daughter had acid reflux and is lactose intollerant.
Cutting out dairy improved her sleep at night. Mention it to your doctor and see if they have any suggestions for you.
Do something fun
Not sleeping at night is depressing. You are up all night and then up all day, exhausted. It can seem like your entire life revolves around a child that just won’t sleep and wants your constant attention.
I remember feeling like my baby was literally attached to me 24/7 because I didn’t even catch a breat at night.
Even though I was exhausted, I always made sure to do something fun each day.
Whatever it is, just find something that is fun and gets your mind off of the sleep challenges at hand.
Sleep when you can
You may not be sleeping much at night, but even catching one or two naps a day will help you survive. The house chores are probably piling up but that is ok. As soon as your baby is down for a nap, jump straight in bed.
You will be surprised how much a 30 minute power nap will do for you.
Trade with your husband
I tried to wake up every single night by myself because I didn’t want my husband being up all night and then going to work the next day.
I quickly realized that this is just not possible. My husband offered to wake up for the baby every 2 nights so that I could get a full nights rest.
I would go to bed early when the baby went to bed (7-8pm) and he would wake up for the baby until about 2-3am. After that I would take over for the rest of the night.
This worked really well for us because he never got overly tired, and it helped manage my exhaustion.
When you feel like you have reached your limits, speak up. Ask for help and get someone, wether it be your husband, a friend or family member to take over and let you catch some sleep.
You will sleep again
That is right, you will sleep again, I promise! Although I barely slept for an entire year, I am sleeping all night now! Those hard, long nights are just a memory, I survived and you will too!
I used to just constantly tell myself, “this too shall pass.”
If you have a child that isn’t sleeping at night, I’d love to hear what some of your survival methods are!