Oh, sleep. How we miss you. We obviously realised that babies meant sleepless nights but we had NO idea just how little sleep those first few weeks would bring, or that we would never have our full sleep quota ever again (we’re nearly two years in!) When you’re a new mum, the lack of sleep consumes your days and nights. You get into this quiet competition with other mums who manage to get their babes to nap or sleep through. Now, we’re starting to realise that we will never, ever, ever get the chance to hit the snooze button again thanks to the automatic alarm clock laying in the cot in the room next door. So how to deal with it? Coffee, obviously! A great concealer (tutorial coming your way soon) and a positive mental attitude. If all else fails, just hold on tight til you reach the teenage years.
While one of us was up at 4am recently, some sleep googling happened and we ended up on the Pampers website; as part of the #PampersBabyBoard we know it’s always a good place to start to look for baby sleep advice. While we sleep to recuperate, for babies the night is when importantbrain development occurs, when the babes process everything they have learnt during the day. So how to get them to do it?! We know that sleep is a big thing on your minds so we thought that we would share our stories as we both had a fairly different start with our babies sleep and our stories are below.
GEMMA & BELLE
When the midwife explained that I would need to wake Belle every 1.5 hours to feed her I thought it was a joke. 1.5 hours!! Belle was a good sleeper from the start. In fact she was such a good sleeper that in order to wake her for a feed I would have to lay her on the cold bathroom tiles (as per the midwives orders!) By 10 weeks she was sleeping 12 hours solid. The fact that the brain reaches 75% of an adult’s size by year 1 is something that I found wild!! I remember discussing it with my GP and she told me not to tell anyone that my baby slept through as all my new mum friends would hate me. I got cocky and it all went downhill around 4 months. Belle had a major sleep regression that lasted almost 2 months and it involved her waking every 2 hours. We knew she wasn’t hungry and she wasn’t wet through because she was wearing Pampers dry nappies, but I wasn’t mentally prepared to let her cry it out, and we went through a pretty dark time. Eventually this passed (don’t worry if you are going through it, it HAS to pass!) and she is now a brilliant sleeper (umm, only at night – day naps are still questionable!!) and she sleeps a solid 13 hours most nights. She is asleep by 6.30pm the latest (she struggles to keep her eyes open any later) and then we have our whole night ahead for Breegs to watch football, and me to scroll Instagram – hey, who said romance is dead?!
SAM & LEO
Leo was the worlds worst sleeper. I look at my friends newborns now and they pretty much sleep the whole time, but I don’t remember Leo doing that. He’s awake in every single picture. Sleep was such a huge problem for us in the beginning and Leo was completely nocturnal. I remember when he was a couple of weeks old my cloudy, sleep-deprived mind decided that it would be better for me to stay awake ALL NIGHT rather than get 20 minute sleep slots so I sat up and watched E4 all night with him by my side. Never do that. It was a huge mistake. Eventually we got there at night (I used a white noise app and he fell asleep to the sounds of hoover) but his daytime napping was never great. I used to walk with friends for hours who’s babies would sleep while he was wide awake. So if your baby is like this, don’t despair. I have been there. It does get better. He now is a (touch wood) great sleeper. We have a little routine and it works so well; after his bath he asks me to put his ‘bappy’ – his Pampers Baby-Dry nappy – on followed by his ‘jamas’ then we sit and read books until he asks to go into his cot and sleeps for a full 12 hours at night. He never wakes because he’s wet through or hungry (FYI I found that other nappies would leak causing him to wake but these Pampers ones contain micro-absorbency pearls which seem to do the job, they absorb 2-3 bottles in one nappy) And we now average two hours during lunch so he’s full of energy and fun for the afternoons. This means that Nick and I have regained our evenings and can binge-watch Suits or Riverdale until 11pm without the fear of a (cute) little friend joining us.
If your little one is struggling to sleep, Pampers has loads of great advice online, check out the website for more details www.pampers.co.uk
[We worked with Pampers on this post but all opinions are our own. We will only ever share things with you that help make our lives easier / help us get more sleep / help make us feel fabulous]