I feel like a bit of a fraud writing this. After all, most of my babies sleep through within the first three months and are "good" sleepers. BUT, bad dreams, illness, teething, "stages", pregnancy discomforts/insomnia..... Yes, sleep deprivation is something I am at least a little familiar with! Here are my tips for doing without sleep.
1. Don't count the hours. Knowing you only had two hours sleep last night does not make you any less tired, in fact it may make you more tired. Don't bother doing the math.
2. Just keep moving. Do something, do something else, then do something after that. Don't sit down until you can stay down.
3. Lower your expectations for the day. You will not solve all the issues that have cropped up over the last year in one day, especially if it is a tired day. If it is a tired day, you may get a little weepy and sooky over this. Get a grip, do what you can and keep a mental "TA-DA!!" list of what you DID manage to do!
4. Remember, this too will pass. Grab hold of the postives of this stage of life and drink them in, don't focus on sleep or lack thereof.
5. Take those night time moments and use them for good. Pray, sing worship songs, speak blessings and scripture from your heart over your baby.
6. Keep things quiet, calm and dim. Don't turn on all the lights, make yourself a coffee and switch on the TV to feed the baby, this will signal that it is UP TIME! If things are as quiet and dim as you can make it, you are signaling that now is still sleep time.
7. Don't needlessly change nappies over night. Yes, I know some out there will call the parenting police on me, but hear me out. You are expecting this kid to sleep through, if they do that they will go all night without a nappy change. A nappy change WILL wake a kid up. The only reason I change a bub at night is if the nappy malfunctions, it is icky smelling or if I need a newborn to wake up to feed properly so they don't wake up after 20 minutes wanting me again.
8. Keep hydrated. For some reason, if I am tired I need to drink more. I feel a million times better if I do. If you are regularly feeding a bub, put a drink bottle next to your feeding spot. Otherwise, put one on your nightstand.
9. Eat low GI, high protein food. It is SOOOOO easy to snack when you're tired. Getting fat makes you even tireder. This is one I struggle with, but if you manage it that's good!
10. Don't expect to sleep through. It's hard when perfect strangers ask if your bub is sleeping through. It seems to be a big thing for our culture! At the end of the day, I like the extra sleep of bub sleeping through, older children staying asleep and not having my bladder pummeled by an internal infant, but it is a small price to pay for what I get.