New Mothers how to Cope with Crying Babies and Sleepless Nights

For mothers of newborns, it can be quite distressing when you’re faced with sleepless nights and a crying baby for months. Without the support of those around you, you may become an emotional wreck. If this happens, it’s not beneficial either to the mother or the baby. The key thing to remember is to come up with solutions and not to dwell on the problem. So I offer you a few tips on how to cope. These helped me through the rough days with my baby:

1. Nap time – Babies sleep more than 16 hours per day during their early months, so imagine, that could also be 16 hours of sleep for you in one day. The problem is that babies sleep patterns are broken up every 2 hours. This means that they sleep for 2 hours, wake up for milk or a nappy change, and sleep again for another 2 hours. This pattern can continue for the first 3 months or so, until you establish a pattern with your baby. So, the idea here is that if you can catch 2 hours of sleep each time your baby sleeps, it does help. You can be a bit more rested after these so-called ‘power naps’.

2. Get help – The house does not miraculously clean up by itself and dinner is served on the table either. So when you’re blurry-eyed and exhausted, there’s no point in you trying to be a superwoman all of a sudden. This will only lead to a mental breakdown, and in the end, you’ll hate the fact that you’re a mother, since you’re so tired all the time. If you’re lucky, employ a few help around the house, by engaging the help of your relatives or friends to clean the house, iron the clothes, cook dinner, etc. And don’t feel guilty about catching your 40 winks of sleep while they’re busy in the house. If they love you, they understand.

3. Take turns with hubby at night – Breast pump is the best invention anyone’s come up with, for new mothers that is. You can pump your milk before you go to bed at night, and ask your husband to feed the baby in the middle of the night. This will give your husband some bonding time with the baby, which is especially crucial for breastfeeding mothers, as the husbands are usually left out of the feeding routine. So, don’t feel bad about doing this, your husband will love this rare moment.

4. Set a pattern – It’s best that after your baby turns one-month old that you set a sleeping pattern. Try to get your baby to sleep through the night by creating a calm and dimly-lit atmosphere at nighttime. Set a bedtime ritual – a bath, story telling time, etc – so that your baby will associate this with night sleeping. The earlier you set this routine, the faster your baby will get into his own routine. Don’t pick up your baby after every noise he makes. Unless he cries for more than 10 minutes, then don’t feel the urge to pick him up. If you keep picking him up after he makes a noise, he’ll think that that’s the way to get your attention. So if you’re doing this now, stop it immediately. It’s for both his and his mother’s own good, as he’ll also be able to learn to sleep on his own and the mother won’t go crazy.