Sometimes we set our expectations too high, too low or we have none at all when it comes to our baby’s sleep. It is healthy to have realistic and positive expectations for achieving good sleep habits in the home. Here are some ‘peace-of-mind tidbits’ to help you relax—mentally and physically.
- Don’t expect your healthy, nursing baby to sleep through the entire night until around one year of age (by this time, it’s a quick ‘up and feed’ and back to bed in 10 minutes or less). Believe it or not, most moms don’t mind getting up for this one feeding.
- Expect your baby to want to go to bed early and rise early. They are biologically wired to do so, and not accepting this is counterproductive and very frustrating.
- Don’t expect to achieve what you did before baby! If you’re overtired, the first cognitive ability to disappear is multitasking. Take it slow and downsize the ‘to- do’ list.
- Expect to feel like hitting your friend when she gloats about her great little sleeper. My advice is to stop comparing. It’s good practice for the future. You don’t want to be comparing your teenagers.
- Expect your baby’s sleep to reflect the healthy sleep habits you initiate. Consistently repeating patterns before the onset of sleep will condition your baby’s brain to accept sleep and to sleep well.
- Don’t get caught up in the ‘achieving’, get caught up in the moments that really matter—the ones you wish to remember. If sleep deprivation is affecting your ability to enjoy these moments, know that you can do something to fix it. You don’t have to be sleep deprived to the point of being a Zombie Mommy.
Expect motherhood to guide you to solutions and perpetually transform your expectations. The more well-rested and relaxed you are, the easier it will be to adjust to the constantly changing world of motherhood.
Celeste Alles uplifts and guides tired and discouraged parents across the country. She works as a Baby Sleep Consultant, Doula and Simplicity Parenting Coach. She loves sleep, always has and always will. It is with this passion that her company, Hush, was born. She and her team of advisors can be reached at www.hushonearth.com
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