Post # 1
Fiance and I are talking about trying to have kids soon after we’re married and one of our biggest concerns is the lack of sleep. I’m wondering how you actually survive it, especially when breast feeding? I’m the kind of person who needs a good 9 hours a night, and having to be awake every two hours to feed the baby sounds like enough to make me completely useless day and night.
So how did you get through it? Does some kind of mom thing take over and you need less sleep? Or were you just miserable for weeks until the baby slept more? Or if I need sleep that much, should I just consider formula feeding as a better option for us?
Post # 3
For me, I’m almost 6 months along – this is my first – but I’m so uncomfortable sleeping that I’m up every few hours and only in bed from 11pm to maybe 5:30am if I don’t wake up before that and can’t get back to sleep. I think it’s your body’s way of training you for the baby. I was actually just talking to my doctor about this at my visit yesterday.
Also, I’m at work from 7:45am until just past 5pm and I’m doing pretty good (haven’t had caffeine since my BFP, too).
Curious to hear what others’ experiences have been like….
Post # 4
My son slept through the night from the day he came home. Every child is different, no point in stressing about what might or might not happen.
Post # 4
Fiance and I are BOTH the type who really enjoy our sleep. We had our baby in February. I will say that pregnancy prepares you for the lack of sleep…for most people it’s difficult to sleep the night through because you have to wake up to pee or you’re just uncomfortable when your stomach gets so big at the end. So it’s not as sudden of a change when you have the baby…atleast for YOU!
I breastfed for 12 weeks but went back to work at 6 weeks. While I was on maternity leave, it was okay. I understood that I was home all day and could nap when baby napped so it didn’t bother me so much to wake up with him at night to nurse him. After nursing became “easy”, it was a nice quiet time with my little one.
However…going back to work full time and breastfeeding led to resentment. I couldn’t stand that Fiance got to sleep the night through and I’ll admit that was one reason I quit bf’ing.
My baby is now almost 6 months old and he does sleep from 8pm until about 4:30am…and will fall back asleep utnil 6:30. I think yo ujust learn to adjust. Yes, I’m tired many days but when I think about it, I was tired before. It’s hard to compare. I’m just not a morning person, never was, never will be….so it’s hard to say that this is that much different. We just go to bed earlier rather than staying up until midnight.
I have two friends who had babies in the past months and BOTH of theirs have slept through the night from DAY ONE! Every baby is different.
The other thing to remember is that it DOES end….that’s what I keep in mind. This won’t last forever, so I’m trying to cherish those morning moments where little one looks up at me from his crib and is so happy to see me and we snuggle until he falls back asleep. There will come a day where he won’t need me like that anymore. 🙁
Post # 5
Some kind of maternal instinct thing kicks in (at least for me) and even when DS would sleep though the night (mind you this has only happened a small handful of times in the past 6 months), I wake up anyway. And if you are BFing, you’ll need to pump in the middle of the night (if you are a working mom) in order to help keep your supply up. Somehow you live through it but it is very very rough around 6 weeks or so. You adjust somehow though. I’ve never been good at functioning with less than 8 solid hours of sleep but we all seem to manage somehow. One of the mysteries of life IMO.
Post # 6
I had my daughter in bed with me the 1st few months. From the 1st night she never actually cried at night. She would wimper, start to stir, I’d put her to the breast in a side by side position and go right back to sleep. This worked out well for us. When she went in her crib at about 2 months she slept from 8:30 to 3:30 like clock work. When she woke I brought her back to bed with me. She was a pretty good baby. Naps during maternity leave do help, newborns sleep a lot during the day so take advantage of that. I honestly think going to the kitchen, mixing formula and heating it up in the middle of the night sounds like way more of a hassle. You can always have pumped milk ready if you want hubby to help with nighttime feedings. When my daughter slept through the night I would constantly check on her, make sure she was breathing etc. As a mom you just adjust, I never remember feeling tired. Also I never woke up to pump, just did right before I went to bed then again in the morning before work.
Post # 7
COFFEE!! haha.. You will be surprised just how much you can handle. My daughter was sleeping through the night at 3 months old so I considered us very lucky. However, after maternity leave ended and I returned back to work is when it got hard. I work 12 hour shifts and when I am on nights its so hard. My Fiance is a police officer and I am a dispatcher so we both have the same 12 hour schedule. When we get off at 6am after working 12 hours our daughter is just waking up and ready to play! She is two now and very active so she really wants all of your attention so sleep is not even an option. I have many days where I am running off caffiene and adrenaline…..But, I wouldnt change it for the world!
Post # 8
I don’t think there really is any way to get around the exhaustion, at least not in the first few weeks. You just get through it the best you can. It’s hard and can be miserable but eventually you survive, so just take comfort in knowing it really does end at some point!! The best way to get through it is to save your energy where you can and let go of other things that need to be done around the house (i.e. cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping etc) Absolutely delegate those chores to someone else if you can.
I don’t know if formula feeding will give you that much relief in terms of sleeping and exhaustion, unless you plan to have a night nurse come and completely takeover in the evenings (sounded like a fab idea to me until I found out those cost around $400-600 a night in my area!!).
For the first few weeks of my baby’s life, I would nurse her every 3 hours on.the.dot. Even if she was asleep and it was 4am in the morning, I would take her out of her crib and feed her. She’s my first child so I had no idea what I was doing, so felt like a strict schedule helped me feel somewhat in control of things. I was pretty much useless for those weeks. It was not fun. I wish I could say some mom thing took over and I was able to power through those middle of the night feedings with a motherly love and a doting smile on my face. (On the other hand, maybe the fact that I insisted on feeding her every 3 hrs around the clock meant that some sort of motherly instinct took over) but either way, it was pretty rough and other than keeping the baby alive, I did little else in those first weeks. Eventually by 3-4 weeks, I could get her to eat more in the evenings and we would eventually stretch out the feedings and she’d sleep for longer stretches thru the night. And then lucky for me, she was able to sleep through the night (10-12 hours) by 2 months old and still does!
Post # 9
I think, just like any other life change, you just adjust. Pregnancy does kinda prepare you, since you’re getting up to pee, or you just can’t get comfortable, or the baby kicks you awake in the middle of the night. However, after the baby comes, you just get used to not sleeping as much, and your body doesn’t require as much.
I used to be the type that would sleep 10 hours at night and still take an afternoon nap whenever I could. My husband used to joke that I slept more than I was awake. Immediately after birth, I had this awesome adrenaline rush. I felt amazing after only 4-5 hours of sleep a night, and I almost never napped with my daughter. After a while, that died down, and she started sleeping better, so my body adjust to 7-8 hours of broken sleep a night. Sure, it was really hard sometimes, but I’m obviously still alive, so I made it through. Like anything else, you just learn to adjust. 🙂
Post # 10
@madymommy24: Unfortunately, you can’t rely on coffee/caffeine when BF’ing! 🙁
Post # 11
Well, I am due in 15 days and I’ve been getting up 2-3 times a night for the past few months anyway (to pee, heartburn, etc). You adjust. The things that were important before are less important after you have kids. My first daughter did not sleep through the night till she was 3 years old. I think you learn to do things in half-asleep mode anyway.
Post # 12
You have adrenaline at first I think. My labor was a bit long and I literally hadn’t slept for a couple nights. And then at the hospital I only slept a couple hours a night. And I didn’t notice. But then it caught up and I just laid in bed with baby well into the morning. My husband left me coffee and breakfast if he decided to not eat at a really late hour.
I’m not sure that formula feeding will really help, everyone says that it takes them longer to digest formula and they feel full longer but I think it’s more to do with baby’s personality and how lucky you get. My little one is exclusively breastfed and has been sleeping 4 hour stretches and occassionally 7 hour stretches since she was a week old (my pediatrician hated the idea of that much sleep but sleepy mommy with a fast growing baby said too tired to care). She’s up to 6-8 hours of sleep at a time since about 5 weeks old so I think luck has to do with it more than what kind of food.
Post # 13
I may not have a child of my own, buy my family is fostering a child for a friend who is working at getting custody again.
She’s been sleeping in my room since she was about 4 months old, and is now almost a year and a half. And she still wakes up in the middle of the night.
Honestly, you just do it. Yes you’re tired, but you learn to nap when the baby is napping, and I’ve found that sometimes I don’t even remember getting up anymore.
Post # 14
I worry about this too because I need a full 8 hours of sleep to feel normal – anything less gives me a headache the entire next day and I’m a total zombie!
Post # 15
I’m also due at the end of the month, and I also haven’t been sleeping well anyway… My insomnia has returned so I can’t fall asleep until 2 am anyway, and then I wake up hourly to pee, or drink some water, or sometimes take a bath to try to ease my prodromal contractions. I think your body just kind of knows that it is going to suck, so it gradually shifts you into that gear anyway. And for what it is worth, I need 10-12 hours normally myself, and I’m surviving. 🙂 You’ll be okay I think.