4 Tips for Surviving the Sleeping Woes of Motherhood


I have not slept a full night in an entire year. Yes, you heard me right. I am beat, tired, exhausted, a walking zombie, to say the least. My third trimester was extremely uncomfortable, and then bringing home my sweet girl — who has not slept a full night for most of her short life — has made me extremely sleep deprived.

How do tired mothers survive, you ask? 

The first few months of bringing a baby home always seems to be a blur. You have this new person to care for 24/7, along with trying to care for yourself. Not to mention possibly recovering from a major surgery, learning how to nurse, figuring out feeding schedules, and keeping up with doctors appointments. It’s all just a whirlwind of emotions and tasks that seem unending. Now add LACK OF SLEEP.

Like most parents, I am mourning the nights where I could sleep soundly for seven to eight hours straight.

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I’ve read parents lose an average of 109 minutes a night in the first year of their child’s life! That is astronomical, but somehow I’ve managed to maintain some sense of normalcy with a ton of help from family and figuring out some ways to sneak in naps when I can.

A tired mom leans on a countertop with her baby boy.

Here are four tips for my fellow parents in the struggle:

1. Share the Load

If you are married or have an active partner, please share the responsibilities of late nights and early mornings. My husband and I take shifts in which one of us gets up for feedings, so the other can get some rest. Sometimes we split it up by each waking, and other times we divvy it up by night.

This also pertains to household chores. When I pump, breastfeed, and bottle feed our baby, my husband washes all my parts and bottles for me. It is such a huge help.

2. Take a Nap

My mother stayed with us for two months when our baby was born. During that time, she would take the baby during the day so I could catch some zzzs.If you have a family member or friend nearby, please don’t be ashamed to ask for help. You are tired and deserve rest.

3. Turn Down the Monitor

I quickly realized my baby was an active sleeper. Sometimes she’d whine or whimper throughout the night. My motherly senses would kick in, and I’d hop out of bed to get her. One night, I just wasn’t quick enough. She went back to sleep on her own.

After that, when I heard her on the baby monitor, I stopped going in so fast to soothe her. Oftentimes, she would put herself back into a sweet slumber. Now, I turn down the monitor because even the slightest sounds wake me up. So unless she’s wailing, I usually don’t hear her. 

A tired mom holds a baby in her arms.

4. Try to Keep Your Schedule Simple

Just say no. I’ve been guilty of trying to keep my plate as full as I can. Sometimes I just wish I was better at saying no to things! I enjoy getting out of the house, but sometimes the idea of wrangling two kiddos to get dressed and out the door is enough for me to cry.

Especially in the early months, saying no to added responsibilities might be for the best. You may not be the PTA president, coordinator for your church event, or be able to attend your work happy hours. Keeping your schedule simple as you adjust may be the best way to maintain your sanity.

I try to remember that this is only a season, albeit a tired season. One day, my baby girl will sleep soundly, and I’ll be able to join her. But until then — fill up my coffee mug, sister! 

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I’d love to hear how you all are making it through your sleep deprivation. Comment below!


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