A lot of us are guilty of not prioritising our own sleep and our well-being as a whole. Self -care ends up at the bottom of the list, I know it is for me with juggling work, my boys and running the house. I sometimes need that reminder that I am important too.

When we become new parents, we tend to prioritise our baby’s needs, which of course we need to do as they are heavily reliant on us to meet their needs. However, in order for us to care for our baby’s needs we do need to look after ourselves too, even more so with the lack of sleep.

Sleep deprivation is hard, and no amount of baby prepping can prepare you for this, it is different for everyone and of course, everyone has differing levels of sleep needs. However, if you previously loved those lie-ins and loved your 8 hours then been woken by a tiny baby is going to be difficult.

 

Here are a few tips to help you cope with sleep deprivation

When families prepare for the arrival of their new-born baby, there is so much excitement. Lots of advice is given to the parents-to-be but colic is never mentioned. 

 

Who wants to contemplate having an inconsolable baby for hours on end? Caring for a colicky baby is a whole new kind of nightmare but it is a reality that affects over 25% of babies, globally. There are families everywhere in the midst of colic hell, feeling isolated and trying to navigate through this difficult time, hoping for a shining light at the end of the colic tunnel.

 

What is colic?

Colic is clinically diagnosed for a baby that is crying for more than three hours, three days a week, for a three-week period, but is otherwise healthy and gaining weight. It can strike between the ages of three weeks to six weeks old but sometimes it can be earlier or even later. The timing of when colic symptoms appear is usually down to what is really causing your baby’s misery.

 

The term ‘colic’ is used as a sweeping diagnosis to cover various reasons as to why your baby is crying. Once you know the root cause of your baby’s distress then you are more likely to be in a position to help.

 

Let’s have a look at two of the main causes of colic, shall we?

Oxytocin has an amazing role to play in the human body and can help with a number of things such as helping us to relax and stay calm, reduce stress and anxiety, helps in childbirth and breastfeeding and is the hormone that helps us bond and fall in love.

 

Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus and is secreted into the bloodstream by the posterior pituitary gland. Oxytocin is often referred to as the ‘love hormone’ due to the fact it is released into the body during hugging, touch and orgasm. It is associated with empathy, love, trust and is paramount in relationship building.

 

When it comes to childbirth oxytocin has a big role to play as it stimulates the uterine muscles to contract and it also increases the production of prostaglandins which increase the contraction further. For some women who don’t go into labour naturally they are given the synthetic form of oxytocin, pitocin.

 

 

Sleep and your newborn baby are often very high on the list of new parent worries, questions arise surrounding concerns such as…

 “Why won’t my baby sleep?”

“Is she sleeping too much or not enough?”

“Am I doing it all wrong?”

 

Western society doesn’t help when the first questions you are asked from anyone and everyone is…

“Is he a good baby?”

“Does she sleep for you?”

 

We come home with our new baby, who by the way doesn’t include a manual - shock horror – and before we know it, we think we have a sleep problem because your child isn’t sleeping through the night or won’t stay asleep for as long as the mum’s child from baby and toddler group does!

 

You begin to wonder maybe it is time for some kind of sleep training for everyone’s sanity, but what?

 

Congratulations on your new arrival! You have waited patiently and prepared for this moment for the last 9 months.

I never forget leaving the hospital with my first son and walking in the front door and thinking now what? I had an overwhelming feeling of responsibility for this little real life human I had made and a real fear that I was going to mess it up. Of course, I made mistakes we learnt together and I’m still learning as I navigate parenting my five boys.

Those early days pass by in a blurry, sleep deprived way, so here are a few of my tips to help you in those early weeks

 

Sweet Beginnings Babycare

 Claire is based in Maidstone, Kent and her sleep consultancy, baby massage and baby yoga classes offer a nurturing space for mum and baby to relax, recharge and connect. Claire has an extensive background in childhood studies and baby care. 

 

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