Coping with Newborns — Answering Questions

“If you have a chance, could you respond, or blog perhaps, on how you handle (endure?) small amounts of sleep and restless infants? As a mom of 2 boys, who neither one have liked to sleep, I am eager to know how mom’s of multiple children (which I hope to be) cope. Do you attempt to create any type of a sleep routine? If so, when? How?”
Well, like my husband says, “Sleep is over rated!”  That isn’t something one wants to hear at 3 am in the morning, but he has found that helps him deal with the lack of sleep we often find ourselves with during those newborn baby days. 
I, on the other hand, need my sleep or I am not a nice person.  Which, over the years, motherhood has afforded me plenty of opportunities to work on that weakness of mine.  I have found that the more children I have, the more I am able to handle the demands of those newborn weeks.  With our first baby, I was very unprepared for what life would be like with a newborn.  Being up every 2 hours nursing, changing diapers, burping, walking the floor bouncing a little human was a shocking amount of work.  With number two, I was more prepared but not much….by the time number 4 came along, we were getting somewhere in our sanctification.  By numbers 5 and 6, I had a grasp on life and number 8, well, we just know what to expect and how to live with newborns in the house.  I didn’t say it was automatically easy.  My perception and expectations have changed compared to what they were with babies 1 and 2. 
We do not create sleep and nursing schedules. 
Here are some things we do:

  • Change our expectations.
  • Realize we can always take a nap later.
  • During the first couple of days and few weeks postpartum, we sometimes take turns at who is pacing the floor or rocking the baby (that’s if we have a really high needs baby like we did this time 😉  With some babies we have walked less miles!
  • Actively keep him awake more in the evenings so that we will have a good chance of him sleeping when we want to sleep. 
  • He sleeps with us a lot.  He just sleeps better when he is near me.
  • I nurse him laying down at night.
  • In those first days and weeks, we are obsessive about making sure the baby is burped good (thanks to some good training from our midwife).  Saves a huge amount of trouble with gassy tummies. 
  • For gassy tummies, there is always Gripe Water 😉  We found it works most of the time.
  • Sometimes babies can just be overly tired and fussy from a long day.  Sometimes I can tell by the way the baby is acting that he just needs to lay down in bed for a little while and fuss for a few minutes (usually a 6 week and older solution for us).
  • Simplify life — freezer meals or a costco grocery run for freezer lasagnas and cereal if you have too.  I gear myself up for easy meals and a messy house for a while and try to stay convinced this is alright. 
  • I continue to take prenatal vitamins and good-for-you oils to help with post-partum stresses and hormones.
  • Most importantly, focus on the amazing blessing it is to have such a little person in your care.  Thinking and pondering the wonderful gift God has given us helps put things in perspective. And as always, give thanks even in those difficult times!

1 Comment

  • A Buzbee says:

    Thank you so much for answering this. All wonderful and usefull helps. At 5 months, my newest little guy is still a stubborn sleeper — as was my first. Mainly just trying to keep persepective at this point: this is the absolute shortest time of his little life. One day, he WILL sleep:-)