Find out what works for you and your baby and stick to it
Nothing prepared Jess Watson, the mother of six-month-old Lachie, for the reality of a newborn. She says: “Everyone told me to catch up on sleep before I had my baby and going by everyone’s comments, my expectation was that I wasn’t going to be getting a good night’s sleep for a while once he was born.
“But I wasn’t prepared for the absolute exhaustion. Lachie was pretty good during the day — he would sleep in blocks of anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours — but during the night I really struggled. I would get anxious as bedtime approached and would feel so alone when I was up in the middle of the night, I felt like the only person in the world awake at 3am. People would tell me to sleep when he did during the day, but I just couldn’t, so by the time night time came I was so tired and I remember being so emotional all the time.
“I also remember feeling at the time that this would go on forever, but in hindsight it was just for the first six weeks or so. I read routines are important so at night I would wait until sunset and as the sun dipped below the hill I would pop Lachie in the bath then give him a massage and a feed and into bed. He responded well to that until about the four month mark. Then a sleep regression hit and all that went out the window. It was such a shock to the system, here I was thinking I had a good sleeper but it was like someone had pulled the rug out from under me.
“In desperation one night I took him out of his bassinette and into our bed and started co-sleeping. He would wake, have a quick suckle then straight back to sleep, it was so good. He still sleeps with us and wakes between two and four times a night but it’s so much easier to manage.
“My advice to new mums would be to find what works for you and your family and stick with it.”