After months of up all night with a newborn, we can finally give our daughter, Nora, her ‘sleeping through the night’ badge. Her sister, Emmy, has been a rockstar sleeper for some time. I stay home with both of my girls while also running Swaddles n’ Bottles. How ironic is it that I couldn’t say the same about myself?
After a day of non-stop diaper changed, feedings, kissing boo boos and running around chasing toddlers, you think I’d zonk out so hard. But NO! Without fail, every night I would toss and turn like a wild woman while my husband sleeper peacefully.
I totally had mom-somnia.
Just like I had to sleep train my kiddos, I had to make some serious changes to sleep train myself.
Shut Down Your Mind.
I know it sounds easier said than done, but it’s true. Constant worry racing through our mind is a surefire way to keep us awake.
We worry about the babies. I feel like we are running low on diapers, I need to check that tomorrow. I need to make Emmy a dentist appointment tomorrow.
We worry about the home. Do we I have everything I need for meals this week? I have to start laundry tomorrow. I really need to clean out my car.
We worry about relationships. I completely forgot to call Jennifer on her birthday last year, I can’t forget tomorrow. When was the last time I had a date night with my husband? I should set one up.
We worry about finances. Did I pay the gas bill? I need to check the bank accounts and make sure we are set up for all of our auto-drafts. How can we save more money? ugh, myself student loans payments are just way too much.
Use Relaxing Sounds and Smells
Turns out those while noise machines can benefit more than just our baby! I found that using a white noise machine in my room helped me sleep so much better and really contributed to helping shut down my brain.
Not only was the white noise helping me fall asleep, but it was helping me stay asleep. It was covering up those small little sounds that would often wake me up in the middle of the night.
I use a free app called Relax Melodies to create my white noise in my bedroom!
No Cell Phones in Bed
The blue light from our cell phones can interfere with the production of the hormone melatonin, which is what makes us sleepy. It was hard to kick the habit of doing once last browse through my social media channels each night, but it made a big difference when I did. Not only are the blue light effects disrupting your sleep, but it also gets your mind racing again. Remember step #1?
Watch the Coffee
Me and coffee have a great relationship. It was the only way I got through those mornings after mom-somia was in full effect! But I had to start watching my consumption closely and the small changes made a big effort.
First of all, it was a strict two cups per day rule for me. And the second cup needed to be before 2 PM. Any later and it really hindered by ability to doze off quickly.
Use More Energy During The Day
We should use enough, right? I mean with babies running circles around us and all? But the truth is, I sleep so much better when I take at least 20 minutes to excercise each day. Just a short amount of time with an elevated heart rate really seems to help my body relax each night and fall asleep easier.
Cut Back on Napping
I know it has a bad rep, but I really loved the “sleep when the baby sleeps” routine. I was taking a nap each day when my girls did. It was great! I would fall asleep SO hard for at least an hour and a half each day. But any time I did that, I found myself tossing and turning non-stop at night.
It was tough to kick my nap habit. I would have to find sometime to look forward to doing each day while the girls were sleeping in order to motivate myself to skip snoozing. After a few nights of realizing how much better I slept without napping, it was all the motivation I needed to not nap!
When It Isn’t Working, Get Up!
I started using the “get out of bed” method when I was pregnant with Nora and it worked wonders. If you find yourself laying in bed with no sign of sleep in your near future, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel tired again. Read a book, do some yoga, take a hot bath. Avoid laying there for hours on end.
Caroline is the creator and editor of Swaddles n’ Bottles. She is a mama to two little girls and wife to one amazing husband.