Mother's Day Guide to Sleep Deprivation

baby sleep newborn sleep sleep deprivation sleep education toddler sleep May 17, 2024
Motherhood and sleep deprivation

Ladies and gentle-moms, buckle up your silk robes and pour yourself a glass of metaphorical sleep elixir because our Mother’s Day Guide to Sleep Deprivation is now ready after its very own webinar has officially wrapped, and oh boy, was it a dreamy affair!

There are two ways by which you may choose to enjoy this guide. You may read this article or you can go ahead and click here to watch the recording of this webinar on YouTube. Whatever works for you, works for us!

So let’s get started shall we?

The Mother’s Day Guide to Sleep Deprivation is our gift to you, from mothers and sleep consultants, to you the mother who has dark circles under her eyes who wonders if sleep deprivation in motherhood is a human survival experiment.

We all expect our sleep to be affected to some degree when we become mothers, but sometimes a ‘little less sleep’ can turn into sleep deprivation, and that’s a whole different story!

From recognizing the signs of sleep deprivation, sleep education essentials, self-care activities to help you keep all your marbles to balancing it all like the queen that you are, we left no satin sheet unturned in our quest for restful nights.

Understanding Sleep Needs

So how much sleep do you really need? And how bad is it if you’re a little short on the Zzzz’s?

An average WOMAN needs between 7h30 to 8h of UNINTERRUPTED & HIGH QUALITY sleep per night… Now let’s be honest, with a newborn in the house you won’t get 8h of uninterrupted sleep, however you should aim to get a grand total of 7h30 of quality sleep instead.

But what about your little one? The amount of sleep little one’s need vary based on their ages and development, but not only is the AMOUNT of sleep they need important, but also, the TYPE of sleep they get.

  • Newborns 16h to 18h of sleep
  • Infants 12 to 16h
  • Toddlers 11h to 14h

Newborns vs adults, need a LOT more DEEP sleep, sleep where new information can be stored in the brain and arranged. Lack of sleep can significantly impact a young babies brain development, nutrition, immune system, and more commonly their gastro intestinal system.

For mom, inadequate sleep can mean weight management issues, immune system dysfunctions, gastrointestinal troubles, and most importantly postpartum depression and/or anxiety. If you’ve ever experienced the latter you know how quickly it can rob you of enjoying your motherhood journey.

All this to say… It is important. Sleep is not a luxury but a basic human need. So let’s get to how to get more of it!

Sleep Training Essentials

Ah, sleep training – the crown jewel in every exhausted mom's treasure trove. Unfortunately for many sleep training doesn’t work, or worse, makes things worse. What people generally associate to sleep training is a version of Cry it Out and a one size fits all approach. For many moms this is something they aren't comfortable doing but additionally even if they do try it out of pure exhaustion, often it just leads to less sleep overall.

So what can you do?

Sleep-Education, a carefully curated approach to resolving sleep problems IS the number one recommendation we have at BeBaby. Through a careful and holistic evaluation an expert consultant can carefully ‘extract’ the exact causes of sleep issues in your little one. Based on these she can carefully craft a gentle, age appropriate and developmentally aligned sleep plan that specifically works for your little one.

Gentle Sleep Education? Yes that’s right. Although Cry it Out may be the most well-known ‘sleep training method’ there are many more that are much more gentle. Here’s a quick overview of some of the more well known approaches:

  • Pick-Up Put/Down - A method by which you pick up a small infant and gently rock and bounce up and down (not side to side) until he/she is calm but not asleep and you then put them back in their crib repeating the process repeatedly until the infant can and will stay in their crib without crying.
  • Shush-Pat - A method by which a baby, or something even a toddler can be gently patted to sleep. Although lengthy the first few nights, if applied to the right situation, over the span of a few days the time necessary will diminish and the parent can progressively diminish their intervention time.
  • Gradual withdrawal - With this approach, popular with a history of co-sleeping or with the use of toddler beds, a parent basically starts off right next to their little one’s bed intervening until he/she falls asleep and over the course of a week or so slowly puts more physical space between the parent and baby at bedtime.

All in all, these are the main core approaches of gentle sleep training. Although for some, these may work well on their own, for many other parents, a custom and tailored solution that blends aspects of multiple strategies together is the only sure way to get the ZZZZZ’s back into your house. BeBaby consultants are uniquely trained to combine not only sleep difficulties but the holistic understanding of a child's health, development, personality, and even sleep environment to create a step-by-step plan that is perfectly curated to YOUR unique baby. If you want a little bit of that, feel free to schedule a complimentary call with us here: You can also message us here.

Self-Care Strategies

When you're dealing with sleep deprivation, thinking about anything else sounds impossible. It's all-consuming! All you think about all day is when you should put your baby down for his next nap, if it will work, if you might be able to lay unconscious on the carpet for a 15-minute power nap, and so on and so forth. Now I AM NOT encouraging you to continue being sleep deprived and to not seek a solution... That's called self-mutilation and it's BAD. I encourage you to CALL US and get a darn sleep consultant before you accidentally try to boil your undies for dinner.

But in the meantime, and while you are working with your consultant to finally get those beautiful slumbers back, self-care is important.

Sleep deprivation is hard enough, add a touch of postpartum depression or anxiety, and it can feel downright impossible. And this is where self-care comes in. So let me recommend a few tools for your self-care toolbox, to lean on so you don't lose all your marbles:

Power naps: Yah yah, I know. Easier said than done. What I am saying is when and if the opportunity comes along, please take it. Don't feel guilty, take a 30-minute snooze. A 30-minute snooze helps clear out a huge amount of 'Adenosine' that THANG floating in your bloodstream that makes you feel like a zombie. Less adenosine means a sharper mind.

Delegate tasks: Your husband may have useless nipples, but I'm sure he (probably) has two hands and two feet. He can make dinner, do laundry, and so on and so forth. ASK, that is the key, tell him what you need and when you need it done.

Prioritize sleep: make it a religion. Have a very ritualistic bedtime routine FOR YOURSELF. Do it every night at exactly the same time and go to bed. It's a simple practice but it can actually help your brain dive into deeper sleep faster and thus even if your baby is still waking at night, overall you will be able to have more of that all so important deep sleep. Say NO to things you don't really want to do, do not serve you, and you do not have the extra bandwidth for. Jenny can plan her own gender reveal, okay?

Physical activity: I'm not saying go run a marathon but take a walk, do some yoga, do one thing every day for 15-20 minutes even if low impact. It does help with sleep and it does help your mental health.
Nutrition: If you are sleep deprived and nutrient deprived... You're literally a walking decaying zombie girl. Put the crumbs down from your toddler's plate and get yourself a full plate, okay?

Me time: Moms often struggle with this one but it's important. Me time is not selfish, it's not taking away from anyone. Me time, like a bubble bath, reading a book, a hobby, etc., is a way to naturally release stress, tension, and anxiety and fill your brain with dopamine which makes you a better person, a better mother, and a better wife. It also makes you more interesting to talk to, let's face it.

Balancing Motherhood and Sleep

And it's a wrap for this one, ladies. If you take away one thing from this, it should be that motherhood does NOT equal sleep deprivation. It doesn't have to be that way, there is a better way! And in case you still weren't sure what that way was... It's BeBaby.

Sleep deprivation is actually very harmful and now you know exactly how much sleep you and your little one need, in other words, you can evaluate if you guys are in trouble or not. You now also know that there are other methods than cry it out and that the best one is sleep education (provided shamelessly by BeBaby), and most importantly you now know how to also care for yourself through all of this.

So go ahead, schedule a complimentary call when you and your honey have a minute to chat and let's see how we can help you.

See you next week! You can register automatically to our next webinar right here:

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