Those of you who have been following my Instagram account and my Instagram stories will know that my six month old baby is not the best of sleepers. In fact he pretty much hates sleeping after midnight and loves to wake up EVERY SINGLE HOUR without fail and has a party in his cot between 2am and 3am. To help eliminate this in the new year we will be doing a little bit of sleep training and hoping to break this vicious cycle that we’re in, where I’m barely surviving the days, walking around like a zombie, fuelling myself on caffeine and then practically sleeping on high alert whilst waiting for the baby monitor to leap into action.
But for now whilst the frequent wake ups are happening, I will keep on moaning and hating the nights, but there is actually quite a lot that can be achieved during the wee small hours of the morning. So if you’re in the same boat as me, here’s how you can make the most of this time.
Now this can be dangerous, in fact very dangerous. It is all too easy to simply add a much needed item into your Amazon basket and buy it. The dangerous part of this is that come morning you will have forgotten about this said item until it turns up on your doorstep or your start receiving the dispatch emails and texts.
Truthfully I have done the majority of my Christmas shopping at 2am, which means that I haven’t had to think about it in the day when I have two kids to look after. Luckily my family are all avid fans of the Christmas list making this task really easy, and therefore hopefully I haven’t gone too rogue with the present buying thanks to my sleep deprived fog of a brain.
If you work from home (like me) and have a job where writing is your passion, make the most of your time spent feeding a baby or pacing around their room willing them back to sleep, by writing. I often have so many ideas and I mentally write out blog posts in my head. I also think up social media campaigns and ideas for how I can help my clients at the same time.
The one thing I do need to do is to actually write these things down, as often in the morning these brilliant ideas are nowhere to be seen in my brain. So my advice would be to always have a pen and paper on your bedside table, or jot the ideas into the notes section in your phone.
3am is a brilliant time of the day to think of the little things that you need to do and questions to ask, particularly if you are about to have building work done and about to plan a brand new kitchen. I have so many weird and wonderful thoughts that pop into my head whilst pacing up and down my son’s nursery including (bizarrely) thoughts about render, air bricks and what colour the doors of our island unit should be. I’ll then often find myself on Instagram or Pinterest after I’ve settled my son back to sleep looking at these ideas. All of this is not at all good for my own sleep, but at least it’s a time of day when I get to think without the demands for Peppa Pig from my toddler or scraping dropped food from the floor.
Bond with your baby
Now the early hours of the morning are not a great time of day to bond with your baby whilst they should be sleeping, but one of the things that I always try to remember (no matter how hard it is) is to really appreciate how little he is, and how these days are not going to last forever.
Although it’s painful to be woken every single hour every single night, I know that it won’t last. So I do really try to appreciate the quiet moments we have together without a toddler trying to sit on his head, or whilst I’m not running around the house like a mad thing trying to keep on top of everything.
Read a book
Or read a book on your phone whilst you feed. It is all too easy to be swept into the Instagram rabbit hole, but really what good is it actually doing. I’ve found that in the last week or two I’ve really started to get back into reading again. It’s a brilliant way to switch off from the day and my phone, plus I really like to get stuck into a good book.
I’m currently reading “This is going to hurt” by Adam Kay, which is pretty relevant given that I’ve only just had a baby and it really does share the current state of affairs that our doctors and NHS endure. Anyway I’m going off point here. But reading, try it, it may just help to make the nights feel a little less daunting.
So those are my ways that I try to make the long nights a little easier for myself, rather than sitting despairing about my lack of sleep or watching the clock. There are so many positives to it, and there is always coffee and tea (and wine) to make your next day a little more bearable.
How do you get through the nights or frequent wake ups from your baby?