As a new parent, you doubtless spent months waiting for the arrival of your bundle of joy, eagerly anticipating holding him in your arms. Sure, you knew that it was going to mean a few sleepless nights, but what’s that compared to having a new son or daughter of your own? The trick to keeping a positive attitude towards night time parenting is to keep it in perspective.
First, it can be tough to remember while you are dead tired with a fussy baby in the middle of the night that this won’t last forever. Babies grow, and as they grow, they begin to sleep for longer and longer periods, eventually making it through the night. When your baby is having trouble sleeping, and you’ve tried everything you know to soothe her, to no avail, remind yourself that these times that seem so difficult now will soon be nothing but a memory that you look back longingly on. When you are speaking gently to your baby, trying to comfort her, choose words that comfort you, too.
Remember to stay calm while tending to a crying baby at night. Nothing can be more frustrating for a parent than trying to comfort a baby when nothing seems to be working. But when you are tense, your baby picks up on that, and it makes it harder for him to relax, too. Remind yourself that it’s perfectly normal for babies to cry. And there’s nothing wrong if you need to lie your baby down and let her cry for a while. Step aside and take a deep breath, pray, turn on some quiet music, do whatever helps you to relax. The more calm you are, the more likely you will be able to help baby nestle in and fall back to sleep.
And when baby does finally nod off to dream land, pat yourself on the back. You deserve it. You’re doing the toughest, most rewarding job in the world by caring for your little one. Remind yourself that you’re doing a good job, your baby is doing well, and everything is going to be OK. Before you know it, you’ll be missing those long, sometimes trying, but precious nights of rocking your baby to sleep.