Treasuring the Night Time Parenting Opportunities

Everybody loves to wake up to the sound of a crying baby, right? Let’s get real. When you’ve spent all day taking care of an infant, keeping the home up, and possibly working a job, it can really be a drain on what little energy you have when it comes time for those late night feedings and changings. And then there are the times when you’ve fed, changed and powdered your baby, and nothing seems to help her get back to sleep. But hang in there. It will get better, and you will even look back on these late nights of sleep deprivation fondly.

Your baby won’t be little for long. Every parent hears this, and it’s normal to look forward to the day when your child can sleep through the night and do some things for herself. But, since you have to go through these times anyway, learn to treasure them. When you’re soothing her and trying to rock her back to sleep at three in the morning, remind yourself that these times really are bonding times for you and your baby. Your loving care of your infant in the middle of the night forms a deep bond between you.

Remind yourself that you’re doing a good job. Too often new parents think they are doing something wrong if they can’t help baby get back to sleep quickly. The truth of the matter is that it is normal for babies to wake up several times per night in the first three to six months of their lives, and often afterwords. Tell yourself that every time baby cries at night, she is giving you the opportunity to show how much you love her. And don’t feel guilty if there are times you get frustrated and don’t feel like taking care of your baby. The fact that you take care of her even when you don’t feel like it is the greatest expression of love.

And when baby does finally nod back off to sleep, congratulate yourself on a job well done and make sure to get some rest yourself. Make it a point to rest when the baby is resting. If a household chore waits a day, it won’t kill anybody. These times you are going through with a young baby may be hard, but enjoy them. All too soon, they’ll be a wistful memory.