…and 3 things every first time mom should know
As a first-time mom, you do so much reading and googling. Looking up every little thing is just a right of passage into motherhood in this day and age. Is this normal? Is my baby peeing enough? The list just goes on. My son is 5 months old now. And about 3 weeks ago his sleep habit just got so out of whack. Of course the first thing you find when you google sleep and 4 month – you get what they call, 4-month sleep regression. Based on my experience with my little one, I learned three things during that 4-month sleep regression.
First. There is so much on the internet. You look at different articles, other mom’s experiences, doctors recommendations and the list goes on.When he wasn’t sleeping through the night or even for 2 hours at a time I looked at different mom’s schedules with their littles. There is the E.A.S.Y. method, where you create a routine based on Eating, Activity (play), Sleep and You time. It makes sense, when they sleep you get some stuff done or take a nap yourself. But if you’re like us this method – which I think is the default one, most moms use, doesn’t work for your child. My son wouldn’t sleep for more than 30-45 minutes because he would wake up hungry. So I had to switch things around. I looked at different methods, tried different things but nothing was working.
I eventually learned that I had to find a method, that routine, that would work for us, even if that meant I had to make my own. If you want to know more about it, message me or leave a comment, I’d love to share it with you. That’s a conversation a little more in depth than I wanted to go here. Maybe I’ll have to share in another day. Anywho, you have to take everything you read, or learn from others and adjust it to fit you and your family. God gave your great motherly instinct. So combine it with what you read and hear. It’s different for everyone, and you have to remember your way might not be the same as everyone elses, but it works for you and it’s what’s best for your kids.
Second. You have to be patient, with your little one and yourself. The first few nights I was so exhausted I thought it would never end. I’d never be able to get him to sleep, and he would be overtired and cranky forever. However, I took a step back. I realized that even if it means I have to listen to him cry, as hard as that was, he would learn and he would sleep eventually. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from some wonderful mothers that I know, is that you have to give yourself some grace. Raising kids is our greatest privilege, but God didn’t give us more than we could handle. So trust him, look to him and be patient with yourself. We are on the up, my son is sleeping much more than before and I’m getting more sleep. I’m still working on the whole patience and grace side of things, but I’m getting there.
Third. You can’t do it alone. Your spouse, their grandparents, your friends and family; they are all there and usually they are more than happy to help. Getting advice and different ideas from friends and family around you is a great resource. Friends who have been through it already, willing to share their advice and their tricks that worked for them. Along with friends and advice, there are tools out there that help too.
For us, essential oils, a new soother – a wubbanub (the funnest thing to say, but a great way for my son to be able to find and put his own soother back into his mouth without help), and a little blanket for him to hug and manipulate how he needs, has worked wonders for us. For others it may be a sleep sack or other things that I don’t know about yet. Ask around. Someone’s found something that works and you never know it may work for you.
These three things helped us survive that 4 month sleep regression. I have no idea if these same things will apply to all his sleep regressions but I think we can survive any sleep patterns that may come our way. With a little help, grace, patience and a whole lot of coffee!
Live Courageously, Love Crystal