As parents, we all know what it is like to be lacking in the sleep department. When you’re running low on steam, it makes the days long and the nights torturous. You get to the point where you would do almost anything for just a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.
When I first began photographing newborns 5 years ago, I didn’t really know a lot about what it meant to be a parent running low on steam. I had no children of my own, though I had worked with children for most of my teenage and adult life. Working with children means you get to give them back at the end of the day and you didn’t necessarily grasp the entire concept of what it meant to be a sleep deprived parent.
3 years into my Red Deer Maternity, Newborn, and Baby Photography career, I finally got a dose of the lack of sleep parents were coming to my studio with. Almost two years later, with a bouncing baby girl, I can now say that I entirely get the concept now. I delivered my baby girl in the Red Deer Regional hospital in late June 2015, 11:55pm. I was transferred into a shared room around 2:30am and was ready for sleep. However, my roommate had different plans that night (and no, I’m not talking about her baby that was peacefully snoozing away)… anyway, there began my journey to sleeplessness.
My journey of sleeplessness continued fairly strongly with some periods of good rest here and there for 6 months until my husband and I decided to give sleep training a whirl. Now, don’t get me wrong, sleep training isn’t for everyone, but for us, it was the best decision we could have made as parents when it came to getting a restful nights sleep (though, I suffered from insomnia and cases of the worries for several nights after baby girl started sleeping through the night). So, what did I take away from sleep training? I’ll lay out the basics without getting into too much detail…
- Set a bedtime and stick to it! Choose a bedtime that you can commit to meeting each and every night for a good chunk of time (this takes several months of commitment).
- Create a routine that is short and easy to follow. For example, bath, book, bottle (or snack), brush teeth.
- Get rid of the pacifier! This was huge for us because our daughter would wake constantly when the soother would fall out of her mouth and then she couldn’t find it and/or didn’t know how to get it back in her mouth. When she no longer relied on it to be asleep, it helped tremendously in getting her to sleep through the night.
- Choose your method for teaching your baby to sleep through the night. We read a book on sleep training and chose a controlled cry it out method (at 6 months old). If you want more details on how it worked for us (Amazing by the way), feel free to contact me.
- Stick to it! You may have success right away, or it may take a few weeks of consistency to get a full nights rest.
***disclaimer, I am in no way a sleep expert or professional, I’m only sharing my own personal experience. There are Sleep Professionals available to access in the Red Deer, AB area if you wish to consult with one***
It’s not very often my daughter will fall asleep anywhere other than her crib now…which has its positives and negatives. One of the negatives is that we don’t often get to cuddle her until she falls asleep. The picture I chose to share below depicts a very sweet moment I captured of her and her daddy a few weeks ago when she wasn’t feeling very well. They were playing downstairs and she laid down on the floor. He laid down beside her and rubbed her back for a couple minutes. Before I knew it, they were both sawing logs! Such a sweet, tender moment.
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Next up on the blog in the next few weeks will hopefully be a share of newborn twins I will have in my Red Deer studio!