Newborn Sleep Deprivation With An Older Child

4 min read
Newborn Sleep Deprivation With An Older Child

You’ve done it all before you know the drill. The first few days, weeks and months with a new baby are usually a sleep deprived haze. However, the advice that you came to depend on (sleep when baby does, make time for yourself, have snacks on hand) can be a little hard to follow when you have an older child needing attention and care as well. After all, when bub goes down for a morning sleep after being up all night, you can’t simply lay down beside baby and tell your toddler to make his own breakfast.

Nope, you need to get up and keep going. And this can be the hardest and most stressful thing about having two kids, especially two or more little ones. So here are some tips for all the new mums and mums-to-be’s out there that are about ready to throw in the towel with two!

Prepare (when you get the chance)

Your mission is to keep baby and older child happy all day. And you can expect to be starting the day over tired. So what can you do? Have snacks, crafts and movie time planned out for the day. That way, you can relax a little bit when you get the chance. Sure, it’s not as good as sleeping, but laying on the floor making puppets with your older child or watching a movie on the lounge together is a lot less stressful than running around town trying to keep him entertained. When in the hell will you have time to prep for crafts, snacks, etc? Ask hubby to give you a hand or aim to spend a couple of hours each weekend planning things to do for the next week. Try once a month cooking, we have an excellent on in our online shop

Shop Online

This is one of the easiest ways to stay sane when over-tired. Rather than trying to squeeze in the shopping when bub is settled and your older child is happy, simply pull up a chair and shop online. You can get your older child to help you out by using an iPad or computer and letting him point to the items he would like. You don’t have to wear yourself out trying to find a park, unloading the car and so forth.

Plan an Outing for Your Older Child

It may be worth your while to put your older child into child care one day a week. This will allow him to socialise and lets you catch up on sleep without feeling guilty that you are ignoring your older child’s needs. If day care is not in the cards, then why not ask a friend, family member or neighbour if they would be able to spare a couple hours one morning a week to do something with your older child. Even having your sister come over on Friday mornings to take her nephew to the park is something that your child can look forward to.

Avoid Stress Triggers

There are some things in our lives that will cause us stress. For me, this is traffic. However, I do like to take my kids out of the house. If you want to keep your older child entertained but can’t really handle racing around town attending kindy gym, play group, swimming lessons, etc, then aim for something a little simple go for a walk to the park, set up the sprinkler in the back yard, have a picnic outside. Yes, it’s not fancy but it also eliminates the extra running around and stress that follows.

Sleep When Your Older Child Does

Your toddler is probably in the routine of going to bed at 7 or 8 pm. But, alas, your newborn decides to stay awake until 11 pm every night. Forget sleeping with bub does sleep when your older child does. Give bub to your hubby and let them bond while you catch some sleep.

Talk to Your Support Team

Adding to the family is a big deal for everyone. The transition will impact your older child, your husband and yourself. Keep the lines of communication open. If you are feeling guilty about being so tired and worn out, talk to your child about this. Tell him Mummy needs to sleep so he gets to play with Daddy. Ask your husband for help and work together rather than trying to take on everything and prove you are Super Mum. Your mission is to get through this sleep deprivation haze in one piece and the only way to successfully do this is as a team.

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