Reader tips: sleepless in the saddle

Sure, friends told you to enjoy your sleep before baby arrived, but you didn’t know just how desperate you’d get for a few hours of shut-eye. Here’s how some Today’s Parent readers cope

“To help me get an extra hour or so of sleep, my husband, Anthony, gets up with our 4½-month-old son, Nicholas, every morning. That way Daddy gets quality time with our son before going to work, and I get some much-needed rest.”

Lois Como, Windsor, Ont.

“I knew that having a baby changes your life, but I had no idea about the extent of it. You think you won’t be able to make it — that you will eventually go insane if you keep it up. But you don’t. My husband helps by feeding the baby late at night or early in the morning. I also spend time at my parents’ house. They are thrilled to look after their first grandchild while I catch up on my sleep.”

Lois Como

“I’ve learned that it is OK to go to bed if there are still dishes in the kitchen sink, or order out because there’s nothing in the fridge. The most important thing was to be happy in my new role as a mother and enjoy our baby as much as I could, even if it sometimes meant napping for two hours together in the middle of the afternoon.”

Sylvie Eyamie, Ottawa

“Our daughter was up five or six times a night for the first year. My partner and I thought sleep deprivation was a mild term for the situation. We decided to hire a housekeeper to come once a week and give the home a top-to-bottom clean. That left only the laundry and spot cleaning to do throughout the week. Our time with baby and a life-saving nap in the afternoon (instead of cleaning) is worth every penny. This small service helped save our sanity.”

J. Devine, Ottawa

“Make sure that you take care of yourself and eat and drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you are unable to prepare meals, make sure that you have quick nutritious snacks on hand. When I first came home from the hospital, my husband stocked our fridge with fresh fruit and yogurt and our cupboards with instant oatmeal, granola bars and muffins.”

Kerry Peters, Saskatoon

“When my one-month-old was waking at night, I would take a deep breath before I entered his room and think about how short-lived this night waking would be. I knew that in no time he’d be all grown up and I’d be struggling to get him up for school.”

Lisa Gallagher, Calgary