With over 70 families helped in 13 months I have come to one big conclusion:
I AM MY OWN WORST CLIENT.
I doubt myself. "She doesn't seem tired after one hour, is she really ready for another nap??"
I question myself. "Am I giving her the pacifier too much? too little? Is this ruining her napping?"
I give up on myself. "Fine, just sleep on me at 4am. I've had enough!"
But then all of the sudden my 10 week old sleeps 10 hours! I must be doing something right!
When I work with clients I am always sure to remind them that the learning process for their child is a roller coaster ride. You'll have good days... and a few rough ones, but ultimately we are paving the way for a life-time of great sleep. And this applies to newborns too!
The thing is...newborns are tough.
They are their own little creatures with completely different guidelines than a 9 month old. I have to step back and tell myself, "It's okay! Go easy on yourself!" So the things I have to coach myself on are celebrating the small victories. Things like swaddle transition success, becoming an efficient eater at night, and napping for an hour! You really want to celebrate all the tiny moments because these are tiny little people!
While I'm feeling refreshed and happy after sleeping 8 glorious hours last night, I have to remember that if she wakes three times tonight...it's okay. I'm making big plans every day to continue following routines and expectations. Even if she doesn't catch on every single day, it's the attempt that matters. So all you newborn mamas out there, stay strong! Enjoy the newborn snuggles and go easy on yourself.
Let me end by saying that all newborns are completely different. The goal with newborns is obviously not to get them sleeping through the night. They don't need to! Their little bodies need food all the time, and yes..need US to help them sleep during the night. However, they are so mold-able! Teaching routines + expectations to a newborn is absolutely key.