baby

If you’re a new mum looking for support you can find some in the palm of your hand.

Johnson’s®
Thanks to our brand partner, Johnson’s®

Two words.

Sleep deprivation.

One word.

Torture.

As a new parent, a lesson you learn on night one of being a parent is that there is no difference between those two terms. However, you don’t really consider the lack of sleep as torture. You’re just so amazed that you grew a baby. You’re just so amazed that they have eyelashes and fingernails. You’re so high on love that their cry for you at midnight, two, four, six is just so magical.

Then the love drug wears off and you realise what everyone warned you about.

To be honest, and please don’t hate me, I don’t have much to complain about. Actually, I didn’t, but I will get to that in a second.

You see, I got what they call a “sleeping kind”. You know, the kind of baby that loves their sleep. The kind of baby that just couldn’t wait to go to sleep and just wanted to be asleep. The only thing that kept my daughter from sleep was milk. After a feed, really was there any reason to be awake?

support for new mums

Avi and her daughter Chloe. Image: Supplied. 

I don’t know what I did to stumble on this magical fortune. I would worry that she was sleeping too much. Missing out on some development or something. When I shared my concerns with other parents, I often got a “enjoy it while you can” response. “You’re lucky,” they would say. Slowly, I realised that despite never winning anything in my life, I had won the sleeping baby card.

Or maybe I had just figured out the magic trick to getting a baby to sleep and staying that way throughout the night. Maybe I had figured out what JOHNSON’S® researchers found – the best way to get a baby to have a good night’s sleep is a routine.

A routine that lets my daughter know that bedtime is coming (because she can’t tell time yet).

It starts with a warm bath with her two favourite floating toy ducks. Followed by a massage, a feed, and some quiet time. All with using products like JOHNSON’S® Baby Bedtime range which contains NATURALCALM essences to help baby get to sleep.

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JOHNSON’S® Baby Bedtime range. Image: Supplied. 

Forward to one month ago… she started waking at 5am and not wanting to go to sleep. Enough energy to cry that tired cry for an hour before falling asleep in my arms exhausted (both of us).

Then it became 4:30am. Then 4am. Then 3am and 5am.

One word.

Torture.

My sleeping luck disappeared. Just like that. What had I done wrong?

"She started waking at 5am and not wanting to go to sleep." Image: iStock.

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After a month of struggling on my own, I sent out a desperate parenting SOS. I reached out for some expert help through Night Light. It’s an online chat room sponsored by JOHNSON’S® and manned by Tresillian nurses 5pm to 11pm on weeknights. Tresillian is a non-for-profit organisation that assists close to 80,000 Australian families in the early years of their child. So they know their stuff.

Please help me! Please!

Okay, I gave them a bit more information than that, like how I put her to bed and whether I give her a dream feed. First, she let me know that babies change their sleeping habits within the first two years (damn it). Second, the dream feed could be waking her up when she can’t hold it in anymore and does a number one. Finally, she let me know that it’s normal for a baby to wake up between 3am and 5am. It’s the coldest part of the night, she explained, and everyone usually wakes up at this time as our core body temperature drops (even us grown-ups).

support for new mums

There’s professional support at my fingertips with the Night Light chat room. Image: Supplied. 

The trick is going back to sleep. On her own. My problem: I’d taught her that to go to sleep she needed the dummy (the third love of her life behind food and sleep). When she wakes up, she’s looking for her dummy. In the early hours of the morning, it doesn’t magically appear from the sky when she opens her mouth like when I put her to bed (because my hand is fast asleep with me in my bed). So she gets distressed. She’s still too little to find it herself and put it in.

Now, I’m teaching her how to put the dummy in herself and if that doesn’t work, I’ll teach her how to go to sleep without the dummy. At least now I know some solutions and can stop struggling on my own because I know there’s professional support at my fingertips with the Night Light chat room. So if you’re a new mum looking for support, you can find some in the palm of your hand.

What are some of the most challenging moments you've faced as a new mother?

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