Motherhood and Sleep Perfectionism: Practical Tips for Easing Anxiety

Michael _ Laura Photography Little Z Family 74

Hey moms, let’s have a chat about the real deal behind baby sleep – no frills, no fairy tales. As moms, we naturally want our little ones to sleep like champs. You’ve put in the effort to establish good sleep habits, and that’s commendable. But what happens when we start aiming for this elusive “perfect” sleep? The truth is, sleep perfectionism can sneak in and turn our baby’s sleep quirks into stress triggers.

Instead of sipping tea and taking a break during nap time, some of us end up nervously watching the clock, stressing over nap lengths.

Let’s get real – there’s no such thing as perfect sleep. We all have our nights, right? Sometimes a nap comes easy, and sometimes we’re wrestling with sleep like it’s a tough opponent. Recognizing this is the first step in liberating ourselves from the chains of sleep perfectionism.

Now, here are some practical strategies to keep it real:

1. Embrace the Unpredictability of Infant Sleep

Newborns are sleep rebels. They don’t follow a routine until they’re around 3 months old. So, if your baby’s sleep seems as unpredictable as the weather, it’s normal. It’s not a reflection of your mom skills; it’s just the baby way.

The Newborn Sleep Guide

2. Keep it Simple with a Consistent Bedtime Routine

Babies and children strive on structure and routine.  Create a bedtime ritual that works for you and your baby – a quick bath, put on some pajamas, a lullaby, and a bedtime story. Consistency matters more than perfection. Create a comfy space that says, “Time to wind down, little one.”

3. Try the “Pause” Move

When your baby wakes or stirs, instead of rushing in, pause for a moment. Often times, parents rush in too soon when babies could have self-soothed and fallen back to sleep on their own. This can help them develop self-soothing skills and reduce sleep-related anxiety for you.

4. Screens Away for Better Sleep

Screens and baby sleep? Not the best combo. Blue light from electronic screens can interfere with your baby’s sleep-wake cycle. Try to limit your baby’s exposure to screens, especially close to bedtime.  Opt for screen-free, calming activities.

5. Mom, You Need TLC Too

Being a mom is a full-time gig. Don’t forget to hit pause for yourself. A short walk, a bath, a Fit4Mom class, or a moment of zen – self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. When you’re calm and relaxed, it’s easier to cope with sleep disturbances without escalating into anxiety.

6. Power in Numbers – Join a Mom Tribe

Connecting with other moms facing similar bedtime battles is like a virtual hug. Share stories, swap advice, and reassure each other. No one’s perfect, and it’s totally okay to ask for help.

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help, and no one is perfect – despite what social media might suggest.

Striving for perfect sleep for your baby can easily slip into sleep perfectionism, which only amplifies stress and anxiety. It’s important to understand that perfection is a myth – in sleep and in motherhood. You’re doing a great job even if your baby’s sleep isn’t perfect. Break free from the perfectionism trap, and you’ll find that both you and your baby can have a more restful night.

✨ #MomLifeRealTalk #SleepMythBusted

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