An unfortunate part of parenting is that just as your baby starts to get into a pattern of sleeping more at night, the teething process begins and any routine you had established can go straight out of the window!
Given the discomfort teething can cause, it’s not really surprising that babies tend to wake during the night. They feel restless and irritable and don’t understand what is going on – all they know is that it hurts, so do try to be patient. They need cuddles and reassurance.
Of course the sooner you can lull them back to sleep the better, not only for their healing processes, but for you too. Many parents find that rubbing a soothing gel like Bonjela Teething Gel gently on the sore gums can provide fast, effective relief and allow the child some respite from the pain, enabling them to return to sleep. Alternatively, you use an infant ibuprofen suspension to help soothe the pain and ease fever symptoms, such as Nurofen for Children . If necessary you can use Bonjela Teething Gel and Nurofen for Children together or any other brand of ibuprofen suspension that is suitable for your babies age. (Always read the label for specific dosage instructions and do not give more than one ibuprofen-containing medicine). If you feel your baby needs more complete relief, always ask your GP or health visitor for advice if you have any concerns.
Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep for you too. Good quality sleep is vital for rejuvenating you so that you remain healthy – both mentally and physically! That said, even when your baby does drop off that doesn’t necessarily mean you can too. There are some things you can do to improve your chances, so that you too, drop off like a baby!
Tips for Sleep-starved Mums during Baby Teething
- Avoid Caffeine – Keep away from caffeine and other stimulants in the evenings – or even from lunchtime onwards if you find it keeps you particularly alert.
- Avoid bright light – before going to bed. Switch to lamps or invest in a ‘sunset’ timer clock which can help you wind down naturally.
- Avoid a heavy meal before going to sleep, – but at the same time, don’t go to sleep hungry.
- Temperature – Keep a comfortable temperature in your bedroom.
- Napping – Do nap in the day when baby is having a rest (provided your baby is safely in the cot) or when you can have someone else looking after your baby. This way you will be able to get some much needed rest, allowing you to enjoy your baby more and also give you more energy.
- Discover the power of napping – Learn to switch off, anywhere, anytime, as soon as your baby goes to sleep. Put your baby in the safety of their cot, turn off the telephone, radio or television and lie down somewhere warm and comfortable. Close your eyes, take deep breaths. Tense different parts of your body, and then let go until you are truly relaxed. If you drift off to sleep, it’s a bonus, but even if you don’t, a short time in a totally relaxed state can help top up your energy.
- Learn some yoga techniques – Yoga is great for revitalizing mind, body and spirit. If you can’t get away to go to a class, buy a video or borrow one from the library to learn some basic techniques.
- Prioritise your chores – Do jobs in one go rather than trying to fit in something everytime your baby naps, otherwise you will never find the time to close your eyes or put your feet up. Prioritising your workload will help you decide the ‘must-do’s’.
- Some jobs can be done while with your baby – Washing up, peeling potatoes… a surprising number of jobs around the house can be done with your baby sat safely in the high chair watching. That way you can keep chatting to him/her without feeling guilty about letting things slip.
- Split the work with your partner – Do arrange for your partner to help out whenever possible. Sharing the load will allow you to get some precious sleep, and you can arrange for your partner to ‘take-over’ on some nights, at least for a few hours.
- Stay calm – with so much on your plate, you may feel at times that you are reaching the end of your tether. Take a few deep breaths and try to relax.This helps re-balance negative emotions, helping you to feel more in control and positive again – good news for both you and your baby!
- Me time – with so much focus on the new addition to the family, you may feel that you rarely get any time to yourself anymore. Make a conscious effort to ask others to help out, allowing you to take time out – maybe have a relaxing bubble bath or meet friends for a chat and a giggle.