Being a new mum can be frustrating, draining, exhausting, overwhelming… all that fun stuff. One of the things that makes it so difficult (besides the fact your newborn won’t sleep longer than 20 minutes at a time) is the communication barrier between you and your little one.
Why is she crying again? What is upsetting him this time? Why is it that my newborn won’t sleep? What is going on in that little head? WHAT DOES SHE WANT?
I don’t know for sure. But I have an idea. It might not be correct, but I wanted to share it with all the mums out there. Especially mums who have newborns, mums who are feeling frustrated and exhausted trying to decode their baby’s wants, mums who are ready to run away or hide in the bathroom letting the tears flow.
Before you do, please take the time to read this. And think about how your little one sees the world. Look beyond the tears and past the many questions about why your newborn won’t sleep. Delve into a day in the life of your newborn. It just might hold the answers we are all desperately searching for.
In the eyes of your newborn…
For nine months I have been safe in a warm bath. Now I am not there. And I don’t feel safe. I feel cold. And confused. And hungry.
Sometimes it’s dark. Other times there’s a bright light. Sometimes I hear voices and noises. Other times I hear nothing.
I used to be able to suck and receive food. Now when I suck, sometimes I get food, but other times, there is nothing there. I used to be connected to my person all the time. Now, sometimes I can feel her heart beat and smell her body. But other times she is not there.
I’m not sure about this new place just yet. I like looking around but only if my person is close by. I get tired a lot, but I’m unsure how to sleep in this new place. I’m scared to close my eyes and lose my person. I am afraid I will wake up and she won’t be there anymore.
She is all I know.
So I make a noise. I cry. It seems like this sound annoys everyone, especially my person. I don’t mean to make her angry, but I don’t know how to tell her I need her to stay close.
Stay close, just until I feel sure of this new place. Just until I can get used to not being able to suck all the time. Just until I drift back to sleep.
It won’t be like this forever. I know I need to get used to my new home. But I need her to stay with me just a little longer. Just until I’m ready to let you go.
What your newborn needs… is you
To all the mums with newborns reading this, please know that it gets easier. But it also takes time. The fourth trimester is filled with ups and downs, not only for you, but for the brand new baby you are holding in your arms, rocking back and forth, ssshing to sleep.
Stay strong with yourself and patient with your little one. Hopefully by looking beyond the exhaustion and frustration, we can understand our little ones’s wants a little better, even if they don’t have the ability to tell us just yet.
Having a newborn is hard, no matter if it’s your first baby or your third. So make sure to check our previous article on surviving the newborn phase for more supportive words and advice to help get you through.