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How to Deal with Sleep Deprivation

Pulling an all-nighter used to mean rocking the night away; you’re still rocking, all right—in a chair. And maybe feeling a wee bit tired. These moms’ stay-alert strategies will help you make it through the night—and day!
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Entertain yourself. “My son had his days and nights mixed up in the beginning, which meant I was up with him through most of the night watching infomercials. I started recording movies during the day to watch at night—fun and frivolous stuff that kept me entertained but that I had no problem turning off if baby decided to sleep. Nothing like a silly romantic comedy to keep you from going bonkers at three in the morning.”
—Lynne McMillen, mom of one, Bothell, Washington

Work it out. “I kept up my running after my second daughter was born. As crazy as it sounds, exercise can actually make you feel more energized and when you do get to sleep, it's better quality. Even just a brisk morning walk helps!”
—Lori Rosner, mom of two, Ewa Beach, Hawaii

If you don’t feel it, fake it. “I take time to put on some makeup. It just makes you feel so much better and put-together, and it eliminates that sinking sensation of glancing in the mirror and being horrified by a pale, ghastly reflection!”
—Mindy Airhart, mom of two, New Orleans, Louisiana

Give yourself nap time. "The day I tried to brush my teeth with hemorrhoid cream was my wake-up call that my preemie twins had transformed me into Zombie Mom. I’d been zipping about the house like Martha Stewart after four espressos while the girls napped, doing laundry, mopping, and washing bottles. I began catching a one-hour catnap once or twice a day and it did wonders for me. So what if the laundry didn’t get done right away!”
—Erin Best Margolin, mom of two, Fairway, Kansas

Wear ’em out. “Both me and my husband have fallen asleep on the floor waiting for our kids to go to bed. So now, if our baby’s genuinely awake in the middle of the night, I feed her, walk around or rock her, then try to put her down. Works much better than just hoping she’ll fall back asleep.”
—Jennifer Igney, mom of two, Goshen, Indiana

Tag team. "My daughter didn’t sleep through the night until she was well over a year old. Like many couples, my husband and I would take turns doing late-night feedings, so we both got longer stretches of sleep. You’ve gotta be in this together!”
—Alanna Windham, mom of one, Brookhaven, Mississippi

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 47reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 I would console my baby every night by putting his pacifier in when we stirred throughout the night. But by almost 4mons. my husband and I let him cry it out one night and the next night he only whined for a little and by the third night he was sleeping through the night and well as taking nice naps when he was suppose to. We also notice a completely different change in his temperament, which people don't believe me because he was so smiley before too! Letting them cry it out when they are 3mons or older isn't a bad idea at all! February 26, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by My sons gonna be 5 months. Everybody (family) tells me all the time he's used to the arms let him cry etc. But I tell them he's my son & I will do what I want. Yes my sons only way of sleeping is me rocking him to sleep & cosleeping. He does sleep longer & better instead of sleeping by himself. February 8, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by What a way to make parents feel guilty! Yes, all babies cry, some more than others, but telling parents they are hurting their babies by not going to them everytime they cry is ridiculous! I let my daughter cry at night. I will go to her and put her pacifier in but I won't pick her up. Night time is for sleeping, not for playing and at 6 months she is old enough to start learning that. I am responsive to her during the day and take care of all her needs. By letting her cry at night I am not destroying her trust in me, I am teaching her. You can teach your child to sleep and babies can learn! To suggest otherwise is just a way of blaming parents for any deficit in their child. And those statistics are bogus. There are no parameters mentioned, just generalized statistics which can be easily misrepresented and misinterpreted.Parents should use their instincts but also not be afraid that they are "damaging" their children by the method they choose. Love your kids and provide for their needs - you are doing just fine. January 22, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by When my son was 3 months old, my Husband and I couldn't help but wonder if we were spoiling our baby. He couldn't fall asleep by himself and we coddled to his every cry. It didn't take long before we asked the doctor what to do to prevent him from being too spoiled. She informed us that no baby under 6 months can be called spoiled. They have needs, including feeling safe in parents' arms to fall asleep. They are crying because they don't know how to ask any other way, yet. January 18, 2013
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