For Mothers of Nonsleeping Babies

rockabye baby by Ella Dolbear Lee.Perhaps you could get some advice or help from Amnesty International:

Sleep Deprivation: Appendix M of the Army Field Manual allows for sleep deprivation which was described by Amnesty as constituting cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment8. The Army Field Manual describes the practice of not allowing detainees to sleep for more than 4 hours per night over 30 days, which can be prolonged upon approval. This technique has been used to break the detainee down both physically and psychologically. Sleep deprivation causes many psychological and physical issues such as headaches, high blood pressure, stress, lowered immunity, impaired verbal processing and complex problem solving. It has also been known to cause depression, irritability and a reduced sense of wellbeing. The Article 22 of the Third Geneva Convention outlines that a prisoner of war cannot be held in conditions that are prejudicial to their health.

Once, my firstborn got a bottle of infant tylenol. My first concern, of course, was ‘is my baby going to be okay?’ I called poison control, who were very reassuring (it was a small bottle, she was a chunky monkey). My second thought was more of a feeling of immense relief and hope. Maybe, just maybe, she would go to sleep and I could get a good long nap and some solid rest for the first time in a long while?

She did not even slow down. I did not get that nap. She is now being kept awake by her own progeny, as are three of her younger sisters, and I have to admit, while I teasee about paybacks, I’m really more sympathetic than schadenfreudesque about it.

If nothing else, know that you are not crazy, nor are you losing your mind. You are sleep deprived, and that’s a big deal. You may not be able to do anything about it right now, but I promise, one day you will get to sleep again. In the meantime, be good to yourself. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Babyproof your room and cap with the baby playing there if you can. Skip bubble baths and moms night out offers and ask for time for naps. Use white noise and ear plugs for those naps.

This time will pass.

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