We know that you like to hear about the latest hospital events, as well as up-to-the-minute health news, but blogs should also be more personal. With that in mind, we are starting a monthly feature called the Mommy Blog. It is written by Jennie Canzoneri, a wife and mom who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In the coming weeks and months, you’ll hear all about her everyday life—with son, Kyle north-hills-mommy-blogParker, husband, Mike, and even the dog, Molly.

You can also follow Jennie on her personal blog, She Likes Purple. Have a question or a comment? She’d love to hear from you!

Getting Enough Sleep as a New Mom

My son, Kyle (see photo), began sleeping through the night when he was five months old. (I nearly threw a party the day after his first full night’s sleep, let me tell you.) But, five months—or even five days, truth be told—is a long time to go without enough sleep. You think about going to bed the moment you wake up, and I often tell my friends that no one can be the best version of themselves between the hours of midnight and 7 am.

Unfortunately, your employee or your mortgage company or even your laundry pile doesn’t care how much you slept (or didn’t sleep!) the night before. The laundry can be so unsympathetic, am I right? So, you have to figure out how to function on much less sleep when you have a baby. Thankfully, those infants can sure be cute. Also, caffeine exists. Those are two very bright silver linings in my book, but I actually have a few silver linings beyond baby smiles and Diet Coke. Phew!

Now, you won’t hear me say what a bunch of others might and that’s: Sleep when the baby sleeps! That’s a really nice piece of advice, in theory, but babies are slightly unpredictable, especially when it comes to nap time. If I lay down when Kyle went down, he would often wake ten minutes later. When I was certain he’d wake any minute, he’d sleep for three hours. No matter how much I pleaded for my six-week-old to give me a heads-up about his sleep plans, he wouldn’t comply. Frustrating! So, I set a bedtime for myself. If I put Kyle down at 7 pm, I’d go down an hour later. I had one hour of good quality time with either American Idol or a sink full of dishes, and then I’d collapse in bed myself. No matter how often I was up in the middle of the night, the early bedtime helped me feel better the next day.

Also, I let myself off the hook. Kyle is now two, and these days when he sleeps I do a million things—blog, clean, watch American Idol (fine, some things never change), but when he was so little, I just accepted there were plenty of things I wouldn’t get to do. Some of these things made me feel slightly guilty, like cooking dinner for my husband. But, I told myself I’d cook again someday, and that helped me check my guilt at the bedroom door and embrace sleep instead. This also went for socializing or thank-you note writing or vacuuming or a dozen other things.

Finally, my husband and I did something that really helped—something we still do, actually. We gave each other one morning off. Either Saturday or Sunday morning, I got to sleep in until I woke up, no matter when that was. No matter how tired I happened to be Wednesday afternoon, thinking about all that glorious sleep I’d get on Saturday morning got me through.

Eventually babies sleep through the night, so there’s always a light at the end of every sleep-deprived, exhausted tunnel. And until then, have I mentioned how cute babies can be?