6 Difficult truths about postpartum sleep deprivation: An honest recount

Sleep deprivation with a newborn

Last updated on September 28th, 2022 at 10:32 am

This post contains affiliate links where you can purchase products and I may earn a commission with no extra charge to you.

As a first time mom, nothing could have prepared me for the affects of postpartum sleep deprivation. And the phrase “no wonder it’s used a method of torture” has suddenly become the truest sentence ever uttered. Having a newborn baby certainly took some getting used to but it’s weird how you do quickly adapt.

Arthur is eleven weeks old now and I started to feel human again between six and eight weeks. Hopefully, this provides a glimmer of hope to anyone seeking someone who understands what it’s like to have a newborn.

So naive

When Lee and I first got home from the hospital (24 hours after giving birth), we were very excited to have our baby with us. Everything was in place and we felt ready for anything. The nursery was ready, the ‘Next to Me’ crib was in place. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, first of all, we very naively (or stupidly!) presumed that we could turn the lights off at 10pm and all go to sleep harmoniously like the Waltons.

Cue our newborn who was not ready for such a routine!

As soon as the light went out, Arthur decided it was time to test out his lungs. Lee and I quickly learnt that a set bedtime for us was a thing of the past – for the time being, anyway.

Feed me!

The main reason a newborn screams blue murder throughout the night is because they are hungry and there doesn’t seem to be any pattern at all with feeds. I was also breastfeeding to begin with so I couldn’t even share feeding duties with Lee.

Arthur seemed to be hungry constantly and, granted this could have been the postpartum sleep deprivation, was beginning to resemble the hungry Venus fly trap plant from Little Shop of Horrors.

Arthur! That you?
The cause of our sleep deprivation
(Image: littleshop.fandom.com)

“Sleep when the baby sleeps”

Yeah, right! Well, that’s easier said than done. To be honest, the next person to say this to me will be bopped on the head.

Yes, newborns sleep a lot but the sleep can be very broken and not necessarily last for long periods.

There is also the issue of being a first time mom that stopped me from sleeping when Arthur was first born. I became Little Miss Paranoid about every single stir or noise he made. No one warns you that you will be checking them every two minutes. Is he breathing? Should he be making that noise? He hasn’t moved in thirty seconds, I’d better prod him!

This does not help at all with that postpartum sleep deprivation.

It’s a big, big world

Another thing that scuppered Arthur’s sleeping plans were his sleeping arrangements.

Lee and I spent months making our house perfect for Arthur’s arrival, splurging on items to make it special. We were so excited to put up our ‘next to me’ crib so that Arthur could sleep in the room with us. What we were not prepared for was Arthur not taking to his crib because he had gone from my cosy womb to this humongous bed and he felt lost!

Eventually, Lee and I ended up taking it in turns to sit downstairs with Arthur while the other slept upstairs. It was a really tough adjustment but we were soon given some great advice from the midwife: put the Moses basket inside the Next to Me crib…

Beautiful Arthur in his grey Moses basket sleeping soundly whilst Mommy and Daddy suffer postpartum sleep deprivation.
Arthur, three days old, in his Moses Basket
purchased from Online4Baby or can be purchased via Amazon


I would recommend this tip to anyone. Sitting the Moses basket in the ‘Next to Me’ crib has proven the best way for us all to get a great night’s sleep. Arthur is cosy which means Lee and I can sleep a little more peacefully. During the day, we move the basket downstairs and place it in its rocking frame but we also have a Mamia cushion which we have next to us on the sofa for those daily naps (Arthur’s, not ours!).

Does it get any easier?

God, I hope so!

Like I said, Arthur is now eleven weeks old and we are finally getting into some sort of rhythm. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a routine yet, but we have certainly started to adapt to Arthur’s pattern of feeding and sleeping which has helped with the postpartum sleep deprivation. Nowadays, we can expect Arthur to sleep from 9pm to 5am which is a huge difference to waking every hour for a feed.

One routine that we have put in place is the 4Bs… bottle, bum (nappy change), book and bed. This will become the 5Bs when we introduce a daily bath into Arthur’s routine.

You can also find help with how to keep baby cool as those hot nights can also add to the postpartum sleep deprivation.

So, to anyone new parents reading who may be feeling a little desperate right now as the postpartum sleep deprivation takes hold and renders you a shadow of your former self, trust me when I say that it does get easier. It does! Not only will your body adapt to the lack of sleep but you and baby will soon fall into a rhythm with each other.

Oh, and don’t believe people when they tell you that they sleep when the baby does! It’s a load of poppycock!

Good luck new parents! Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

Loulabella xoxo

3 thoughts on “6 Difficult truths about postpartum sleep deprivation: An honest recount

    1. Aww ? thank you for the reassurance ? I’ve heard there’s a regression at 4 months when it feels like having a newborn again! I’m not looking forward to that ? xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *