October 04, 2022

How Steph prioritises sleep as a mum

A huge shoutout to all the parents out there because looking after little ones (while amazing) is all consuming and damn tiring.

Being a parent often means your sleep is compromised, especially when your child is still in their first few years and their routine jumps around so much.

Our very own super mumma – KIC COO and co-founder, Steph – is also in the midst of navigating not only her own sleep routine, but her toddler Harvey’s too.

We spoke to Steph to unpack how she is prioritising her sleep as a working mum, and whether she is a fan of sleep meditations to help her unwind and ensure good quality sleep (wherever possible!).

Steph also generously shared her tips for other new mums on how they can maximise their sleep.

Can you talk about how your sleep has changed since having Harvey especially as his sleep routine changes so much between baby and toddler. What did you expect and what didn't you expect?

Prior to Harvey I’d sleep until 7.00am during the week and really enjoyed my sleep ins each weekend. Now, sleep ins don’t exist haha, but thats okay!

Harvey’s sleep has changed so much over the last 18 months, but it’s the same with every baby/toddler. They go through different developmental leaps which alter their sleep, and their routines change all the time. Just when you get used to one routine, it changes. I didn’t really know what to expect. All I knew from other mums and things I had read was that every baby is different, and so I’ve done my best to try and avoid ever comparing Harvey’s sleep to other babies.

What are your top tips for new mums looking to maximise their sleep time and prevent exhaustion / sleep deprivation as much as possible?

The whole ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ is good in theory, but when you have a newborn, all you want to do is stare at them. So my biggest tip is to communicate if you need help. Ask for help.

Communicate to a loved one that you need some shut eye, that may be your partner, your mum, your friend, anyone that you trust to take a late night shift or early morning shift with your bub so you can either get to bed earlier or sleep in a little. And if you’re truly needing help, there is NOTHING WRONG with reaching out to a sleep specialist for extra support in your baby’s sleep routine.

Now that you're also back at work, how are you going with your sleep? How are your energy levels?

My body clock is certainly getting used to the early mornings, but I’m a bit of a night owl, it’s been hard to commit to getting into bed early enough to be full of energy the following day.

What has been hard is finding time to exercise, with Harvey having such an early morning rise and a full day in the office, it can be hard to find the time. And exercise really fills up my cup and certainly helps with my energy levels, so I just do my best to fit in what I can when I can. KIC Minis are my go-to at the moment.

Have there been any changes or sacrifices that you've made in order prioritise your sleep?

I stay in a lot more these days, and that isn’t just because going out requires us to find someone to mind Harvey, it’s because I know that I’ve got an early morning wake up call so late nights aren’t as fun.

Of course Josh and I take turns with the early rises on weekends when one of us or both of us are out, but because I work throughout the week, that time on the weekend with Harvey is very important to me. I’ve sacrificed sleep ins for giggles, snotty snuggles and special moments with my mini-me.

Can you comment on sleep meditations - are they something you use? If so, how do they help you with your sleep?

Josh and I are both guilty of letting our minds go wild at the end of the night, and when there’s a lot on, it’s hard to switch off.

I find journaling very helpful for these moments, so I keep a notebook by my bed every night. However if it’s not a million things going through my mind, and it might just be one super troubling thought, Sleep Meditations are a great escape – and not in a way that sweeps the issue under the rug, but in a soothing way that comforts me, allows me to accept whatever is going on and drift into a deep sleep.

Is there anything you change in Harvey's bedtime routine when it comes to daylight savings - when it's lighter at night, does this make it harder to get him down? Similarly for when it starts to get lighter early in the mornings?

I’m very hopeful that daylight savings is actually going to help with Harvey’s sleep! A lot of parents slowly creep their child’s bedtime earlier over the week prior, but Harvey already has a 6.30pm bedtime, and wakes at 6.00am, which hopefully means his wakeup will be closer to 7.00am and bedtime can be a little later at 7.30pm!

We have kitted his room out with block out blinds and often cover the bottom of his door so that no light seeps in in the mornings or early evenings anyway.

If you’re looking to reset your sleep habits, check out our tips here.

Steph Claire Smith