If sleep deprivation is severely affecting you, you are unable to be responsive to your child during the day because you are too tired, you are getting angry and feel like hurting your child or yourself, or you are constantly depressed, then you need to seek help.
Please take the following steps to get yourself back on track:
- See your local General Practitioner (GP, doctor) for a referral for your child’s sleep difficulties and your own mental health.
- Contact close friends and family and request their support. You could ask them to be there to help when it is time to settle your child, have them babysit at set times while you catch up on sleep, cook you meals, or otherwise help with the housework.
- Decide on an approach (from the suggestions given here, or from other sources) and read up on it, or pay a consultant to guide you.
- Organise for a support person to be there for you during the sleep training.
There are some very helpful free services in Australia to help parents of children with sleep issues. For a comprehensive list see http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/hotlines.html.
Parent helpline: 1300 364 100; http://www.parenting.sa.gov.au/helpline.htm
For an Adelaide-based sleep clinic that I highly recommend, founded by Associate Professor Sarah Blunden, Author of the Sensible Sleep Solution, see the Australian Centre for Education in Sleep: http://sleepeducation.net.au/