We all know that newborn babies don't exactly sleep well, even those who love to sleep will need regular feeds and some struggle to settle, or have reflux, or just don't sleep for any number of reasons.
There are lots of things you can do to gently guide your newborn towards better sleep, and eventually sleeping through the night, but in the meantime night wakings are going to be a part of your life. The question is, how do you function during the day?
Emergency SleepIf you have had less than four hours sleep in the last 24 hours then you are in desperate need of rest. The same can apply after very disrupted sleep for weeks or months. In that situation you are not safe to drive, not safe to share a bed with your baby, and can't function properly - although you might think you can. Life really is a struggle at that point, both physically and emotionally, and you are in desperate need of some emergency sleep.
This is the time when you need to rope in someone else, your partner, your mother, an understanding friend or a nanny. It doesn't have to be overnight, if they can only manage daytime, you are tired enough to sleep no matter what. First of all, if you are breastfeeding, express as much milk as you can. Then go to sleep while your helper cares for the baby somewhere where they wont disturb you. Have the breast pump set up near your bed so that if you wake with sore breasts you can just express quickly and go straight back to sleep. Don't get out of bed until you can't sleep any more. I heard of one mum who slept for a full 24 hours!
The world will seem like a whole new place in the morning.