Baby Brain

Sleep

How parenthood has changed my whole concept of sleep … 

Sleeping newborn baby

Since having a baby, I think of sleep in new and unexpected ways. Here’s why:

1. Sleep is a conversation starter 

In the past, if a relative stranger’s first question to me was “how are you sleeping?” I’d have thought it was a gross invasion of my privacy and a bit creepy. As a parent, it’s perfectly normal. Sharing your sleeping patterns is the new “how’s the weather.”

Sleeping 2 week baby amsterdam

2. I practice ‘sleep maths’ 

I used to think sleep happened in a single block. Eight hours sleep = 11pm to 7am. Now, I’m totting up chunks of snooze time. For example: 9.30pm-11.30pm; 1-4am + 5-8am = eight hours sleep. Ta-dah!

Four week old sleepng baby picture

3. I’ve become a baby-monitor hypnotist

A typical evening goes as follows. We’ve finally settled our baby upstairs in her co-sleeper and tip-toed back downstairs. We switch the video baby monitor on. Baby is doing some light limb-twitching. It could go either way: she could fall into a deep sleep, or erupt into tears. “Sleeeeeeeeeep … go on … sleeeeeeeeeeep,” I find myself muttering in the direction of the monitor, like a deranged Paul McKenna — as if this will somehow help.

asleep 6 week baby picture netherlands

 4. My iPhone has become a source of great joy, or misery

When I’m woken by chirpy noises from my baby in her co-sleeper, the first thing I do is surreptitiously check the time on my iPhone. My heart lifts those nights when I discover I’ve been asleep for 4+ hours.

Sleeping 8 week old baby image

5. I take hundreds of sleeping baby pictures

I don’t feel the need to photograph anyone else asleep every second day. Which is probably a good thing.

baby sleeping moses basket 8 weeks

6. Everyone’s got an opinion on sleep

No-one used to pass judgment on my decision to go to sleep at midnight, sometimes after some light internet browsing (not totally true – my husband often did). But everyone has an opinion on baby sleeping. From the volume and length of naps you allow in the day, to how, when and where you put them to bed – it’s all subject to discussion. On the whole, this has been friendly, helpful opinion. But every so often, someone insists we follow some particular book or routine. Thanks – but I’d like to try and fail miserably to achieve the perfect sleep on my own first. Then I’ll come to you with my tail between my legs and ask you to explain in detail again.

baby sleeping moses basket 8 weeks

7. Sleeping too soundly makes me nervous

Every parent’s done it. You spend all that time getting your baby to sleep. Eventually they enter into such a peaceful slumber that you can’t see any movement from them. You creep up to them and look closer. Definitely not moving. You put your finger in front of their nose. That might have been warm air you felt coming out, but you can’t be sure. So you give their face a little poke. The goal is to get the force of the poke just right: enough to prompt them to twitch and prove they’re alive, but not enough to wake them up again. This is a dangerous game of sleep roulette.

sleeping baby union jack 10 weeks

8. A good night’s sleep is ruined

My baby now ‘sleeps through the night’ (beware the hype: this means for 5+ hours in a row, not 12 hours). But I can’t. I still wake up at 2am and stare at her sleeping. Ah well. There are worse things to do in the middle of the night.

-x-x-x-

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21 thoughts on “Sleep

  1. Ha ha! So true. I got up at 3.22am (I Phone check!) this morning because the boy had not woken. And then was wide awake wondering when he would wake up. Until 5 am this morning. RIdiculous! 🙂

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    • Happy to hear it’s not just me! I was woken at 6 this morning. It seemed close enough to a decent time, so I’m showered, changed and up while it’s still dark outside. Event the baby’s smart enough to have gone back to bed. Coffee ….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post it’s so true, although when my kids were babies I didn’t have an iPhone to check! Sleep is a very different thing once you become a parent, it almost disappears completely, I’m slowly getting it back again but I’ll still be found online at stupid o’clock because I’m awake for no reason! Popping by from Magic Moments.

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  3. Oh this is so true. Sleeping baby photos are just so gorgeous though and I know just what you mean about playing sleep roulette when they’re sleeping so soundly that you just have to poke them to check that they’re ok! #magicmoments

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  4. So so true!! My little boy is 1 this week and I still wake up at ridiculous o’clock (checks phone). Then when he does wake up I beg at the monitor for more sleep. Joys of motherhood xx. #magicmoments

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    • Our baby is still in our room right now so the monitor is purely for the couple of hours she’s (hopefully) in bed before us. Can only imagine what sort of monitor mad-woman I’ll be when she’s in her own room!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fab post and so true. Totally with you on totting up chunks of sleep, and playing Russian sleep roulette checking if they’re alive!! Great post and I really relate right now! Xx #magicmoments

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    • I’m looking forward to the 10-12h! As if she’d read my post, mine decided to revert to every 3 hours again last night, boo … fun to hear the sleep roulette doesn’t end! – and thanks for the comment.

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    • She does look very peaceful when in deep sleep – at these moments I understand the saying ’sleep like a baby’. The rest of the time I think whoever invented that phrase was making a joke!
      Thanks for stopping by & commenting 🙂

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