One of the biggest fears I had before becoming a parent was having a baby who didn’t sleep! So, you can imagine my glee when she started sleeping through from about 6 weeks old! Yes, I was one of those smug bastards who happily announced to anyone who would listen “my baby sleeps through”.
So naturally, when baby number two came around I had this sleep thing sorted. I would do all the same things and once again we’d have a superstar sleeper just a few weeks in and I would once again be a smug bastard! Well wasn’t I in for a shock to the system…
We did all the same things, implemented the same routines, and to start she seemed to be well on her way to sleeping through from an early age! 6 hours, 8 hours… Omg YES! We were two for two – smug city bitch!!
But then we hit a so-called ‘regression’ that we’ve never appeared to recover from! And now 15-months in, I’ve actually forgotten what it’s like to sleep an entire night. Instead, I’m up and down the hallway making bottles and rolling around on the floor to retrieve thrown dummies – it’s like she just wants to let me know who’s boss!
I’m sure all mamas with babies and toddlers who don’t sleep would not dispute why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture because it is exactly that – TORTURE! And I’m also sure they will relate with at least one of these realities of having a child who doesn’t sleep…
1: Your love of ‘good’ coffee has manifested into a medicinal need to survive, therefore meaning you’ll drink any coffee – hot, cold, good, bad? Just give it to me!
2: You will want to punch any smug bastard who declares their child sleeps through in the face! (Oh wait I was that smug bastard, #karma)
3: People will give you advice and recommendations with the best of intentions, but in your sleep-deprived state, you’ll sometimes just want to shake them then scream at them “DON’T YOU THINK I’VE TRIED THAT”. (Yup, think I have given that advice, again my bad)
4: You have actually googled “Can you survive on 3 hours sleep a week”. And bought a ridiculous amount of gimmicky paraphernalia just in a hope your baby will sleep!
5: You go to bed every night with your eyes falling out of your head, deliriously tired, only to lie awake for ages fearful of when the baby will wake because you know they will any. second. now.
6: You will wonder if your baby is the spawn of Satan, as they begin to cry at the exact moment you’ve just fallen back to sleep.
7: You will consider smothering your husband with a pillow as he sleeps soundly, not even flinching a muscle when the baby wakes again. Sometimes you just give him a swift jab to the kidney, purely so they can suffer the pain of disrupted sleep.
8: Every morning you get up, you will actually wonder to yourself ‘how am I going to get through the day’? But somehow, you just do!
9: Somedays, after a long stint of nights with multiple wake-ups you just want to cry, and you will just cry – a lot! And feel like it’s NEVER. GOING. TO. END!
10: And that one miraculous time they do sleep through, you will still wake up several times, freak out that they haven’t woken and go check they are still breathing.
All I can say is, please do not judge for the things I say and do when I am sleep deprived. And as my mother likes to tell me ‘this too shall pass’, it doesn’t make it any friggin’ easier at the time!! So when all else fails? WINE!