People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.—Leo J. Burke
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]I never knew how important sleeping is until we had a baby. Not so much my sleeping, mind you, but the baby’s sleeping. It really is a big deal and, like much of everything else, it varies greatly from one child to the next. All three of our boys were different. The first apparently read the textbook while he was in the womb and followed it quite precisely. He spoiled us. The second didn’t read anything and came out ready to play, not sleep. EVER. The third, bless his little heart, slept through the night from day one. That seemed to upset the pediatric nurses, but when you’re on baby number three you’ve learned: let sleeping babies lie.
When you’re about to be a new parent, you slowly become aware of just how much work this new child is going to be. Your life patterns and routines are going to be dramatically altered. As you consider the growing list of things you’ll need to do, you begin to wonder how it is all going to fit. Then, you tell yourself the biggest lie ever: “I’ll get it done while the baby is sleeping.” No, you won’t. By the time that precious little squirt finally falls asleep, you’ll be too exhausted to do anything else. You decide laundry can wait, dishes can wait, exercise can wait; pretty much everything can wait while you take a quick nap.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]”Put your baby on a schedule,” pediatricians and mommy blogs tell you. Yeah, right, like a baby can read a schedule. That approach might work once, if the child decides to agree, but be prepared to negotiate the sleeping schedule with your infant. Be prepared to lose those negotiations. The baby doesn’t understand a thing you’re saying. They’ll either laugh and coo because the big people look so funny when talking to the baby, or they’ll cry and spit up because, even at two-weeks-old, they’ve already had enough of your bullshit. Trying to put babies on a sleeping schedule is like trying to walk a cat on a leash: just because someone on the Internet says they did it doesn’t mean it’s actually possible with your child/cat.
Before you know it, your entire world revolves around the baby’s sleeping schedule. Getting them down for a nap is a precise routine you could, and sometimes do, perform with your eyes shut. You warn friends to not call or drop by while the baby is sleeping. You re-arrange your schedule, your meal times, and your entire life. There is no force or power on earth as strong as that of a sleeping baby. Be very quiet and tiptoe away.[/one_half_last]