Friday, March 4, 2011

Sleeping through the night: Part 1

I'm going to try not to rant as much as possible in This Space, but I feel like it's a good time to discuss a certain topic today. The most common theme that is brought up between current parents and soon-to-be or new parents is sleep. For 10 arduous months all I ever heard was how once Alli was born I'd barely get to sleep again. And the sleep that I did get would be in short spurts. And even if I did sneak in a little sleep, I would feel like I've been up all night the next day anyway. And how Mommy B and I would become such "light sleepers" because the instant we'd hear our baby in distress, we'd fly out of bed to tend to her.

Well it got old. Real quick-a-like. I actually got tired of hearing people talk about how tired I was going to be. The fact that they were right is not the reason for my discussion here, it's the fact that everyone talked about it... like losing sleep wasn't an obvious by-product of bringing a new baby into the world. "Gee Mr. Obvious, I didn't realize that a new baby who is hungry every couple of hours would really have that much of an impact on my sleeping pattern. I just thought they came out walking, talking and sleeping 10 hours straight without bothering me." Telling a soon-to-be parent that they better be prepared to lose sleep is like telling a pregnant woman she better be prepared to gain weight. Really? Thanks for the reminder, jack@$$.

Now that we've survived (and I mean that in every sense of the word) the first couple months of irregular sleep patterns, things are really turning the corner. More on that subject in Part 2. Here's my gripe of the week: parents that rave about how well their child slept from Day 1. "Oh I'm sorry to hear you're not getting much sleep... my kid was sleeping through the night by week 3." "My little pooky slept through the night the day we brought him/her home from the hospital." Guess what Followers? They're bold-faced liars. No baby sleeps that well when they are that young.

Here's my real issue: why lie to me about something like that? Do parents who brag and boast about how well their kid slept as a baby think they are making friends by doing that? NOPE. In fact, they're making me want to call them 3-4 times a night for 2 months straight and see if they change their tune. I'm betting they will... jus-a-lil-bit. And just because you ignore your baby (or can't hear them) and don't pick them up each time they make a noise during the night does not qualify as sleeping through the night.

Furthermore, what really constitutes "sleeping through the night" anyway? How long is "the night"? Some people go to bed at 10 and wake up at 6, some people got to bed at 1 and get up at 5, some people go to bed at 8 and wake up at 8. How long does a baby have to sleep for it to be considered "through the night"? Is it 6 hours or 10 hours? Is it 5 hours or 12 hours?

My advice to any soon-to-be parents or new parents out there - any time you hear another parent yammer on about how their baby "sleeps through the night", ask them for some clarification. I'd bet you'd be surprised by their answer. Plus that way you have some ammunition if you ever hear them complain about being tired.

OK, off my soap box for now. I'll be back on it soon I'm sure. On a lighter note, Alli has been sleeping like a champ lately. Come to think of it, she's been sleeping through the night for a while now... tee hee hee. Part 2 coming soon.

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