Two questions you will definitely get asked by somebody as a new mum
1. Is the baby good for you?
2. Are they sleeping through the night?
The answer to question one is always going to be no. The baby is not good for me, because when you ask this question your definition of 'good' means you are in fact asking "Is your baby not acting anything like a baby?" And of course this is ridiculous considering they are a baby.
Whilst answering question one, you may find you link in by answering question two before even being asked. Because again, we seem to define a baby being 'good' with them sleeping all night long. The pressure for mums to have a 'good baby' who sleeps through the night is immense, and hitting them from every angle. Friends, family, articles on social media (you must know that the internet is aware you're sleep deprived and desperate), apps, books, and even your Health Visitor.
At a recent appointment my Health Visitor was rather concerned that at the grand old age of 5 weeks, my daughter was still waking every 2-3 hours through the night. Apparently we needed a plan to fix this! Immediately! I'm not quite sure why. She asked me how often she fed through the night. I gave her an honest answer. I never once said I had an issue with the amount of times she woke. And if I don't have an issue, I'm finding it hard to understand why she does? Or anyone else for that matter.
It made me feel quite sad. Sad that new mums were being bombarded with the thought that their child acting like a baby was a problem. Sad that those mums would then go down every route they possibly could to fix the problem, and then feel hopeless when nothing worked. Because it's just not reality.
Which is why instead of blogging about 'how to get your child to sleep through the night with ten simple steps!' I decided to blog about how my baby is definitely not 'good' through the night, and why I like it! Well, not like it but...you know. Im trying to see some kind of silver lining here guys!
1. She pulls cuter faces at 1am, 3am and 5am than she does throughout the daylight hours. Only I get to see these. It's just me and her. These are moments that I'll miss when she no longer needs me physically or emotionally through the night
2. You can learn a host of new things whilst feeding your child through the night. Last week, whilst scrolling through Facebook in the dark in an attempt to keep myself awake, I came across an article that stated yawning is actually your body's way of cooling your brain down when it's overheating! Of course I now think my brain is about to explode every time I yawn, but STILL! Amazing! Think of all the new knowledge (useless facts) I'll have gained by the time she actually does start sleeping through the night! I'll be like a walking encyclopaedia!
3. Regular waking through the night can protect your child from SIDS. Night nursing can also help to develop your child's sleep cycle. So by waking regularly my darling daughter is in fact preparing herself to do the exact opposite, when she's learned how.
4. The twilight hours are a great time to do online shopping! There's nobody around to tell you that no, you really don't need that and yes, you should put down your credit card! In fact, this point alone may actually be a reason to gently prod your child awake, around 3am, just so you have an excuse to buy lovely shit. Can't have them sleeping through and ruining the retail therapy can we?
5. I know I'm following my baby's lead, instead of forcing her in to some regimented routine devised by the likes of Gina Ford and other such Ass Hats. My baby knows best. She is A BABY! She momentarily lives purely through instincts. She is totally incapable of acting a particular way because of 'behaviour.' At least this is what I believe. You're free to believe what you choose and that's why you parent your child and I parent mine. And that's fine!
But let's face it. It is pretty shitty being dragged from your slumber every few hours, relentlessly. I truly believe that the ageing process officially starts when you have children. I definitely have a noticeable amount of new crows feet of late. BUT! The point I'm trying to make here is IT'S NORMAL!!
Your baby NEEDS to wake. They need YOU! The sooner you embrace night waking the sooner you will accept that it won't be forever. Baby's are cranky, miserable, irritable, sleep robbing bundles of pudge. But that is kind of what happens when you don't have the ability to talk. You can't say "hey mum! My tummy kind of aches and a breeze went past my toe!" So you have to cry. At 3am. Exactly 11 minutes after you cried the last time.
But don't worry Mummy.
You were made for this.
You'll survive the lack of sleep.