Like, probably one of the most difficult things you can do in this life. And I’m not even talking about the terrible twos, potty training, puberty, or the teenage years (when my kids will probably make me question my whole existence). I’m talking about babies, y’all.
Yes, those sweet, squishy, perfect babies.
I love pregnancy and babies. I’d probably have ten more babies if my husband let me. That’s right, I could totally be Duggar family status (google “19 kids and counting” if you don’t know who I’m talking about).
But there is one thing about babies that is harder for me than anything else: they are sleep stealers!
Whoever coined the term, “I slept like a baby,” has clearly NEVER had a baby. Or at least, has never had a normal baby.
Both my boys were sleeping completely through the night by nine months. What I mean by “completely,” is that they stopped waking up for a single nursing session. Tucker is now sleeping from 7-7:30, and trust me when I say I don’t take that for granted! I’m so grateful both my boys have figured out sleep that quickly, because I know of parents who have three year olds who still wake up throughout the night. But on the other side, there are babies who sleep through the night by three months (if that’s you, I’m totally giving you the stink eye…just kidding, kind of)!
But as this whole waking up in the night thing recently ended for me a second time, it reminded me of the guilt and pressure other people put on us (whether it’s intentional or not), and that we in turn put on ourselves as well.
So here are three reasons I won’t be asking you how your baby is sleeping:
- I don’t care.
And I don’t mean that in an insensitive way, but I truly don’t understand why people ask this question in the first place. Are they genuinely interested in your baby’s sleep patterns? Are they writing a thesis on babies and their sleep, and trying to collect more data? Are they going to offer to come over at night and take care of your baby, or watch your baby during the day so you can squeeze in a nap? If the answer to these questions is no, then they shouldn’t be asking, because it’s just going to A.) make you feel like something is wrong with your baby B.) make you resent your baby for being a brand new human, or C.) remind you how tired you are (or all of the above). None of these are productive, helpful things. Instead of asking how your baby is sleeping, I’ll ask you how YOU are doing!
- He/She is a BRAND NEW HUMAN!
I know I said this above, but this baby literally just came into the world. Whether it was a month ago, six months ago, or a year ago, let that sink in: they have only been on this planet for mere months. They are learning every single thing that we have forgotten humans need to learn. They do not know how to sleep. So yes, when the newborn phase is over, everything turns to crap because they have to figure out how this sleep thing works. And then, when things finally start to feel like they might be getting better, they start teething or get sick, and everything is horrible again! No one should be asking you how your baby is sleeping, because you probably don’t even know, because the baby doesn’t even know, because they are a BRAND NEW HUMAN!
- You’re stressing out enough for everyone.
Maybe this doesn’t apply to you, but even my second time around, I stressed myself out enough for EVERYONE. I didn’t need the reminder of so and so’s baby being an “angel sleeper” since birth, or that crunchy Catherine says it is perfectly acceptable for even five year olds to wake up all night. No. Trust me, I was already crying over how to get him to nap longer so he could sleep better at night, how to help him learn to fall asleep by himself, or wondering if I was ruining him by doing X, Y, and Z. You don’t need anyone else’s input, unless you seek it out yourself. Even then, you know your baby better than anyone else on this entire planet. Trust your instincts, and remember that every single baby is different!
So that’s it. I promise to never again ask a mom with a new baby how her baby is sleeping. If you want to ask me advice based ony my own experiences or need a shoulder to cry on because trying to figure out a baby’s sleep pattern is like trying to herd cats, I will be that girl! But I will not be that girl judging you or making you feel bad about your perfectly normal baby. Your baby will figure it out, and you will sleep again, I promise!
And you know those annoying people who say, “Just wait, you’re going to miss those quiet moments in the night with your baby”? Like me, you might become one of those moms, even just a month after getting your full night’s rest back 😉