I wasn’t really given much advice before having a baby but something I was told over and over was ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’.
It was annoying to hear ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ before having a baby because it seemed so obvious. I smiled and nodded every time I heard it while secretly rolling my eyes thinking ‘Duh’.
The baby arrives
It was annoying when people said ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’ because the baby arrived and I didn’t feel like it. Sleep deprivation hadn’t set in yet and honestly I thought I was able to cope with broken sleep and didn’t need to ‘catch up’. I had way more important things to do like watching him to make sure he was still breathing. I wanted to look at photos and videos of him on my phone and when I ran out of photos I was in a baby google frenzy.
A few months in
It was annoying when people said ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’ a few months in because it became obvious I had missed my window to ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’. I started expressing full time at 12 weeks which took up 4-6 hours a day because I had a hand held single pump, I simply didn’t have time to sleep.
At this point I realised the advice was correct and I needed to ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’. No-one managed to pass this information onto my son though. He decided that around the same time I started mixed feeding and had time to sleep that he should start catnapping. By the time I got him down, washed the bottles, had a shower and climbed into bed he would wake up minutes later.
Seven months deep
Now I’ve completely given up on ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’. His current phase is not wanting to sleep at all during the day unless I hold him so I find myself getting to know the neighborhood really well, driving around until he goes to sleep. If that fails then I go for a walk through a shopping centre in the baby carrier and boom he’s out.
If I had any advice to give to first time mums – definitely sleep while the baby sleeps.. if you can!