It’s been almost 5 years since we’ve had a baby in the house and, as much as I’d like to think I know what I’m doing, the reality of being responsible for a tiny human 24 hours a day is a bit harder than I remember. I’ve said for years that raising older kids is harder than taking care of a baby. I forgot one thing.
Sleep deprivation is not for the weak.
I’m chronically sleep deprived anyway . . . not because I’m doing anything useful, but because I stay up until at least midnight so I get some downtime once my kids are in bed.
When you throw a newborn into the mix, serious sleep dementia can set in.
That whole “sleep when the baby sleeps” mantra is nonsense. For one thing, I’m not a great napper. I’ve TRIED to nap plenty of times. But instead of sleeping I just lie there and mentally run through my to-do list.
Also, I have older kids. And they have a radar that goes off as soon as I start to relax. Naps are more work than they are worth in my house.
We’re 9 weeks in now and I’m crossing my fingers that we’re through the worst of it. Simply saying that probably guarantees I won’t sleep tonight.
I credit the fact that we survived to one thing – cosleeping.
I get that cosleeping isn’t for everyone and I’m certainly not going to tell anyone they are a bad parent for putting their baby in a crib. Trust me, if my baby would sleep in the crib, she would be there in a heartbeat.
But she won’t.
We’ve tried. Then we’ve tried again. She gets herself all worked up when she finds herself in the crib and won’t go back to sleep for hours.
I’ve had plenty of people tell me that I’m going to hurt my baby by letting her sleep in my bed. Every time someone criticizes this particular parenting decision, I lie awake at night worrying that they might be right.
Then I get over it and go back to enjoying a newborn who for all intents and purposes sleeps through the night.
The way I see it, she’s safer sleeping in my bed than she is being cared for by a dangerously sleep deprived mom. So we cosleep. And right now it’s working for us.
How did you survive the early days with a newborn?