As a parent to a baby, I’ve learnt that there are many different nights sleep you can have, ranging from matchstick nights, to high-5 nights… here’s the run down of the good the bad and the ugly…
The Ugly “will I ever sleep again” night
These are by far the worst nights you can have as a parent. Ones where you start questioning is you’re ever going to sleep again and wonder what the world record is for the most hours awake as you’re sure you’re close to breaking it.
They’re also the lowest nights, where time slows down and you will literally do ANYTHING to get your baby back off to sleep.
Usually these nights are few and far between for us and brought on by illness, but they can send you absolutely doolally if you have more than one in a row.
The Bad “how is it the same night” night
We’re still not sleeping through the night and 99% of the time, we’ll get up at least once with cries. In the few moments before I open my eyes (waiting to see if she’ll settle herself) I have a gentle plea with the clock to tell me that it’s later than I think it is. Wouldn’t it be nice to sleep through the night, rather than her first wake up to be at 11pm?
Alas, the clock usually smugly flashes the time to tell me that it’s still the same day that I went to sleep in – Cinderella would still be at the ball with two glass slippers firmly secured to her feet. The pumpkin would still be a magical carriage and it was to be another one of ‘those’ nights with 2 wakes.
I’m surprisingly chipper with this unstructured sleep, but I think my body has slowly got more used to it.
The Good “is she dead” moment
Even when she does have nights like the above – waking at 11 and 4 usually – she’ll go back to sleep. At the weekend we don’t have an alarm clock to wake us up so we usually just rely on her to wake us up with a few happy “I’m awake” noises.
But some days, like Saturday, we wake naturally at 8.40am and instead of thinking “Yes, we’ve finally had a lie in!!”, my mind instead goes to “Shit, is she dead?”.
Of course she’s not, but life generally isn’t kind enough to give parents lie ins.
So even the best situation for us at the moment is fraught with negativity. Of course, I grab these moments with both hands to catch up on some much needed kip.
One day, she’ll sleep through, but for now it’s a lottery as to whether we’ll get a good, bad or ugly night’s sleep.