Dear Mom Whose Baby Sleeps Through the Night: No Offense, but I Kinda Hate You Right Now
The other day, I was talking to a new mom. And I, of course, had to ask her how her baby sleeps at night. Having had four kids myself, I smiled knowingly. My mind flashed back to the many nights I'd spent walking the halls, bouncing a baby in my arms or nursing for hours at a time.
“Oh, my baby sleeps great!” she chirped, blinking her well-rested eyes and flipping her perfectly-styled hair over her shoulders.”He's slept through the night since day one!”
My jaw dropped. Say what now? A baby who slept through the night since day one? What kind of mythical creature was this? And most importantly — why didn't I give birth to one of them?
Here's the thing, mamas. There are babies out there who apparently sleep through the night. And no, it's not a cruel joke to those of us who feel like we haven't slept in 800 years. I'm not an expert, but I suspect that there is nothing that any of us do or don't do to get babies that magically sleep through the whole night, even as newborns.
On the contrary, I think it's one of those things that just happens, a random happenstance from the universe, a little gift for those who are given it. But it's also a bit of a cruel joke for those of us who haven't had the opportunity to experience what a full night of sleep is actually like.
So mamas of the world who have babies who sleep through the night, please don't take offense at the fact that although we are happy for you (we really are) we also kind of sort of hate you. Because we would give nothing more than just a night — even four hours, really — to sleep that blissful, uninterrupted sleep that seems so elusive to us right now.
Sleep is funny. It's one of those things that you don't appreciate until it's gone. Like how you don't appreciate what it's like to breathe without a stuffy nose until you get a cold. Suddenly, once it's gone, you become obsessed with it, thinking about it 24/7, wistfully daydreaming about all the hours you once slept in beautiful, sweet slumber.
And yes, someday, we know we will sleep again. And someday, our feelings towards you might change. But for now, mamas of babies who are sleeping, please don't hate us if we kind of hate you right now. It's nothing personal. Because we aren't really ourselves right now. You know, due to the lack of sleep and all.
How early did your baby sleep through the night?