Let me start by saying that I am what people would call an ‘old’ mother giving birth to my son at 42 years old. I did not read any books before he was born, except baby name books as I naively believed that if my baby were fed and had lots of love, everything would be fine.
How hard could it be, it’s just a baby – right?
Nothing prepared me for the sleep deprivation.
People would say things like “You don’t know what tired is until you’ve had a baby.” Or “You think you’re tired now, wait until the baby is born.” I smiled, I nodded, but they were right. I didn’t know what tired was until I had my beautiful son.
I will not bore you with all the details. Let’s say that after only 8 weeks of a lack of sleep (I know many of you reading this will have been sleep deprived for months perhaps even years) I was already feeling the effects of sleep deprivation (possibly made worse by my old age). I was only taking 3 months of maternity leave (my husband became a Stay at Home Dad), so I knew I had to get some sleep.
I knew that babies only slept for 3-4 hours and that I had to feed my son. But the problem was how long it took him to go back to sleep after a feed. By the time he eventually went back to sleep, it was 2 hours later, and he was awake again for another feed. So, neither of us was getting enough sleep.
The ONE thing, no-one, tells you before you have a baby is that …
Babies do not know how to fall asleep independently.
The fact is we need to teach babies, and young children how to sleep.