Most parents can only dream of sleep. It’s one of the most discussed topics in parenting circles. Your children are either awesome at it, or crap at it, and it’s the Olympic gold of parenting if they are champions of sleep.
It’s a tricky thing, because if you get a sleeper you have to keep your trap shut because parents of non-sleepers will think you’re a liar or hate your guts. I know because my first born was an awesome night-time sleeper. We’d plop him in his crib at about 10pm, he’d sleep until about 5.30am, have another feed and then sleep until about 8am. He hated day sleeps (which tortured this obsessive well-read on anything about babies mother) but slept like a dream during the night .
Listen: The Sleep Whisperer shares some sanity saving tips on teaching your baby to self-settle.
I learnt very quickly to keep this routine to myself. Out with some new mum acquaintances early on in new mother life, I innocently joined in my first sleep discussion, “Oh he’s pretty good, he wakes about 5:30ish and I give him a feed, then he nods off again for a few hours.” This went down like a lead balloon. I was faced with a room of irritated mothers who ignored me and then proceeded to outdo each other with horrific tales of screaming babies and multiple nightly feeds. What had I done? Did I just outcast myself? Apparently, I had.
On our second gathering, one of the mothers from that group declared that her own mother had told her that women who claimed their babies slept through the night were liars. You what? You mean me? The one with the awesome night time sleeper?
Yes, I made up that my baby slept through the night so that I could be excluded from all future conversations. Note to self: shut up about sleeping baby.