Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"How does the baby sleep?"

The parenting experts tell us not to instruct our children to "be good," because what on EARTH does that mean?

Yet, I am frequently asked if my 4 week old is a "good" baby. How could he be a bad baby? I want to reply, "Well, he hasn't used the f bomb yet, but he's given me a few good punches...."

On a related note, pretty much everyone asks how he's sleeping. I'm not answering this one anymore. I know it (generally) comes from a place of concern--people know the newborn months are tough, and wonder if Mom is sleeping (even though before 6 weeks, odds are good she's home and napping when the baby does)--but I went ahead and answered it, twice, yesterday only to have the roughest night with E yet. This, of course, is by no means a comparison to those poor souls whose children "never sleep," but it was not what we're used to.

He woke at 1:30, and M asked me if it was time to feed him. I said, no, I just fed him.... although I had no idea what time that was (he generally has his first waking at 1:30, but I was positive I had gotten up and fed him before then). So M went in and soothed him back to sleep. He woke again around 2:30, at which point I went in and fed him. I came back, laid down and he started to cry again. M asked me when I had last fed him, to which I replied, "I just got back; I have been in bed for five minutes." Around 4:30, A woke up--M got this one and was able to get him back to sleep, only to lay in bed for 10 minutes before his alarm. I don't envy him. I'm not sure when I next fed E after that 2:30ish feeding, but there was a pretty consistent pattern of hourly.

And then, we got in the car. I needed to actually go to Trenton to pick up his birth certificate, because I needed it quickly for another form, but also because getting a money order is a PITA when cash and a not so bad drive will do just fine. I fed and changed him before we left, we ran errands, etc etc, we were gone around 3 hours, and he only fussed once. YAY, CAR!

So, I jinxed myself on the sleep thing (DESPITE KNOCKING ON WOOD!).

I know what comes next, because these things are always cyclical (I once asked a friend, "When do they stop asking how married life is?" and her response is "Around the time they start asking when you're going to have kids." Sure enough...)... next comes, "Is he sleeping through the night?" Ahh, that badge of honor, to have your child sleep through the night. When your child ISN'T, this question sure does make it feel like a competition (even, again, if it's meant with the best of intentions and concern for Mom).

So, into the mental bucket of things to do or not do for/to a new mom this goes!