Why people ask if your baby is “a good sleeper” — and why they need to get the fuck over it

Written by Farrah

How does she sleep? Does she sleep well?

Well, I don’t know, you’d have to ask her. I’d imagine her £120 pillow come bed thing affords her a comfortable night’s sleep.

Obviously by this question, people mean “does she sleep through the night?”

And no. She doesn’t.

I often reply “yeah, she wakes up three or four times a night.” And people frown as if to say “you’ll get there one day!”

But it seems to be their problem, not ours.

When I went into this parenting a baby thing, I was under the impression that we would basically never be sleeping again and that my life would be one endless blur of sleep deprivation until one day Ezra moved out.

So when he slept and mostly just woke to feed and look about five or so times a night I thought we’d lucked out. Edith does the same, albeit less often usually.

Because you see, babies aren’t supposed to sleep through the night.

Not only does prolonged unnatural sleep increase the SIDs risk (more on this another day) but it’s just unnatural for humans.

Did you know that even adults never used to sleep like that? Until the mass introduction and implementation of electricity, humans were often in darkness for an average of fourteen hours a day. This kind of darkness led to a Two-Sleep routine. Asleep for four hours, up for one or two, and then asleep again. Two chunks of long sleep. Not broken sleep. That’s just the way it was.

The way our bodies naturally work and with all this acceptance of ourselves the way we come, why aren’t we more accepting of this?

Why are we so obsessed with having tiny little things with tiny little tummies sleep for so long they wake up uncomfortable and irritable? Please.

Edith has, in the past, slept for nine hours, but I much prefer our four hour chunks because I know her body is working the way it should. It’s bringing her to a state of consciousness. She’s coming back from unconsciousness, breathing and eating and being alert for a bit.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know it’s difficult to go from uninterrupted sleep to dealing with a baby wanting attention and having to be AWAKE.

But there are things you can do to make it easier on yourself, and my tried and tested trick? A red lamp.

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Replace a bulb in your lamp with an LED colour changing one and set it to red, leave it on all night in order to adjust and it won’t fuck with your circadian rhythm. Apple and such have jumped on this with their phones “night mode” – and orange rather than blue glow to keep to from fully waking and feeling awful.

Frankly, I’m a testimony to it working. Thirteen weeks in we’re still chugging along quite well, I reckon.

Just don’t ask me — or any parent — how their baby is sleeping. For your own safety, get over it. We have.

By Farrah. Read more from her on Something Rosier.

How do you dealing with stupid fucking questions about sleep? We would ❤ to hear from you. Contact us, comment below, or tag #WokeMamas on social media.

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