Sleep Payback

In my experience, you don’t get to escape a babyhood without losing an awful lot of sleep at some point. Lily was up every hour when she was a newborn. I did not stutter or make a mistake there: EVERY HOUR. I was lucky if I got two consecutive hours of sleep instead of just 45 minutes at a time. It was awful. This came after nearly a month of no sleep from my PUPPPs itching hell. I was a walking disaster. At some point, she started sleeping 2 hours at a time and this actually felt luxurious. When she was 4 weeks old, everyone seemed to be asking if she was “sleeping through the night”. I wanted to kill them. Even worse, I had a lot of online friends from a birth-month community who were posting about their same age babies sleeping 4+ hours at a time from the beginning and whining about how tired they were. They were complaining about being up once at night when I’d been up at least eight times. Those people were my enemies.

Now I am my own enemy. With Lily, I would have hated someone exactly like me. First Rose was a champion sleeper. We came home from the hospital with her sleeping in 4 hour chunks. When she was just a few weeks old, she’d sleep 6+ hour chunks and I’d get scared that I should wake her. She was QUITE the chunk and 90+ percentile in everything, so I let it slide and all turned out well. Now Violet is an amazing sleeper– even better than Rose was. She slept 6 straight hours before her 1 week check-up. She now sleeps at least 7 straight hours without waking and sometimes goes as much as 11 hours without making a peep. This has been going on for a while and she is 8 weeks old.

Seriously, brand-new-mom-to-Lily me would HATE current me.

But current me knows that there WILL be hell to pay for all the great sleep we are getting right now and were getting with Rose.

Rose slept great for 6 months. Then I had to take off the swaddle and she was up ALL.THE.TIME. All the time. ALL THE TIME. She was up as much as newborn Lily was. And it didn’t stop. With Lily, the nighttime insanity was much better by the time she was 4 months old, though not completely resolved until she was 15 months old. Once Lily was 15 months old, we never ever heard from her at night again (unless she had stomach flu). Rose, on the other hand, continued to have sleep problems until she was more than 2 years old. At 2 years old, she was still up more often than Lily was up at 12 months old.

You see, when you have a good sleeping newborn, you have to pay for it later.

Now I have this amazing sleeping newborn and I’m terrified for my future payback. When will it happen? How badly will it suck? Since Violet is sleeping even better than the enviable Rose’s newborn sleep will my payback be even worse and for even longer? Or am I paying for it now by having a baby who fusses from 7 pm to 11 pm each night unless we are moving? Since the big girls didn’t pull that nonsense on me, I’m hoping that’s my payback, but I’m guessing some other level of torture and sleep deprivation is in my future.

Damn babies are tricky.

It’s a good thing they are so cute otherwise I don’t know if I’d be in for the eventual payback for a third time!


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