I write this as my 9 month old sleeps in his crib. Knock on wood that I don’t jinx myself by breaking the rules. What rules? Why the Rules of Baby Sleep! There are rules to baby sleep? “Yes!” said every mother ever. I thought babies slept great, you know the phrase, “sleep like a baby” had to come from somewhere… See #3 said every mother ever.
1. You do not talk about baby sleep. You do not text about how long he has been asleep. You do not brag about how long of a stretch she can go. You do not talk about baby sleep. Why? It is guaranteed to wake the baby. How? The wrath of God/the bitch Karma.
2. Never ever ever ever ever ever wake the baby. Unless you got a wee nugget and the doc EXPLICITLY says so to feed her, do not wake the baby. Dirty diapers really can wait. That spit up spot will dry. Why let him slumber? If you must know, go ahead, wake him, I dare you.
3. If you wake said baby, “stabby” becomes a legitimate description of that child’s mother’s feelings. Thoughts like, “hmm… I feel stabby” begin to appear in her mind after spending 90 minutes with her arms extended in front of her bouncing on an exercise ball at 3am to coax the woken baby back to sleep.
4. Noise levels must be held constant from the moment the child falls into sleep until as long as you can make it last. Neighbors getting a new roof and suddenly it’s lunch time? Fire up the power tools because as soon as the decibels drop so does your book/plate/deuce. The same is true for the quiet drift off. You’ll be feeling stabby when Fido starts barking at the door.
5. Laundry is awesome. Clean your undies and keep the quiet in one swing. Pick the cycles that run as long as possible. Heavy duty? Of course! Sanitize? why not? Extra rinse? You bet! Then sit back, cross your fingers and pray it lasts! (the machines that is!) Friendly reminder to turn OFF the end-of-cycle chime!
6. Anyone who tells you babies sleep most of the day is: a) really effin mean, b) has never had children, c) has a drug problem or d) won the baby sleep lotto and got one that sleeps where- and whenever. Ignore them all. Prepare for a war of love. Your home quickly becomes a battlefield with a dozen craters (places to put baby down), shrapnel (burp cloths) littered about and the residuals of (poop) explosions hiding in corners. The weapons… Swaddling and moving. Invest in an exercise/stability/big bouncy ball. Want to know why? See #2 above.
7. You will gain a new appreciation for sleep- yours, theirs, everyone’s. If you really love him or her, let them nap!