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"Sleep when the baby sleeps"

(114 Posts)
Hedgeh0g Fri 21-Apr-17 08:04:09

Warning: rant ahead.

Am I the only one who feels stabby when they hear this phrase?

1. The assumption is your baby is taking nice long naps. In my experience this doesn't happen reliably until around 6 months. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't possess the ability to just leap into bed the minute my baby closes its eyes, trust it's not going to wake up again 5 minutes later, close my eyes, and fall asleep. And even if I did, until the baby is napping long stretches, this would get me maybe 20 minutes.

2. More small chunks of broken daytime sleep is not a fix for broken nighttime sleep. Yes, it's better than nothing, but the other day I saw a thread where many many posters suggested that a DH was equally deserving of a weekend lie-in because although he got 8 straight hours of sleep overnight, the DW got broken sleep overnight but could 'sleep when the baby sleeps' in the day. I'm not here to debate the lie-in, that was thoroughly done on the other thread, but I'm sorry, 8 cobbled-together hours of sleep is not the same as 8 hours of nighttime sleep.

3. I bet these same posters would also say it was reasonable for the DW to take on more of the house work while not working. Which does seem reasonable, except, oh, she's supposed to be 'sleeping when the baby is sleeping'. Can't wash up when asleep.

4. Has anyone considered that, when the baby sleeps, the parent might want to, oh, I don't know, eat lunch? Have a cup of coffee? Pee? Yes, these things can often be achieved with a baby in tow. But often they cannot, if baby is, say, cluster feeding. Or a velcro baby.

5. I think among my group of friends I am the only one whose baby slept in a cot. The vast majority slept in the car/moving buggy/in the sling/on the parent. None of these things allow you to 'sleep when the baby sleeps'.

Anyway, rant over. I feel better now grin

MTWTFSS Fri 21-Apr-17 08:07:38

And what happens when you have 2 DC?!? My 1st was 19mo when DC2 arrived... he didn't want to sleep during the day!!!

WellErrr Fri 21-Apr-17 08:07:42

Along with
'Just forget about the housework' (bit difficult when there's nothing to eat or wear) and
'have you tried ginger?' (for pregnancy nausea)

Frustratedboarder Fri 21-Apr-17 08:07:59

Nothing more to add, except Hear Hear!! grin

starsinyourpies Fri 21-Apr-17 08:08:24

Agreed, wait until you have another hmm they still say it.

StealthPolarBear Fri 21-Apr-17 08:08:48


IJustLostTheGame Fri 21-Apr-17 08:10:07

I'm with you 100% OP.
My baby slept upright on me. No sleep for me there.
My baby slept in a moving pram. No sleep for me there.
My baby slept if I rocked her. No sleep for me there.
And my baby was awake every two hours in the night.
My baby didn't sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time if she slept during the day at all.
And yet I was home with the baby doing nothing so I didn't really need as much sleep anyway.
This was over four years ago and I still get rage thinking about it.

Hedgeh0g Fri 21-Apr-17 08:10:09

MTWTFS: yes! I do have two. And actually, they now do both nap reliably for an hour and a half or so. But if I manage to get them doing that at the same time it's so exciting that I need to celebrate with chocolate cake smile

JohnLapsleyParlabane Fri 21-Apr-17 08:11:22

See also:
'enjoy every moment'
And, while pregnant:
'just you wait... '

SingingTunelessly Fri 21-Apr-17 08:12:23

Oh yes totally agree. Most useless advice ever. Plus when mine did drop off during the day for 30 mins (if it was a good day) all I wanted was time to drink a cup of tea all by myself. Nobody to hold, touching or pawing at me.

duchess22 Fri 21-Apr-17 08:16:26

nothing productive to add other than AMEN TO THIS!!! hate it when my sister comes round and asks me why the dishes haven't been done or the washing not been put on and I reply that the baby will only nap on me her response is always "can't you just put the baby down" ... I can't wait until she has kids and realises it's not quite that simple!! grin

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Fri 21-Apr-17 08:18:55

Ha ha ha ha yes, such irritating advice. I go with 'eat, drink and go for a wee when the baby sleeps'. At least you can do housework at the same time then. Plus that advice doesn't work for everyone either of course - it doesn't work at all if you have other awake young children.

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Fri 21-Apr-17 08:20:03

YY to the 'enjoy every moment'! Possibly my most hated phrase along with 'it goes so fast'. Thanks OP, this is therapeutic smile.

Avioleta Fri 21-Apr-17 08:20:53

Yes it's useless advice. It always gave me the rage when when my two were babies.

About as helpful as 'don't worry about the housework'. Yes, because living in a shit pit with no clean clothes will really improve things!

megletthesecond Fri 21-Apr-17 08:23:36

It drove me nuts too. I'm far from house proud but I did rather enjoy eating, keeping clean and having clean clothes to wear so sleeping while baby sleeps wasn't an option.

putdownyourphone Fri 21-Apr-17 08:26:36

A pregnant girl said to me (I have 2 DCs) that she wasn't worried about sleep deprivation as she'll just 'sleep when the baby sleeps'. All I could do was smile and nod. Wonder how much sleep she's getting now?!

expatinscotland Fri 21-Apr-17 08:31:21

YANBU. 'Wait till you have 2, what will do you then?' Assuming everyone will have 2 or that the age gap will be so short the other is still not in school. And yy, maternity leave = housework leave.

RaeSkywalker Fri 21-Apr-17 08:31:43

DS isn't the best daytime napper- usually anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes in his cot- will go longer if held by me.

When he goes down in his cot I'm too busy going to the loo/ inhaling some food to nap. And actually even when DH is home I wouldn't go off for a nap. They make me feel groggy.

Littlelegs19 Fri 21-Apr-17 08:31:54

I bloody hate this!
I've been really ill recently (all post caesarean related) and if one more person tells me to rest of take it easy I can't promise I won't hit them!

Floozie66 Fri 21-Apr-17 08:40:27

Haha mw and hv still give this advice. I have a clusterfeeding velcro baby and when she is asleep if i can put her down then i am trying to express!!! And when i reported 24 hr nausea and vomiting during pregnancy which was fairly incapacating to the mw said have you tried ginger! I had to bite my tongue. Its fairly patronising and totally disregards the reality - no wonder why women dont want to discuss more serious concerns like possible pnd

schokolade Fri 21-Apr-17 08:41:57

My FIL is full of gems like this. I totally ignore him since he let my toddler nap from 3.30-6 pm and then said I'm rubbish at getting her to sleep because she didn't sleep until nearly midnight. Apparently she went down really easily for him at 3.30 hmm

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Fri 21-Apr-17 08:42:49

I get that it isn't always possible, but for me, the phrase was giving me permission to rest myself rather than rush around like a mad thing when they were asleep doing chores/jobs. I used to lie down with a book and sometimes nap sometimes just rest, but it was about all having a rest rather than me getting more worn out.

I did used to sleep when my baby slept, when I had two I put them down at the same time and there was usually a good hour overlap of naps, and when we they got older, we used to have 'quiet' time on Sat/Sun afternoons where they rested in bed/watched TV/chilled out and we slept! My one or two afternoon naps a week were key to continuing a demanding job whilst having broken nights and early mornings.

I do get why it isn't always possible but it's not bad as an ideal and gave me something to work towards!

Hedgeh0g Fri 21-Apr-17 08:46:54

Floozie66. Yes, because apparently not sleeping even when "given the opportunity" is a marker for PND. To which I always think, but yes, is the effect, or the cause? (--And take a deep breath over "given the opportunity")--

prettybird Fri 21-Apr-17 08:53:18

YANBU - even though I was fortunate to have a baby who did sleep through from 2 weeks (had to wake him to feed him shock) and who took long afternoon naps until he was 3.

I recognise he was not the norm and learnt to keep quiet when friends complained about sleep deprivation wink I even felt guilty at work when they "sympathised" with me about how difficult it must be to cope with less sleep. blush

One of my friends (with 2 kids 2 years apart) didn't have a full night's sleep for 6 years shock

Foreverhopeful22 Fri 21-Apr-17 08:56:14

Mine now naps between 12.30 and 2. It's my time for lunch and a drink in peace and quiet.

I'd rather be me for an hour than sleep. Plus Sod's law the day you decide to snooze they will only nap for twenty mins

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