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Do you suddenly become a light sleeper when you are a parent?

(70 Posts)
Scattybrain89 Thu 31-Dec-20 17:44:42

I'm 28 and newly TTC but I have a big concern. I want kids but I sleep REALLY deeply.

It's really frustrating, I never used to be like this. When I was younger I used to sleep so lightly and be easily woken, and I'd wake up without an alarm at 7 or 8, maybe 9, even on a weekend. I was always a bit of an insomniac.

But since my early twenties, I sleep SO deeply. I still often struggle to fall asleep and am regularly awake til 3am or later, but I could then easily sleep for 9 hours straight or even more. My DP has to make sure I'm up on weekdays because if left to my own devices I do not wake. If I wake without an alarm, I feel legitimately proud because usually it takes 3 or more alarms to wake me, and it's a good hour after getting up before I start to feel awake.

I'm so concerned that if I have a baby I won't wake up to them when they need me. DP is a light sleeper but I know I'll need to be able to wake up to feed baby etc. My DP is the main earner so I'd be on mat leave and potentially a SAHM.

I need to become a light sleeper again! Does it just happen because your body knows you need to for your babies survival?

OP’s posts: |
MarkRuffaloCrumble Thu 31-Dec-20 17:54:42

Yeah your body is made to respond to your baby’s cry. You’ll be fine. I sleep differently depending if I’m the only adult in the house. When DP stays over I sleep hard and long! When I’m “on duty” I sleep very differently.

You can always get a baby monitor and turn it up to full volume once they’re in their own room too.

londongirl12 Thu 31-Dec-20 17:55:06

Yes, I think it becomes a mother's instincts to be able to hear the baby. You'll be fine. If not, DH will have to just give you a sharp prod in the ribs!

Moonbabyskalimba Thu 31-Dec-20 17:59:30

You'll be fine. I was a heavy sleeper as well, but DS only has to snuffle and I'm wide awake. Weirdly if it's any other noise it doesn't wake me. It's like I'm tuned into him

Shinyletsbebadguys Thu 31-Dec-20 18:00:30

Don't stress I was exactly the same. Honestly I still am if there is someone else there on occasion. However my body knows what it's doing. If DP is away I feel like I'm asleep but I react to the slightest changes.

When the DC were babies and if they had a dummy that fell out I would be up and at the cot before it hit the floor. I truly did sleep insanely heavily but your body will wake you mostly if the DC need you.

You will be amazed when it does it even though you are exhausted confused .

You also weirdly develop the ability to not fully wake up but still analyse the intonation of snuffle noise to see whether they are waking up or just shuffling in their sleep , within seconds to decide whether to go back to sleep.

Now mine are 5 and 8 I can in my sleep hear small feet trying to sneak across the room to play trains when they should be asleep but DP can get up play a kazoo, dance the tango and o would still wake up half an hour later and tell him he slept all night grin

Shinyletsbebadguys Thu 31-Dec-20 18:04:03

Apparently I've been known to wake up call out that if they don't go back to sleep right this minute they have lost screen time for the rest of the week and have no memory of it . Apparently I can literally be a pain in my DC backsides in my sleep. I'm truly proud of that.grin

HarrietSchulenberg Thu 31-Dec-20 18:06:18

Yes, I did. I used to sleep through anything but was wide awake and bolt upright at the slightest whimper from DS1. Ex-H did not undergo a similar transformation.

Ticklemynickel Thu 31-Dec-20 18:06:56

Dad's seem to be able to sleep deeply through baby noises but in general mum's don't. Funny that!

I find your sleep adapts - light sleeper with a baby, then deeper sleep as they start to sleep more solidly. On the odd night we've managed to get away I sleep so well!

GaraMedouar Thu 31-Dec-20 18:07:19

Absolutely yes you do . I used to sleep like a log. You will be attuned to your baby like no business. Don’t worry. smile

trilbydoll Thu 31-Dec-20 18:08:15

Nope. DH always has had to wake me up, even when they were tiny babies. Tbh it works in my favour, it's usually easier for him to sort them out than wake me up grin when they are sick he ends up in the bathroom screaming at the top of his voice to wake me up to help!

EagleFlight Thu 31-Dec-20 18:08:16

Yes, I now sleep really lightly unless I know it’s a night my DH is on duty and then nothing wakes me up!

dane8 Thu 31-Dec-20 18:12:04

Definitely, I loved my sleep. Didn’t have ds till I was 32, yet I’d wake up if he was stirring
When he was around 2 and in his own bed, he’d come into our bedroom and just stand there. For some reason I’d wake I knew he was there. He never ever touched or spoke out I just knew Very weird

You will hear baby

Ninkanink Thu 31-Dec-20 18:15:45

Yes, I did. I’m still an extremely light sleeper and my children are 25 and 22.

Scattybrain89 Thu 31-Dec-20 18:28:11

Thank you all for sharing your experiences! That is very reassuring. I worry I'll be an exception like @trilbydoll, but they seem to be OK with still being a heavy sleeper so maybe it'll be OK either way!

OP’s posts: |
BornOnThe4thJuly Thu 31-Dec-20 18:30:45


You'll be fine. I was a heavy sleeper as well, but DS only has to snuffle and I'm wide awake. Weirdly if it's any other noise it doesn't wake me. It's like I'm tuned into him

This is me too. Loud noises outside and door slamming I can sleep through, but if my youngest coughs I’m awake!

BackforGood Thu 31-Dec-20 18:31:12

I had the same worries, but believe me, you wake for your own baby's cry.
When I had dc1, I was in hospital for almost a week afterwards, and happily slept through all the noise and all the other babies, but woke when ds cried smile

MumOfPsuedoAdult Thu 31-Dec-20 18:36:35

I don't think you become a lighter sleeper, but you do respond to your own baby.
Anecdote: when my DS was about 8 months old my friend came to visit with her 18 month old. In the morning she apologised for 'keeping me up all night' as her DD was crying for hours. I hadn't heard a thing, but would wake in a flash if my DS so much as sneezed during the night.

Kolo Thu 31-Dec-20 18:36:54

I love my sleep, was a very deep sleeper, and could easily sleep 10hours. It totally changed when I had a newborn (in fact, it started while I was pregnant). Despite total lack of sleep I would be awake at the slightest murmur from them when they slept in a Moses bed next to me, and when they went in their own rooms I'd be awake before they got to the crying stage. And babies can cry LOUDLY.

My deep sleep has returned now they're older, but I'm still wide awake if they call out for me in the night. No other sound will do that for me. Biology!

MrsHugsxx Thu 31-Dec-20 18:39:22

I think I have become a light sleeper since having kids. It's strange because I can go from being in a deep sleep so springing awake the second I hear them call me. When they were babies I'm sure I used to wake up a second before they would start crying.

pilates Thu 31-Dec-20 18:41:46

In answer to your question yes I believe so.

MotherOfCrocodiles Thu 31-Dec-20 18:44:51

Yes, I think you get used to broken nights and hence don't go into a deep sleep.

I say this as someone who in my 20s slept through a burglary and subsequent police visit in a ground floor bedroom!

XmasGridlock Thu 31-Dec-20 18:46:06

I'm a heavy sleeper. Don't hear a thing when I'm sleeping. When DS was first born for maybe the first three moths, I barely slept and woke at the slightest sound. By six months I was back to being a heavy sleeper. Don't hear a thing. DH luckily would wake at the slightest sound. So it's fine. You'll get through it somehow!

CreamFirstThenJamOnTop Thu 31-Dec-20 19:02:48

I sleep through anything..... except either of the kids calling to me or crying! Honestly I think there is some weird thing that filters everything else out but I’m awake the second they make a peep.

ivfbeenbusy Thu 31-Dec-20 19:05:59

Yup. Someone told me once you have kids you'll never sleep deeply again. 😬😢

I asked my mother and she said it's true - in previous years it was listening out for the key in the door if we kids were out drinking/clubbing and then when we left home it was one ear on the phone in case any of us rang with an emergent

frippit Thu 31-Dec-20 19:08:37

I'm still able to hear my granddaughters in the night when they stay so that's second time around.
When it's just me and husband I return to normal sleeping mode. Mothers bodies (and nanas) are amazing.

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