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"Just accept that you're never going to sleep again!"

(140 Posts)
Gennz Sun 24-Aug-14 00:10:31

If I had a dollar for the amount of times that this has been said to me with a gleeful expression I would be a millionaire. Does anyone else find it really annoying? (it's mainly the sleep thing that winds me up, but also they "you won't be able to shower for days/put the baby down/lose the last 5kg" blah blah blah..)

I'm 26 weeks pregnant, expecting our first child. Last night we had two of DH's friends over to watch the rugby - one has a 2.5 year old, one has a 9 month old. I said innocently to the father of the 2.5 year old "Does DD sleep through the night?" He responded with a meaningful laugh and said "oh no, she wakes up 2 - 3 times a night" and then "just accept that you'll never sleep again and it's not so hard." Whereupon the father of the 9 month old said "yes DW is up with DD at 11, 2 and 5am because she needs to be fed, you just get used to it." Then they harped on about "never sleeping again" and "how it's so much harder for the woman because she is the one who is up all night".

I am probably being an unreasonable b*itch - I know their hearts were in the right places. But I also know that their partners' approach to things is quite different to mine - I'm not taking my full maternity leave, having an ELCS, am v much in favour of putting a routine in place as early as possible, getting the baby to take a bottle; whereas I know they are more baby-led routine, go with the flow, natural birth. I'm not saying I'm right & they're wrong - just that I think our preferred approach will work better for my and DH's personalities.

I'm also not enough of an idiot to say out loud "well WE won't be doing that, I'm putting a routine in place, I need my sleep" having never had a child... I can only imagine how gleeful the reminders would be in 6 months when I haven't had a shower all day and the baby hasn't slept in days and I'm cursing the author of every routine based book ever published...

Anyway (this has turned into a far longer rant than I planned) - are any other first time parents else finding the "tips" from other parents slightly annoying/enraging? I guess my biggest bugbear is that, apart from responding "oh really? thanks for the heads up..." you can't really say anything (e.g "it won't be like that for me") without sounding like a delusional, pompous git and/or insulting the other person's parenting.

Ahhhhhhh good to get that off my chest...

McFox Sun 24-Aug-14 00:15:37

That comment really annoyed me too. That and "your house will never be tidy again!" Well so far my DS is sleeping through the night and while there's a bit more washing, my house looks just fine! Weird how some people find it difficult to be positive to soon to be parents. Ignore them!

RJnomore Sun 24-Aug-14 00:18:09

Apart from very rare occasions when my children were ill, I have never missed a night sleep (ok been up for a feed but that's it) and I have never struggled to wash myself.

Not everyone is like that.

I did routine too and it works. I've got a 9 and 14 yo now and it STILL works! You will be fine op.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 24-Aug-14 00:19:59

We did a routine with dd from day one and her sleep has been amazing! I read the Gina Ford book for guidance and we all (me dd and dh) took to it like ducks to water! we sleep amazingly and have done since very very early on.

ErmagerdANerknerm Sun 24-Aug-14 00:24:37

It's bollocks, really. Each baby is different. DD is 5 now and she slept through the night 8-8 from 3 months old, and since then has only ever woken up in the night if she is sick or has had an accident/nightmare, all very very rare occurrences.

I'm 24 weeks pregnant now with DS, and I can only dream of being so lucky again, but if not, then that's fine - I'll deal with it but won't spread the negativity onto others who are expecting. So unnecessary.

Gennz Sun 24-Aug-14 00:26:56

Thank you all! Very reassuring, I think I can handle most things, but the idea of never sleeping again terrifies me!

PacificDogwood Sun 24-Aug-14 00:27:43

Ah, well, you're pregnant, so your public property: everybody and their dog will give your 'advice' and little gems of… erm, encouragement grin

Nod sweetly and move on.

Nothing anybody says can prepare you for the reality of parenthood

Madratlady Sun 24-Aug-14 00:32:29

We didn't put a routine in place for ds, I just don't see how it could've been forced with a young baby. He naturally fell into a routine and has slept for 11-12 hours a night (7-6:30 at the moment) since he was 13 weeks old. My feeling is that it was easier to find our own routine rather than trying to set a rigid one. Maybe we just have an easy baby though.

BeyoncesCat Sun 24-Aug-14 00:36:59

It's all bollocks! My dd sleeps through from 6 months. If she's awake when I want a bath or shower I stick her in her jumperoo (in front of ceebies) or bring her toy box in the room.

Like pp said, the only nights that have been bad were when she had bronchiolitis at 6 weeks!


Gennz Sun 24-Aug-14 00:45:37

Yeah madrat I don't want to be too militant about it, but having read GF, Baby Whisperer etc elements of them did make sense to me: getting the baby up at the same time each morning, feeding them enough during the day to try to help them sleep through at night, putting them down to sleep again within an hour or 90 minutes, recognising tired signs, waking them from naps etc. I'm not going to tie myself in knots over sticking to the exact timings.

I know some people really don't like the routine idea but I found reading books quite helpful famous last words I find people saying "just follow your instincts!" spectacularly unhelpful. Of course it will work for some people, but I am a 33 year old lawyer with zero experience of babies, I don't have any bloody instincts!

McFox Sun 24-Aug-14 00:57:05

I didn't read any books about routines because I know myself well enough to know that I would get obsessed about doing it all to the letter! I decided just to follow my instincts (which I didn't think I would have either!) and have ended up doing everything you mention anyway. It's amazing how it all just falls into place smile

AnythingNotEverything Sun 24-Aug-14 00:57:41

It's just baby diarrhoea. After your baby is born you'll experience a new form - on the same day you'll have people tell you baby is both big and small for his/her age, tell you a/he's probably hungry/should be wearing a hat/ought to have a thicker blanket etc.

Smile and nod.

Oh, and I have one amazing sleeper and one who is so far (at 10 months) quite hit and miss. There's a lot of luck involved I think.

kilmuir Sun 24-Aug-14 01:06:54

I have had 4 babies. All breast fed and to be honest i don't recall the lack of sleep being that bad. Doesn't last forever. My 9 month olds never woke up 3/4 times a night

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 24-Aug-14 01:14:20

Well of course your baby won't have read the books...

My DS was a terrible sleeper, truly awful, but even he started to sleep through by 18 months. Clearly you will sleep again, the moot point is when. Just smile and nod. What is absolutely true about having a child is that everyone has an opinion...

hartmel Sun 24-Aug-14 01:14:47

I have a 11 month old son, who started to sleep through the night when he was 5/6 weeks old.. It started off by him going to bed at 11/12 pm and he only woke up at 8 am. Now he goes to bed at 9 pm and wakes up at 7/8 am, I give him his bottle and he sleeps another 2/3 hours..
Yes sometimes I have to get up because he is looking for his dummie. Or some nights he wakes up a lot because he is teething. But I'm not complaining as I still get my sleep because he doesn't want to be fed at night..
With taking a shower or bath, I wait till the evening and DH is watching him while I enjoy a nice relaxing bath. Will switch to shower soon as I'm pregnant with baby #2..

And yes it annoyed me and still annoys me when I get comments where people try to scare you..

Oh and my aunt always told me "if your house has toys lying everywhere, it does not mean your house is dirty" with all the toys, swings and play mats my son has it does look kind of full and messy in the house but I don't care as I want him to feel comfortable and not like everything needs to have its own place and he can't touch anything because I'm to scared he will make the house dirty..

flappityfanjos Sun 24-Aug-14 01:19:19

I do kind of know why people feel the need to ominously inform first-time parents-to-be of what may lie in store. It's because they remember how shocked they were by the reality, and they partly want to tell you the things they wish they'd understood, partly want to feel vindicated about how hard they're finding certain parts of parenting!

But you can't really understand how it's going to be, and despite their relative wisdom (for whatever that's worth), they have no idea how it's going to be for you. They only know how it is for them.

The only certainty is that you've got a steep learning curve ahead of you and you'll tackle it in your own way. You know which approach you favour, and when the baby arrives you'll put it to the test, and if it works then you're well away, and if it doesn't you'll figure something else out.

(The only thing I genuinely wished someone had told me was that babies can shoot poo out at high velocity and cover quite a distance. I wailed on Facebook one morning after scraping orange shite off the radiator at 2 am. My parent friends were all "heh. Forgot to mention." Bastards.)

FWIW, loads of 2.5 year olds sleep through, it wasn't a stupid question! And loads of 9 month olds don't need three feeds a night any more, either.

missbluebird Sun 24-Aug-14 01:31:06

You did ask them! Best to avoid such a hot topic if you don't want the standard answer.

Every baby is different. My DN slept through from 6 weeks, BF baby, non gina ford approach, but has a bedtime routine. I have done the same and my DS is nearly 6 months and he still wakes twice a night still for feeds.

I found it interesting what people's definition of sleeping through was. Going to bed at 7pm and waking at 5.30 is a sleep through but still impacts on your sleep! would kill for a lie in

My mistake was not introducing a bottle soon enough so am stuck with the night shift even though DH would love to help out.

BeCool Sun 24-Aug-14 02:09:04

Well you did ask him .....

Good luck with the routine.

LittleRedDinosaur Sun 24-Aug-14 02:33:12

You did ask...... Hope it all works out with the routine. Sure you'll be fine but some babies really aren't great at sleeping whether or not there's a routine.
They get older and sleep better but they still have nights (like mine is having right now) where they aren't well/ are teething/ having a night terror and there you are sitting on the floor by their bed with a hot/snotty/scared toddler thinking back to pre-baby sleep and how amazing it used to be!

CheerfulYank Sun 24-Aug-14 02:56:51

I think it's because all of us who had children said a lot of things before that turned out to be completely untrue.
My DS slept well, my DD did not sleep longer than 3 hours in a row, no matter what I did, til she was almost a year old. It's just the way she is. Now, at 15 months, she's much better, but before she just wouldn't, routine or no.

Tbh it kind of annoys me when people who don't have children say "I need my sleep" as though we don't. I need sleep too, but when you have a baby who will NOT go down or screams herself sick when ignored, there's not a lot to be done.

Gennz Sun 24-Aug-14 03:24:58

I didn't actually start the sleep conversation, they did - I asked about the 2.5 year old sleeping because I (foolishly, clearly) thought it would be a reasonably safe question. Nor did I say "I need my sleep" or imply that people with kids don't! Simply that the thought of not having any horrifies me (after sufferng from insomnia which I managed to sort out).

Thanks for the "good luck with the routine" wishes though I suspect they're not particularly genuine. I hope it works but I'm aware it might not - it's worth a crack though.

CheerfulYank Sun 24-Aug-14 03:38:05

I didn't say good luck, but I will now, and genuinely. smile It didn't work for me with DD but it does for lots of people.

The thing about parenthood (and I don't mean to be condescending at all) is that it is surprising what you can manage when you have no choice.

CustardFromATin Sun 24-Aug-14 03:39:56

They're being well intentioned but annoying.

However, you can't guarantee that just because your approach is different to theirs, that your outcome will be. DS1 was bottle fed, tried strict routine (Gina, gulp) and failed dismally, slept rubbishly. DD was exclusively breast fed, I decided to go the full hippy mum demand-everything path, and she slept and fed like a dream. Thought I'd cracked this mothering business and so did the same with ds2... Who was the worst sleeper ever.

Anyway, this is a long way of saying that your experience of being a parent is partly down to your approach but also a lot down to your baby. Ignore people giving bitter or unhelpful advice, but also maybe they are just trying to help understand that control is not very possible at the parent of a young child! Congratulations smile thanks

Gennz Sun 24-Aug-14 03:41:34

Thanks Cheerful

I guess I am getting a bit panicky as obviously I am totally clueless!

Another of my friends summed up parenthood quite well I thought: "all the horror you expected + more love than you ever imagined possible = net incremental benefit" grin

Gennz Sun 24-Aug-14 03:43:18

Thanks Custard! I have had a fairly unpleasant pregnancy so am hoping the Universe will undertake a karmic equation that will deliver me with a good sleeper...

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