Advanced search

How to feel happy at a friend's good sleeper?

(24 Posts)
Minesahotchocolate Sat 15-Apr-17 14:34:04

To Mums of bad sleepers: How did you let go of the anger/frustration at having had to go through this? I think I have some (ok a lot!) of residual pissed off-ness to let go of! A very good friend just had her first baby, and despite the little one being only a week old, it is already sleeping 2-3 hour periods at night, and napping in its pram like a pro. I find myself feeling really jealous & (I hate to admit it) angry that she has such a easy baby. I carried my super attached 2nd child everywhere in a sling, until at 6 months she finally took a nap in her pushchair for the first time. I cried it was such a relief not to be wearing her. This doesn't even begin to touch on the months of incredibly bad sleep. Please tell me that I'm not alone in these thoughts, and what you've found has helped you to let go of the negativity? I want to feel happy for my friend, but am really struggling to right now.

splendide Sat 15-Apr-17 14:37:06

Are you out the other side yet?

When I was in the dark days of total exhaustion I was jealous of everyone not being woken by a baby. It was so irrational - I'd see people (strangers) who were unlikely to have babies (so I mean older people or teens!) and think "fuck you, sleeping whenever you want".

I'm over it now that DS sleeps fine.

Minesahotchocolate Sat 15-Apr-17 14:49:31

Yup - THANK GOD - dd2 is now 3 years old, and sleeps great (thanks to a life saving sleep consultant who I found via Mumsnet). She 'only' slept badly for 10months, but that combined with her being a baby who wouldn't be put down, nearly broke me. I suspect that I was somewhat depressed at the time too, and with no family support nearby, the entire experience was one I would never wish on another - yet find myself bizarrely angry that my friend isn't experiencing such a tough time of things. Weird.

Haggisfish Sat 15-Apr-17 14:56:33

I read that bad sleepers are more intelligent-not sure how true it is, but it gave me slight solace!

LorLorr2 Sat 15-Apr-17 15:15:37

Perhaps there will be things your kids will be stars at that her kids won't manage so well. Maybe yours are adventurous eaters while hers are fussy. Maybe yours will be saintly teenagers while hers are a nightmare that will keep her awake with worry when they dont come home. Everyone has their struggles at some point! Remember too that so many mums have been in your position having an extremely hard time with their babies so you are in very good company flowers You don't have to be happy for the ones who seem to have it easier, it's reasonable that you feel annoyed! Just as long as you keep it to yourself haha wink

AChickenCalledKorma Sat 15-Apr-17 15:24:04

I had one totally non sleeping baby who I barely put down for 18 months and one "easy" baby who was like your friend's. They are now both adolescents and it's the non sleeping baby who has turned into a lovely, responsible, caring teenager and the "easy" one that battles with us and tests our patience every day.

I have no idea what you might take from that, other than possibly a sense of perspective and reassurance that you will not always be on the "unfair" side of the equation.

And try to take the long view - you will not always feel like this but it's super tough to remember that when you are utterly exhausted.

upperlimit Sat 15-Apr-17 15:27:20

Yes, I have these thoughts too. I try to be good and wish them well but I'd love to have someone to share my battle scars with and not just someone whose little one woke up at 6am, or needed one feed a night, like that counts hmmsmile

mimiholls Sat 15-Apr-17 16:14:02

If your friends baby is only a week old I think it's a bit soon to tell and she will undoubtedly have some tough times to come in one way or another. I would say don't ask people how their babies are sleeping- just don't enter into it as a topic of conversation and save yourself the rage!

Dozer Sat 15-Apr-17 16:15:29

Envy is useful in highlighting things we're unhappy about in our own lives.

GuinessPunch Sat 15-Apr-17 16:24:24

My friends baby is 2 weeks older and sleeps 10 to 10. Sits in front of the tv to watch tv in bouncer. Sleeps in the buggy when we go out.
Mine sleeps 8 to 1 and then up every hour. Naps in the sling and has only this week started going in the buggy when we are out.
I do get a bit if envy and eye roll inside when she complains however I wouldn't swap my baby for anything and everything is a phase. This is just the first 3 months.

GoodLuckTime Sat 15-Apr-17 16:28:39

Parenting is a long game. Everyone has their tough times.

Your friends new born may well wake more as they get older. People, with v young babies love to tell you if they're sleeping well, but it all could and likely will change a few weeks / months down the line.

There are some that always sleep well, but they will be challenging in other ways. People I know with good sleepers pretty much all seem to find the toddler years v hard. And as a PP said, maybe the teenage years will be tough for them.

I read something somewhere that said 'you have to adjust your life to accommodate your child at some point, and it's often tough while that happens' with a bad sleeper that happens early on, so somehow the rest can be less of a shock. If you've had an easy sleeper you can go through the first year + without that. But they'll become a toddler with opinions reedy to throw a tantrum sooner or later, and that can be very shocking if you've thought so far that you've 'got the knack' because they're happy to sleep well.

LouKout Sat 15-Apr-17 16:34:34

My DD is 10 and wakes for several hours a night. In case anyone wants to feel better about their bad sleeper grin

PugwallsSummer Sat 15-Apr-17 17:19:03

My DD1 was an awful sleeper. Woke multiple times a night for 4 years. Such a tough time. Even during the day she was clingy so I felt completely harassed all of the time. A friend had her baby at a similar time, and she slept through from 6 weeks. My friend would agree with my talk about exhaustion and feeling like a zombie and I would smile and nod while feeling confusedhmminside. In her more irritating moments she would spout forth her many tips to "help" me encourage my DD to sleep better (because it's that easy!), and question me constantly to try to work out where I was going "wrong". (We are still friends!)

DD2 is 4 months and has slept through since she was 8 weeks old, and even before that only woke once each night for a feed. She will happily sit in her bouncy chair and watch me doing jobs and has a very predictable routine of feed, change, play, nap. We have done absolutely nothing different with her. I've come to the conclusion that it's the luck of the draw. I totally appreciate my little sleeper - more so having experienced the sheer hell of relentless broken sleep.

Minesahotchocolate Sat 15-Apr-17 17:23:14

Thanks everyone - I appreciate you taking the time to comment. It does feel totally irrational to be so irritated by her baby sleeping when it is still SO young!

I think @Dozer might have a point. Thinking about it, she is a friend who is very good at taking care of herself, and asking/demanding help - where as I have always been someone to suffer on in silence, and my hubs isn't as supportive (or is, but in a different, I need to ask for the help, kind of way). Not quite sure how to follow that thought through to its conclusion... but thanks hugely to all for your comments.

Actually, I suspect/think that I was very depressed during the non-sleeping period and haven't really got my head around how some folks enjoy the baby phase/small children so much, as I do feel like it nearly killed me.

jimijack Sat 15-Apr-17 17:40:06

I have experienced envy and extreme jealousy of other parent for a few things. One was my non sleeper.
I recall wanting to punch a colleague at work without kids moaning that she couldn't have a lie in because the bin men woke her at 8 that morning.

My child woke up to 12 times a night until he was 5 and at school. I worked full time, night and day shifts, I had no help with him so would work a night shift, be up all day with him then up through the following night with him.

I remember crying while making my bed knowing that it would be 48 hours before I would get anywhere near it again.

Desperate dark dark days back then.

star15 Sat 15-Apr-17 17:41:31

I have a friend who was very smug telling me her DS was sleeping 6-8 hours at 4 weeks, while mine was up all night.

Her smugness didn't last when at 4months her DS turned in to a night owl while mine started sleeping 10 hours.

blueshoes Sat 15-Apr-17 17:46:27

There is no justice on earth but there is a special place in heaven reserved for the parents of non-sleepers.

Minesahotchocolate Sat 15-Apr-17 17:56:56

@Jimijack - you must be super strong person to have survived 5 years of that and worked at the same time. Wow.

@blueshoes - I hope so!

@star15, and others with similar stories - ha ha, no doubt there will be balance in time.

@LouKout and others with currently non sleepers - may the sleeping gods be with you & you all be feeling beautifully refreshed after unbroken nights sleeps soon!

Highlove Sat 15-Apr-17 19:27:32

Oh yes. And they're a wee bit smug about it, or at least he is - like they're superior parents. 12-14 hours straight through from a couple of months; 2-3 hour naps from tiny. Makes me feel a bit envy sometimes. Then I remind myself that the lovely little mite was left to CIO - full on shut the door and get on with it CIO - from tiny. Really odd as my friend is a really lovely, sweet person. Her DH is a selfish arse and a bit of a bully.

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Sat 15-Apr-17 19:39:10

I read something somewhere that said 'you have to adjust your life to accommodate your child at some point, and it's often tough while that happens' with a bad sleeper that happens early on, so somehow the rest can be less of a shock. If you've had an easy sleeper you can go through the first year + without that. But they'll become a toddler with opinions reedy to throw a tantrum sooner or later, and that can be very shocking if you've thought so far that you've 'got the knack' because they're happy to sleep well.

This really resonates with me. I had a shockingly bad sleeper and all-round grumpy baby/young toddler, but I didn't experience the "terrible" twos and threes in the way many around us seemed to. I really think that bit was smoothed by the work he had required of me earlier on, and I'd never really had the chance to develop expectations of eg a baby who would sit patiently in a cafe.

Then once he hit four he was quite obviously the easiest child amongst his peers, having been equally obviously difficult at one. That was the real turning point for me, actually - not when he started sleeping at two (because to be frank, why would I stop feeling violently envious just because mine was finally doing what theirs had done all along? I suffered for 2.5yrs to get to that point ffs!), but when it became 'our turn' to have it easy.

God knows what any of them will be like at 7 or 10 or 13 or whatever. But I don't hate people with easy babies any more because I've had a long enough view to believe it more or less evens out in the end.

Lepetitmarsellais Sat 15-Apr-17 19:51:20

DD was a terrible sleeper. Never really napped, even as a newborn. Always awake. Had to go to ridiculous lengths to get her to nap and just gave up at 18mo. She didn't go through the night until 15mo, etc etc.

The one thing that I have taken solace from is that poor sleepers are supposed to be more intelligent. And at 6, she is pretty ahead so perhaps it is connected.

Disclaimer - not suggesting that good sleepers aren't intelligent! It's just something that's made me feel better.

FATEdestiny Sat 15-Apr-17 19:56:50

I remember going to playgroups with DC3, who was sleeping 12h unbroken from 7 weeks (in fact was doing two consecutive 6h blocks of unbroken sleep from literally Day 1) and having long 2-3h naps from then too.

I used to cringe at any mention of sleep from other mums. Having been mother two two "more challenging" sleepers (let's say), I just didn't want to answer the "how's he sleeping?" question.

I knew the only outcomes to an honest answer would be:

- she's lying (untrue)

- her baby cries to sleep (never true)

- envy, jealousy and general bitterness (doesn't help anyone)

- bitch snidiness: it will get worse (it never did)

- baby will struggle in other ways to "compensate" for being a good sleeper (not as far as I am aware)

- there must be something "bad" about the way she parents (always gentle parenting)

Or any other number of negative outcomes. So I just smile, mod, say "yeah, ok" and change the subject

user1491749851 Sat 15-Apr-17 20:15:17

My sisters youngest DD and my youngest DD born a week apart ( hers being the older one, both 5 months). Her DD sleeps for 5/6 hours during the night and is a placid wee soul. Whilst my DD still wakes every 3 hours during the night and is very hard work. I can honestly say I've never been jealous of my sister until now sad

Minesahotchocolate Sat 15-Apr-17 21:46:42

I'm liking this idea that some more challenging babies/toddlers can be easier later on. DD2 has always been way more intense than DD1. She took a record breaking 3 months to settle into her forest nursery. I was almost at breaking point having been there, with her, every day in all weathers for 3 months, when a few days before christmas she finally decided that she was ok being left after all. Her older sister took a few weeks, if that, to settle in.

@Lepetitmarsellais - your DD sounds similar. Mine also gave up napping (having barely managed any before then anyway) at 18 months too.

Thanks for all the comments - they've been really interesting & helpful to read smile

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: