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To sleep perchance to dream

Once you have a baby, you and everyone around you will become obsessed with how much (or more likely how little) sleep you’re getting. The holy grail is “sleeping through the night” but whether your little darling manages 12 hours at 6 weeks or 6 years, don’t crack open the champagne/non-alcoholic fruit cocktail/bottle of breast milk yet.
So called experts claim that just five hours of sleep is sleeping through! Hardly worth celebrating….
Even if you achieve 1 or maybe 2 or good nights sleep don’t be fooled – your baby is simply lulling you into a false sense of security. When my daughter slept through the night at a ridiculously early age I smugly thought I had it cracked but I had no idea of the hell that was to come in the form of:

  • teething – some parents claim their little darlings wake up with a full toothy smile and no pain – they are lying! Most little ones feel every tooth which in turn means you will (though why they hurt so much more at night is anyone’s guess)
  • toilet training – you’ve got your toddler in pants during the day and then take the leap to going commando at night-time – it has to be done but expect interruptions throughout the night as they try to find their way to the bathroom or even just report on what they’ve done in the potty at 2am
  • being a monkey – some kids will do anything to get out of going to bed. One friend’s little boy complimented her on her interior design and even her bannister to delay the inevitable, others have demanded everything from one more kiss to another sip of water all to avoid climbing the wooden hill to Bed-fordshire.
  • getting their own bed – moving out of cot may mean your little one is growing up, it also means they can get out of bed whenever they feel like it and most probably will!

So if you are getting a good night’s sleep please do enjoy it and get those batteries recharged ready for the next crazy onslaught. If you’re just starting out as a parent try not to put too much importance on ‘sleeping through’, as you can see it’s a myth – the only time you can guarantee sleep is when they’re teenagers and you’re trying to get them up!

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