“Does she sleep through?”
I must have been asked that question at least a thousand times over the past four months.
Every single person I encounter seems to have a keen interest in my baby’s sleep pattern.
Is she sleeping through the night? Does she sleep well? Is she good?
Every question seems to be focused on sleep. Some people even bother asking how much sleep I’m getting.
Thanks to this relentless stream of sleep-related questions, I spend a lot of time thinking about sleep.
I checked my Fitbit to see how much sleep I got last night. Six hours, if you must know. During that time, I was disturbed 19 times.
Things My Baby Has Slept Through
So, yes, I’m sleeping, but it’s not the greatest quality (Did you know broken sleep is as bad as no sleep? Yep. You’ll need to bookmark this article so you can show it to your partner after another broken night of sleep).
Does she sleep? Yes, she sleeps loads. She’s four months old. Her hobbies include sleeping, crapping and feeding.
She’s asleep for most of a 24 hour period, though not necessarily when I want her to be. Does she sleep through? Yes, she sleeps through the following:
#1: Countryside Walks
I took up walking when I was 27 months pregnant (well, it felt like that, anyway) as a way of trying to induce labour. It didn’t work, but it was a nice way to pass the time so I’d still recommend it to any women losing their minds at the end of that nine month stretch.
I took a few weeks off when my undercarriage felt like it was on fire after the birth but I made sure I was out walking daily again as soon as I felt I could.
I walk for miles each day. I walk down canal footpaths, through country parks and around my neighbourhood. It’s light exercise but it also gives me space to clear my head and focus on me for a little while.
Sometimes I go with a friend. I wrap the baby in my woven wrap and we’re off. She could be taking in the wildlife, the trees, the breeze, but instead she just sleeps through it. I wouldn’t be surprised if my daughter thinks she’s housebound because she sleeps through every single walk.
#2: A Trip To A Theme Park
We went to a theme park for the day.
Everything in the theme park is painted bright colours, there are people dressed up as bears and elephants wandering around and music blares out of speakers everywhere you go.
It’s a sensory explosion. But not for my baby, because she slept through the whole thing.
#3: The Nativity
I took my baby to see her big sister in a nativity. I was hoping she’d fall asleep on the way because the invitation was very strict about noisy siblings, apparently they can distract the budding thespians.
Much to my dismay, my baby did not fall asleep on the walk to the nativity. However, she did nod off as soon as the first line was spoken. I felt her head flop against my shoulder and she was out.
She only woke up at the end of the play when the grandma next to us clapped a little too enthusiastically. Obviously I didn’t tell her big sister this, I told her her baby sister bloody loved the nativity.
Is there anything more pointless than a baby playdate?
I’ve been on countless playdates and my baby has slept through every single one of them. She’s never even so much as smiled at these babies I call her ‘friends’. She literally just snores at them.
I think it’s safe to say she’s inherited her father’s social skills. I’m hoping she will improve her small talk before too long, otherwise we’re going to stop getting invited to playdates.
There is nothing lovelier than a sleeping newborn. When they’re still all folded up and clammy to the touch and they emit that heavenly smell of sleeping baby. It’s just lovely.
So why do healthcare professionals insist on ruining it? The midwives who visit after the birth, the health visitor who pops round to check everything is going ok, the doctor who wants to see what your baby weighs, they all want to wake up the baby.
I noticed that my healthcare professionals would drag out the small talk in the hope of letting my baby wake up, but eventually they’d have to give up and disturb her sleep in order to get to their next appointments.
#6: A Fifth Birthday Party
My oldest daughter recently turned five. To celebrate, we threw a big party in a local hall. There were 51 kids in the room. They were running and screaming and giggling. It was noisy.
My four month old slept through pretty much the whole thing. Snuggled up against my chest, she slept through the magic show, the Happy Birthday song and pass the parcel.
She woke up for just long enough to spit up all over one of my friends and then fell soundly back to sleep.
#7: Bright Lights
We took her to Blackpool Illuminations. It’s a huge strip of seafront lit up by huge plastic figures and decorations. I don’t know why it’s there but it happens every year.
Twinkly lights and moving figures, I thought she’d love it. She didn’t. She slept through it.
Over Christmas, I walked around my neighbourhood at night admiring the Christmas lights on display. One house had filled their front garden with light-up reindeers and fairy light trees. My baby didn’t see it, she was asleep.
Oh, sorry, you meant is she sleeping through the night?
No. No, she’s not. She’s a baby.