I remember those early days with my son, those days and weeks when we were fueled only by euphoria, forsaking sleep and taking shifts watching our new baby around the clock, lest he stop breathing (he didn't) or some major milestone should occur (it didn't). Trips out of the house were opportunities for us to shake off newborn/new parent cabin fever and show our little one off with pride (but don't get too close and DON'T even think about touching my baby, Stranger). Inevitably, we were bombarded with questions, which we, proud to have created such a beautiful specimen, were all too happy to answer.
The most commonly asked question, one that stays with me to this day, was whether our baby was sleeping through the night. This question began when he was a mere 2 weeks old, and we politely smiled, shook our heads, and proceeded to tell those kind folks (strangers as well) about all of the other awesome things our newborn was doing (soiling 12-15 diapers a day; smiling at us -- and NO, it was NOT just gas; eating non-stop during his wakeful hours; cooing with gusto; etc.). But by 8 months old, the "sleeping through the night" question, and all of the unsolicited advice that came along with it, had begun to wear me down, and all I could do was grimace, shake my head and mumble how my son was constantly hungry and just wasn't a good sleeper.
Because of our experience, with a baby who preferred to take in virtually every moment of a 24-hour day, and the abundance of unsolicited (bad) advice we received, I decided to create a helpful list of signs for those people dying to know if a baby is sleeping through the night. Here is a quick reference guide to share with those people who have the urge to ask someone how his or her baby is sleeping:
- You see nonsensical Facebook status updates posted by me at 2:30 a.m.
- You drop by, unannounced, to lend an ear, hand or both, and I answer the door, oblivious to the fact that my milk-caked, lanolin-smeared breast is exposed.
- At the sound of a baby crying -- any baby -- I automatically stop what I'm doing and turn and head in that direction.
- While you're on the phone with me, I share how my bad day has gotten worse, now that I'm unable to locate my... phone. (This actually did happen.)
- I call you to "catch up," only to find that we've just spoken that morning. (See #4.)
- You wake in the morning to find that I've "liked" every photo in your vacation album on Facebook... from three years ago.
- My shirt is on backwards and/or my buttons are mismatched.
- I have circles under my eyes and an overall frazzled appearance. (See #7.)
- I'm in tears, and neither you nor I know why.
- Any conversation with me involves me using "Ferber" as every part of speech (Ferberized, Ferbering, doing Ferber).
What other signs am I missing? Help me create a definitive list by leaving signs your baby's not sleeping in the comments.