DADDY DIARIES A bleary-eyed newbie dad reveals what he’s had to (happily) give up with the coming of baby. Sleep has always been one of the best things in life for me, something I can never do without. In fact, I can readily forego meals, but not those precious hours and minutes spent dreaming and recharging my energies.
So it was with the nonchalance of being single a few years back that I sailed through an exchange of e-group messages among college friends.
Several in the group had become parents and were sharing stories and tips on sleep deprivation over caring for a newborn. Apparently, it was a major issue for these friends of mine. These young and upwardly mobile professionals recounted their sleepless nights with much clarity, told their stories with a lot of passion, and shared tips with the dignity of a survivor.
I, however, couldn’t be bothered. Although already in a serious relationship (with the fascinating woman who would eventually become my wife) at the time—having a baby was a somewhat hazy idea overshadowed by wedding plans.
I should have paid more attention. As I write this piece, it has been exactly three weeks since my wife Portia gave birth to our firstborn, a beautiful baby boy we named Paolo Leonardo.
Puyat patterns And for the last 21 days, my wife and I have not slept longer than four hours. Worse, we did not accumulate those 168 minutes in one continuous stretch, but painfully chalked them up in install-ments through the night, between many interruptions from a newborn that is hungry, wet, or simply does not feel like dozing off.
This is certainly a perfect time to re-member those helpful tips from friends, none of which I now recall, except for one suggestion of not allowing newborns to fall asleep during the day to make them sleep soundly through the night. I remember this particular tip because I find it rather cruel.
I would not say that Paolo’s erratic sleeping patterns were wreaking havoc on our schedules and our lives. But like many new parents, we were initially puzzled as we tried to make some sense of our baby’s sleeping and waking cycle.
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Click here to read on about Dennis's search for information about newborn babies' sleep patterns and how to introduce a routine.