I Feel The Need…The Need For Sleep!
Posted By: Mike Schaffer
Your eyes are not deceiving you! Mike Schaffer is here to provide our first-ever male breastfeeding perspective.
In 2005, the American Film Institute ranked the top 100 movie quotes in history.
Just making the list at #94 was this great line from "Top Gun:"
Maverick (Tom Cruise): "I feel the need…"
Maverick and Goose (Anthony Edwards) together: "The need for speed!"
My wife and I have been having similar conversations lately…but we’re feeling the need for SLEEP!
We are just a few weeks away from our due date and we are just days away from moving to our new house. Yep, we’re THAT family, leaving the big city days before the first baby comes.
Pregnancy should be enough, but toss on a house-hunt, work travel and now packing, and we’re nearly running on empty.
Nights have been more “miss” than “hit” for my wife, who’s been waking up every two hours with a baby on the bladder. Which means I wake up every two hours, too.
So many people tell us we should be storing up sleep now, because we’ll never sleep again. Good advice, I’m sure. But just not possible in our situation.
While we normally would curse this as bad luck, we’re taking the high road.
We’re seeing this period as helping to prepare us for parenthood. The first few weeks and months, with breastfeedings every 2-3 hours, will lead to sleepless nights and zombie days. Getting into this rhythm now, in theory, should make it easier for us when we’re getting up to feed the baby and change her diapers. I think.
In the gym it’s called “muscle memory;” the more you perform an action, the more used to it your body gets, thus making it easier to perform said action.
Are we crazy to be so positive about it all?
Are we just adding more weeks on to the sleep deprivation ledger?
And what tips can you give us to help us maximize sleep in the weeks ahead while still giving regular feedings? All this positivity is making me sleepy.
In retrospect, I would have taken advantage of all the offers of help that we had - day AND night. After many months of sleep deprivation, my baby started sleeping a long stretch at night, and I heard that my mother-in-law would have come to stay with us to help, but she wasn't sure we wanted her there!! Since then we have become a lot closer and I won't hesitate to ask when I have my next baby. Everyone wants to help when you have a new baby, now is the time to take them up on it. Don't try to be a hero, you'll need all the help you can get.
If you're lucky enough to get any offers of overnight help (especially from another mother or aunt or someone with lots of baby experience), take them up. If your wife can just feed the baby and then hand him/her off to your overnight helper to be rocked/changed/put back to sleep, it will make the frequent wakings a lot easier. Your helpers won't suffer too much with the frequent wakings since they're only doing it for a night or two. I think the knowledge that you just have to feed the baby then go right back to sleep is a wonderful gift to the new mother and father.