Sleep when the baby sleeps

Let’s go back 7 years to when I was a new Mum, holding my brand new baby boy in my arms.

I always wanted children.  I imagined myself having 3 or 4.  Children are very different from babies.  I really had very little experience with babies.  I always felt awkward holding one and if it cried, I’d hand it straight back!

Holding my brand new baby in my arms was an amazing experience.  It was different because he was mine. He was a part of me. It felt like I was holding the most precious thing in the whole wide world.  And I was!

I held my baby ALL the time.  He cried every time I put him down!  Of course I picked him back up again.  I was STILL holding him when he fell asleep.

I asked myself if I was spoiling him by cuddling him until he fell asleep? By allowing him to sleep on my chest?  Is it even possible to spoil a baby? I wasn’t ready to let him cry it out.  The sound of his cries made my heart race. And break at the same time.

Everyone told me their best advice was to

“Sleep when the baby sleeps” 

When he finally did fall asleep, I would just stare at him in wonder.  Looking at his delicate little features.  Amazed at how we had created this perfect little bundle of joy.

In the beginning, I couldn’t quite relax and go to sleep. My worst fear was that he’d stop breathing.  I was constantly checking to see if he was still breathing.

He was absolutely fine.  He was a healthy baby boy. With no breathing issues to speak of.   I simply had a case of new Mummy paranoia.  If there’s such as thing.

Eventually, I got him to sleep for longer than 40 minutes at a time. Thanks to a friend of mine!  A lovely Mummy of 3 who came to visit one day and showed me how to put down a sleeping baby, without disturbing its slumber. Seeing her confidence handling my baby really helped me to let go of my fears and relax. I could do this!

Then I did sleep while my baby was sleeping. Turns out it was the best advice!

This was the tiny little face that kept me awake.  And quite simply stole my heart.

Tyson newborn bw

Photo credit: Patricia Woodgate, 2009


2 thoughts on “Sleep when the baby sleeps

  1. Allie, this is so touching. And so true – sleep when the baby sleeps (if you can)! I love your writing. There’s no doubting your love and affection for your boys 🙂 xxxHelen
    P.S. Looking forward to seeing you hopefully in the next week or two


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