Saturday, 10 October 2009

When is the morning not the morning?

Sleep deprivation rather comes with the territory of having a baby. It's one of the things that you sign up for, and consequently shouldn't really be complained about.

And things are much better than they were: in the first few weeks we thought that two hours of continuous sleep was a luxury, and 5.30am was a lovely long lie-in. What was interesting was the way that big-sister, who has slept for Britain for nearly two and a half years, suddenly started to be woken up by 'monsters' during the night. Unhappily this managed to coincide quite spectacularly with the few precious hours that her baby brother was asleep so the nights were even more broken than they might have been.

But things got better quite quickly: the monsters were banished to the shed at night-times and by about seven weeks the young man stopped waking up on the hour every hour and began to go for three hours at a time between feeds.

Now we get a whole evening of grown-up time as Gilbert sleeps from 7pm, waking up for that first feed at around midnight. He has created his own routine, with no thanks whatsoever to Ms G Ford. The problem, however, comes with the small altercation about what actually constitutes the morning. Usually somewhere between 6am and 7am.

For Gilbert, this morning, 3.45am was play-time. He was up and smiling and 'chatting' (an absurd word to describe the noises that a baby makes, but one beloved by my health visitor). No amount of shushing could persuade him that it was not the start of a wonderful new day.

It must be remembered, however, that sleep deprivation is a form of torture. I can happily report that the only major side effects this morning seem to be that my husband dropped his perfectly cooked fried-egg onto his slipper and then swore. A lot.

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