In three weeks of parenthood, we’ve learned a lot: how to change a diaper (also, how to change a diaper and not get peed on), the best ways to burp Miles (there are three total!), how to bathe a newborn (also, how to bathe a newborn and not get peed on), how to put him in a sleeper gown without making it seem like we’re bagging him up for eternity (clothes over the head cause mild panic with our son). We’ve also learned that people, regardless of whether they’ve raised one kid, ten kids, or a dozen emus, want to give you advice.
Most of the advice we receive is on how to help your newborn sleep. And while we understand the concept of sleep schedules, feeding schedules, teaching him day and night, etc., there’s one thing people need to realize: he is three weeks old. There is no schedule, except the one Miles gives us. He’s not going to “cry it out”, because he’s not trying to “manipulate” us into holding him (yes, that was advice I received). If he cries because he wants to be held, we snuggle. Look at my sneaky newborn, tricking me into giving him love and affection! (insert eye roll)
The truth is, Miles sleeps pretty well. Most days, he’ll nap for 2-3 hours at a clip, and at night, we’re blessed with 3-4. And once he’s out, he’s a darn good sleeper, for the most part. He cannot be awakened by the landscape service weed whackers flinging rocks at windows; not by the FedEx and UPS guys who insist on beating the front door down like they’re DEA (thanks, guys), or by my husband falling asleep with him on his chest during a “Deadliest Catch” marathon with the volume so loud I can hear the bleeping of expletives and crashing of waves from our bedroom. No, Miles will not be disturbed by these things.
There are, however, a few things that always wake up him. And I thought to myself, “now that’s advice new parents could use, right?”
So with all the advice on how to get your newborn to sleep, I thought I could share some of my own, but with a different twist. Here are the Top Twelve Ways to Wake Up Your Newborn. Enjoy!
- Press “brew” on your coffee pot. At 5:30a, Miles can sleep through me dropping my coffee mug twice, accidentally slamming the silverware drawer, and fumbling through the 9,782 K-cups in my coffee basket…but pressing the near-silent “brew” button on the Keurig is the equivalent of sticking a rooster in the short one’s room at sunrise.
- Get in the shower; wash your hair, apply leave-in conditioner, then shave your right leg. You will not make it to the rinse cycle. You will have one Nair commercial worthy leg, and one “Searching for Skunk Ape” worthy leg for the next seven days.
- Pour milk on your Raisin Bran. And I thought I’d be safe by staying away from Rice Krispies.
- Sneeze. You can blow your nose, sure…but do not sneeze. When I blow my nose, it’s akin to the mating call of the Canadian goose (I actually have a co-worker who yells, “EVERBLADES, GOOOOOOAAAAAL!” when I blow my nose). Nose blowing does not phase the short one. But sneezing? You can watch Miles’ sweet little baby blues pop open with a panicked look of, “What the heck was that?!”
- Tip-toe down the hall, in the dark, on the rug, at 2am. Because accidentally walking into the open linen closet door across the hall from the nursery won’t do the trick…you must step on that pesky, creaking area rug.
- Brag about how well your newborn is sleeping. He’s just waking up so he can join the conversation, you know. He’ll wake up every half hour now, just to make sure he’s not missing anything.
- Answer the phone. Lots of friends and family think I’m ignoring them nowadays. I’m not. When I’m home alone, answering the phone (or attempting to make an outgoing call) is the most certain way to wake up Miles. It doesn’t matter if he’s been asleep four minutes or four hours; the word, “Hello?” is an air raid siren to a newborn.
- Start dinner – or – attempt to eat a hot meal. Do I smell a wake-up call?
- Make oatmeal. Sure, this could fall under #8, but here’s the thing about oatmeal: we all know what happens when you let it sit in the bowl too long. If you don’t eat it while it’s hot, it’s going to turn into concrete. You’ll end up soaking the breakfast bowl for 45 minutes, or running it through two dishwasher cycles, just to get those cinnamon oats off. Oatmeal is a risky breakfast choice when you have a newborn.
- Take laundry out of the dryer. I now know why so many of my mommy friends have wrinkled clothes. I will never judge you again, ladies.
- Try to watch Law & Order: SVU. This is one of our favorite shows, and Miles knows that. If I were to turn on “Real Housewives of New York”, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, or some stupid infomercial about a juicer, the short one would stay totally zonked. But if the Captain so much as whispers a question to Detective Benson, it’s game over.
- Take a nap. I’m pretty sure the last time I dozed off on the couch, Miles said “LOL!” before dissolving into a fit of “feedmeburpmechangemesnugglemegive memydamnbinkie!”
Our son is an amazing, incredible blessing, and we love him so much our hearts want to explode. Yes, we have plenty of warm, fuzzy Hallmark Channel worthy moments in the Coke house…but there are also plenty of, “holy cow, do we know what we’re doing?” moments. And while I enjoy sharing the sweet stories, it’s also lots of fun to share the “please just let me sleep 20 more minutes” stories, because most of us have been there and can relate.
Yes, parenthood is the most awesome adventure we’ve ever set out on, but it’s also one of the most challenging…and that’s something that people are not as open and honest about (seriously, you can post a dozen happy, smiling photos of your baby on Facebook, but we all know that bugger is screaming at 2am for no good reason at least once this week).
And on that note, our sweet, loving baby boy has gone from sleeping angel to howler monkey in the last 47 seconds…I believe it’s feeding time. J
Happy Mother’s Day!