As I mentioned last week, I am literally days away from becoming a new father and nothing scares me more at this point – and I mean nothing, not the crying, the diaper changes, what college tuition will look like in 2032 – than losing sleep.
Like most people, I love sleep. Love, love, love it.
And from talking to those I know with little kids, it seems the one universal truth of becoming a parent means the days of sleeping in until 11 are over, at least until the kid can pour its own bowl of Cookie Crisp and plop down in front of the Cartoon Network – and probably not even then.
I bring this up, because I honestly am not sure how my body will handle the sleep deprivation that will come with being a new parent. Will I survive on a few nonconsecutive hours a night? Are the other parents just trying to scare me? Will I pass out on my kitchen floor by the end of Day 2?
My guess is that I’ll be able to manage it, trying to go to bed a little earlier to make up for being up at night and then sneaking in a cat nap or two during the day to keep me going. After all, people have been having babies for thousands of years, and I’m sure babies not sleeping isn’t some kind of new revelation.
The one rule I’ve heard from parenting vets: You sleep when the baby sleeps. That seems like good advice to me, something I think I’ll be good at as it usually takes me about three seconds to fall asleep once my head hits the pillow whether it be going to sleep for the night or killing 20 minutes before an afternoon conference call (Note to my boss: That was a joke. I’d never do that. Come on, I’m kidding! J … Kind of.)
So, as I wait for my wife’s water to break and the contractions to start, I want to hear from the parents out there on how to handle the first few weeks: How do you handle the lack of sleep? What should I expect? How’s it really going to be?
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Twitter @davidstegon with your advice. I’m all ears.