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I have been fortunate.  Throughout my adult life, I have held many jobs that have kept me up at all hours of the night, and my lifestyle outside of those jobs has often kept me up at all hours of all the other nights.  Our little angel does have father's ability to sleep at the drop of a hat, but sometimes she takes a bit more convincing... 

The main idea is forming a habit - just like going to the gym, I feel that sleeping patterns are something that can (to an extent) be trained.  Train yourself to survive on less sleep and you will find that you don't need that much to function.  Thanks to nature, Meg has also been getting fewer & fewer hours in the weeks leading up to the birth.  She continues to thrive on some magical maternal hormones that mean she requires far less sleep than usual to function in her current capacity as a feeding machine; we're very thankful that she doesn't have to return to work just yet!

For men, though, it's a different beast.  Sleeping on the job is often frowned upon by others, especially when your poor wife is doing all the hard work!  I've gotten away relatively lightly, however.  Given that I'm not the one working, I'm able to dedicate a lot more time in when Meg needs, which is a great little Brownie-points earner!  Luckily, too, I can survive without regular meals for a while & can nod off fairly readily, almost anywhere. 

I seem to develop two layers of sleep - there's the incredibly deep sleep, which is rare, where Meg usually has to lay the boot into me to wake me from, but there's also the super light level, in which I can jump up and about doing things like changing nappies & little outfits without a second thought.  I still feel rested after all of this and can get back to sleep without a worry afterward, but usually have very little memory of actually having woken... 

Now while this is working, I'm totally cool with it.  I'd much rather be allowing Meg to rest during these first few weeks than having her get up & do everything - she's already producing milk, and I'm going to guess that that uses a lot of energy, so I'm pretty impressed with how she's going! 

Another factor is the eating.  Now I'm a guy who loves his three (or six) square meals each day, but having Ava has thrown me completely out of whack.  Timings mean nothing to a three-week-old baby.  Snacking is where it's at.  Snacking constantly on things like trail mix (keep away from the junk, obviously) gets me through and keeps me level-headed in what is a pretty stressful time.   Keeping the food up to Meg is a more difficult task, as she usually just wants something easy and fast (i.e. noodles or chocolate). 

Another good idea is red wine - for her, a small glass after dinner means that she's asleep before 9 pm (beer and wine have reportedly helping with milk production for millennia - read more about it here); for me the rest of the bottle means that I can sit up writing these quality posts or watching movies until Ava's had her last feed for the day (usually ending around 1 am).

Otherwise, the only other advice, which you'll hear everywhere, is to rest when the baby does.  Even when it seems totally inappropriate by normal standards.  Meg has been having a lot of 9 am naps lately, and I've been getting some good rack time just before dinner.  It means that I can take the night shift, and she takes the mornings. 

Of course, as a male, there's bugger all that I can do to help feed her in the wee hours, but just a little support goes a long way. 

 





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