You spend months trying to get your babies to sleep through the night, but the first time they do? Yeah, it's basically horrifying. You don't realize how reassuring and treasured those middle of the night feedings are until they stop happening. I'm the most paranoid parent in the world, so when my babies first start sleeping through the night it actually means less sleep for me. I spend half the night checking and rechecking to make sure they're okay. They wake up completely well-rested, and I wake up, well, not.
Most baby milestones bring mixed emotions. There are reasons to celebrate but also whole new causes for alarm. So much of parenting is realizing things are rarely as perfect and wonderful as we imagined they would be. Sleeping through the night is a huge milestone and it's bound to leave you with some mixed emotions. Here are some thoughts every parent has the first time their baby sleeps through the night:
1. Wait, what?
You wake up in the middle of the night, or even the next morning, and you have no idea what is going on. What day is it? How long have you been asleep? Were you abducted by aliens? All of those are serious questions.
2. Something is terribly wrong!
The worst case scenarios start running through your mind. You frantically race to check the baby's breathing, temperature, sleep position. You put a hand on their chest and stick your ear right up to their nose. The baby is fast asleep, snoring slightly, and totally content. The aliens did not abduct them.
3. This is amazing!
You do a silent happy dance while wondering if you should wake your partner and/or have a block party. Maybe you'll call your mom. Shit, it's 3 in the morning. Facebook and Twitter will have to do. Tag everyone.
4. What do I even do now?
What is this magical freedom? I can do anything! Should I get drunk? Have sex? What did we used to do before we had kids? Oh, sleep! Nope. Can't do that. Too anxious and excited.
5. I'm bored.
So...this is awesome. Candy Crush, it is.
6. Something is terribly wrong! Again!
Seriously, this is impossible. They cannot be sleeping this long. This is a sign of the apocalypse.
Then you check them again, and yup: perfectly fine.
7. I should sleep.
I'm kind of tired and it doesn't look like they're waking up any time soon. It couldn't hurt to just roll over and get a little shut-eye.
8. I can't sleep.
I can't do it. I'm too worried. They'll probably wake up the second I pass out anyway. I should set an alarm and wake up every half hour to check on them. That's absurd? Don't care. I'm doing it.
9. I'm not sleeping.
Yeah, this isn't happening. I'm staying up all night.
10. Oh, shit. It's time to get up.
I was just about to fall back to sleep. Screw everything.