One of the most challenging parts of motherhood for me so far has been the sleep deprivation. It has actually taken me quite off guard, because I have always been capable of functioning off of very little sleep or pulling an all-nighter like the rest of them. I guess I just never put together that when you bring a newborn home, you are basically signing up for interrupted sleep EVERY NIGHT FOR A VERY LONG TIME. It compounds. There is really no “catching up the next night.” Unless you end up with a champion sleeper who figures out how to go 10 hours a night by 2 months old (Otto holds no such title), then the reality is that you’re just chronically tired.
Somewhere around 4 weeks, my exhaustion shifted from “I can’t possibly live life this way much longer” and googling “can you die from sleep deprivation with a newborn” to a little glimmer of hope. That hope came in the way of suddenly feeling like I could handle the sleepless nights. I’m not sure if it’s because I started sleeping better myself (during the first few weeks, I felt an obsessive need to go check on him every 30 seconds to make sure he was still breathing) or because my body just got used to living on 5-7 interrupted hours a night. Regardless, I feel like the fog has lifted, and I can function again at around 75% capacity… which is a huge improvement! I know that someday in the months ahead, my little buddy will treat me to a full night’s rest, and I’ll probably feel super-charged with energy. But until then, every single sleepless night is worth it for the sweet boy that I get to snuggle with in the morning.
Speaking of morning snuggles, that’s in the title of this post and I have written about nothing but sleep deprivation (I’ll blame it on the sleep deprivation 😉 )
I have recently talked to some of my mom friends about how long the “no sleep” thing lasts, and they all say the same thing: “I don’t really remember. But I know it does get better.” That right there proves to me that if the challenging moments can quickly be forgotten, then so can the sweet ones.
Thankfully, I ended up with a snuggle bug, and he is full of SO much joy in the mornings! We often co-sleep in the early morning, so I wake up with my buddy next to me.
These moments are so special to me… and I know they won’t last forever. It’s such a short window of time where your baby is small enough to be all swaddled up in a blanket and toasty warm next to you… where they fit so perfectly in the crook of your arm or laying stomach to stomach, their head nestled into your neck. It’s the sweetest.
This is our best “Mommy & Otto” time. We talk, we smile, we look around at the world around us. We have some of our best chats during this time 🙂 and I love it how he finds joy in his surroundings. While he smiles at me (and that’s my favorite!), he also smiles at anything else that amuses him– like the ceiling fan or the cat walking by.
I tend to be the type of person that looks ahead to what is to come rather than enjoying what is present in the moment. So I am trying really hard to soak in what is right in front of me… the crazy hair, the soft skin, and the way he still grips my finger.
I know that in a few months, there will be new milestones that will build upon what he has learned so far, and I’ll be focused on those things instead of who I know him to be now. It almost seems unfair how quickly babies change and grow. I have seen countless moms look back on pictures of their toddler as a baby and say, “This makes me so sad. I wish they were still this little.” I’m not there yet, but seeing this trend tells me to treasure Otto in all of his 2 month old glory.
Lastly, I know this isn’t a Tips and Tricks Tuesday post, but I’ll give one trick I’ve used to help Otto sleep well at night– and that is to use swaddles! The one he is wearing in these pictures is the Halo Sleepsack Swaddle in fleece. It’s perfect for winter, because it keeps them warm enough without having to use a blanket. I also use the SwaddleMe brand and the Love to Dream (a great style because the arms zip off for transitioning out of being fully swaddled at night). He has done well in all of these and the overall “tight, womb-like” feeling has helped him to go longer stretches at night and not wake due to startling.
For those of you pregnant… get ready to enjoy those baby snuggles, regardless of how much sleep you’re getting. For those in the thick of it, hold your littles tight. And for those of you who have older babies, toddlers, or young kids… I will say, there is never a time where a mother outgrows her need to snuggle with her babies. So hug them still. 🙂