Do you want your day to be filled with the sounds of screaming and feel as if you will never get a break again? If so, then feel free to wake up your newborn, and wake him up often. If however, you are a sane human being, then my advice to you is to let your baby sleep as much as he wants.
Sounds like common sense and not really advice right? Well me being a worrisome new mom often woke my son up. I would worry about SIDS because I thought he wasn’t moving enough, he would nap for too long and so I worried he was starving or at least in serious need of a diaper change. Yeah I was crazy, but letting Andrew sleep as often as he wanted was a lesson I had to learn the hard way.
You don’t have to worry about a baby going longer than normal between feedings if hes sleeping. Sure he will be ravenous when he wakes up, but trust me, he will let you know it. So what if his diaper is a little fuller than usual once he finally opens those eyes? Maybe he soaked through his diaper and got his outfit wet, but guess what? That is when you go to your baby’s closet and pull something else out. If you had a baby shower or even just have generous friends and family odds are your baby is the one with the biggest wardrobe in the house anyway.
Now lets say you worry like me and decide to wake your baby up. First you will be greeted by a very grumpy face which will soon be followed by crying. The crying can range anywhere from “I’m hungry feed me now” crying to “this is the worst thing that has ever happened to me” crying. There may be some babies out there that are just always in such a good mood that they won’t care if you wake them up, but Andrew is not one of them.
Once you finally get your baby to stop crying your probably thinking your out of the woods, but trust me your not. Most of the time anything you try to do with your baby after waking him up is not something he wants to be doing. He probably won’t show any interest in toys, won’t want to do tummy time, and if he’s anything like my Andrew he will scream bloody murder if you try and bathe him when hes tired. The best thing to do is just let him go back to sleep. (Well actually the best thing to do is not wake him up in the first place, but letting him go back to sleep is a close second.)
There will be times where you have to wake your baby up because you have to go somewhere. That was the case for my family when I had an early morning doctor appointment. Getting a baby ready to go places first thing in the morning takes time. You have to account for the first feeding of the day, the diaper change, packing up the diaper bag with extra bottles, getting the baby dressed, and actually getting him buckled up in the car seat. All of that means that you have to get up extremely early because you still have to get yourself dressed and ready for the day too.
One the day of my doctor appointment, I woke up at 5:30 even though my appointment wasn’t until 7:40. I’m the type of woman who takes a short time to get ready because I pull on whatever is comfy and as far as makeup goes, well lets just say if I actually put any on it will only take me five minutes. So me having to wake up at 5:30 was insane. First I was so tired it took me a good fifteen minutes to actually get out of bed, then I stumbled around looking for clothes, and I said “screw it,” and didn’t bother with the five minutes for makeup. Next came the really fun part. I got to wake up Andrew. The poor guy was very angry at first, but luckily he was smiling after he had his morning bottle. He was a trooper the whole time we were in the waiting room and in the doctor’s office itself. I thought he was having a really good day, but I forgot that he also missed his morning nap.
That evening was terrible. He was so fussy, and nothing made him feel better. My husband and I were getting headaches because his crying was so loud. I tired everything I could to make Andrew happy even if just for a couple minutes, but he wasn’t having any of it. I didn’t realize that because I woke him up early that morning, he should go to bed early that night. When I gave him his last bottle for the day and put him in his crib, he was asleep within minutes. He ended up sleeping through the whole night, and even slept in a little later than he normally would.
I hope you all can learn from my mistakes. Do not wake a baby up unless it is absolutely necessary, and if it is, then be sure he makes up for that lost sleep at some point during the day. If you can remember that, then everyone will be able to remain happy and sane.