It is 5:30am as I write this blog post. Andrew (11 weeks) is dozing in my arms after his most recent feed.
No amount of warning could have prepared me for nights with an infant. I have been told by one set of parents that I am lucky that Andrew sleeps 3 to 4 hour stretches as their child sleeps little more than 2 hours at a time.
I have been feeding Andrew only breast milk since his birth. Occasionally
he has a bottle of pumped breast milk, but he mostly eats directly from the breast.
A typical nighttime routine is as follows:
- 5pm – change and feed Andrew
- 5:30pm – make and eat supper
- 6pm – feed Andrew
- 6:30pm – bathe Andrew
- 7pm – watch a movie or TV series while feeding Andrew
- 8pm – turn off all electronics and dim the lights… maybe feed Andrew again.
- 9pm – Andrew is normally asleep, place him in his bed and sleep myself
- around 1am – Andrew wakes up for his first feed
- around 4am – Andrew wakes up for his second feed
- around 5am – Andrew goes back to sleep and I get up to start my day.
- 7am – Andrew wakes up to start his day
I have tried going back to sleep after Andrew’s 4am feeding session, but Andrew wakes up at 7am bright eyed and ready for the day. I am more exhausted at 7am if I have tried to sleep than if I get up at 5am.
Thanks to Andrew, my goal of becoming an early riser is much easier to accomplish!
But I have also learned a lot from this experience of rising early almost every day since Andrew was born, and for these reasons I doubt I will ever go back to sleeping late.
- I am ready to leave the house sooner – my husband and I work together. By being up before him and Andrew I find that I am ready sooner than when I wake up at the same time as them. Our morning routines flow better. Andrew will sleep in the bed with daddy while I get ready, then I get Andrew ready for the day while Mark gets ready.
- I am able to cook breakfast – if I am up first, I have the time to cook us oats or maize meal porridge on the stove. These two breakfasts are considerably more affordable than other cereals or eggs and toast, which is what we resort to making if we are running late. Therefore it is also better on our budget.
- I get some me time – being the only one awake gives me uninterrupted time to relax in the bath, read the Bible (or another book), browse blogs online or just sit quietly enjoying a cup of coffee. This is something I have little time for since Andrew was born.
Even when Andrew is older and sleeping through the night, I hope to continue getting up before 7am every day and hopefully around 5am most days.
Having a child has changed my life, in a good way. Now if only he would sleep through from 9pm to 4am so I can get 7 hours of sleep in one stretch!