Okay, so it happened. I jinxed myself. The day I wrote this article for Cheeky about what a perfect baby Preston is, he stopped sleeping 11 hours at night. No joke—he woke up every three hours that night. And the next night he woke up crying for a bottle at 2 a.m.; the following night it was 2:30 a.m.; the night after that it was 3 a.m. You get the picture. Preston not sleeping through the night anymore equals a very cranky Mom and Dad. And when Mom and Dad are cranky, well, let’s just say it’s not fun for anyone. Before you chastise me for complaining when I’ve had it pretty easy until now, consider this: It’s almost worse for us because we got a taste of the good life; we know how easy it can be. Now we’re like all the other new parents out there…deliriously tired.
But I guess I sort of deserved it, after my presumptuous public broadcast.
However, it’s not entirely my fault. According to BabyCenter.com and just about everyone else, 4 months is the age when some babies start regressing, or reverting back to earlier behaviors. I’m not sure how that theory applies to us, since Preston never had bad habits as a newborn—he was always a good sleeper. Wait, forget I said that. I’m doing it again. Scratch that. He was never a good baby; he was a total disaster!
Let’s put it this way: If “they” (as in those mythical medical professionals) say that babies can’t establish bad habits, or any habits for that matter, till they’re around 3-4 months old—and they do say that—then what exactly are our babies reverting back to at 4 months? And does this mean the first 3 months—you know, when we had it easy—have been awash in Perfect-Perfect Land?
What you really learn when going through these transitional periods with a new baby is how much everyone lies to you. They straight up tell lies, telling us what we want to hear rather than what’s probably closer to the truth. Even when I told my mom that Preston kept me up till 4 a.m. the other night, she said in her all-knowing Mom tone that lets you know you’re going just a little bit crazy, “He’s just going through a phase, Sarah, he’ll be back to sleeping through the night in no time.”
Yeah, no time is right.
And if bad habits, or good habits, start forming around now, then shouldn’t we be fearful of Preston thinking a full night’s sleep is from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., which it most certainly is not, unless of course you’re a hooker? Well, not according to my mother. “He’s not going to form a bad sleeping habit, Sarah, he’s a perfect baby!”
Tell that to the bags under my eyes.
It’s not just moms that lie; it’s friends too. “I remember panicking that she was reverting,” my friend Lauren said about her Perfect Baby Mayson who’s now 13 months. “And then just like that she was back to being a perfect baby again!” Notice she skipped a few details in there, like the sleep training she had to do to get her little girl back to Perfect Baby Status. The sleepless nights spent hysterically crying…and let’s not even talk about what her baby had to go through.
No one really tells it like it is—because, if they did, people wouldn’t have children.
Like when I asked everyone I know how bad a C-section really is, and was told by everyone it was “no big deal.” Remember? My C-section recovery was pretty rough. I recall sitting in the hospital for four sleepless nights, barely able to turn over on my side, or pee for that matter. The days, weeks—hell, months—following were no picnic either, and if it weren’t for Preston, I would’ve had a much harder time getting out of bed every day with a smile on my face. Thank god there’s a baby at the end of those C-section surgeries.
I should’ve known then that when it comes to babies, people tweak the truth. Maybe that’s why we ask the questions—because we want to believe the lies. We want to think our babies are perfect, our C-section scars aren’t that bad, and if it kills us, we’re going to lose the baby weight any day now….