Yes, I said it. The disturbed sleep, the black, tar-like nappies, the uncomfortable feeling of trying to sit down while your nether regions haven’t healed yet. I love this stage the most.
Once the dust had settled and we’d got our heads around being a family of four, I fell in love with the newborn phase of Rory’s life, just as I had with Isla. And yes, this is a strange opinion, but I’ll tell you why.
As one of my closest friends put it, right now Rory pretty much is in a routine of eat-sleep-poop-repeat, which means excursions out of the house are quite easy as he just sleeps the majority of the time. He feeds every 3-4 hours so it’s relatively simple to plan a trip out between his feeds. I even managed a day out shopping and doing lunch with my mother-in-law when he was two weeks old and he either slept happily in his pram, or watched the world go by. So much easier than keeping tabs on a toddler who wants to touch everything, not hold my hand, and decides halfway round that she doesn’t want to walk anymore.
Plus newborn sleep is brilliant. The average newborn sleeps up to 18 hours a day and we’re lucky that when Rory sleeps, he sleeps. Very deeply, and for a good couple of hours at a time, which means a good amount of downtime for mummy. I can either get jobs done (I’ve even been able to vacuum around him!), eat, enjoy a hot cup of tea, or actually catch up on some sleep – like you’re always being told to. Plus newborn sleepy cuddles are just the best!
Give it a few months and he’ll be napping a lot less, and will be a lot more active, so that cuppa will be left abandoned on a high shelf while I’m chasing a crawling/toddling baby around the house. Right now, I also don’t have to worry that if I pop him in his Moses basket and turn my back for a second, when I look back he’ll have crawled out and will be trying to climb into the washing machine, which I’m enjoying while it lasts.
Because don’t get me wrong, i’m under absolutely no illusions that these blissful, quiet hours will last. I’m very aware that this is the calm before the storm, and that babies can change in a heartbeat from happy, sleepy babies who feed like clockwork to angry little sleep thieves who just want to cry for hours on end. With Isla, that change came on New Years Day 2016 when she turned 4 months old, and then BAM!! Four month sleep regression hit, and Isla stopped sleeping. At all. And because she was overtired, she was miserable as hell, which meant trips out of the house were very stressful and consisted of her screaming her head off, making this exhausted mummy frustrated and weepy.
Then once we were past the sleep regression, Isla started crawling and developing so quickly, so our days were spent trying to stop her crawling under the coffee table and keep her clever little mind active.
So that’s why I’m making the most of these quiet days where I’m actually able to enjoy a hot brew and an episode or two of Game of Thrones. Where I don’t have to worry about packing little pots of puréed food on a trip to the supermarket in case he gets peckish. Right now, just whipping out a boob will be enough to settle him. But not for long!
The old saying goes that mums should “enjoy every minute”, so that’s what I’m doing right now. And hoping that the day it all changes won’t come too soon, as I love sleepy cuddles with Rory. I love watching him sleep and feeling him snuggle into me when he’s feeding. I love watching him flap his little arms and legs around when he’s on his playmat. He’s a little treasure, and I’d love to keep him as the little snuggle bunny he is now!