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10 Things I’ve Learned From Being Up All Night With a Newborn

Silver is about three weeks old now and the sleep deprivation is starting to get to me. It was something that I anticipated–I mean it’s pretty much a given with a newborn–but it’s been a while since I’ve had to function this way. I’m thankful that my ability to consume coffee is back after a large hiatus during pregnancy because this. mama. needs. it.

With this being my fourth child, and my fourth experience with a newborn, you’d think I’d have some tricks for functioning on such little sleep. But, truth be told, I don’t. When my other babies were young and newborn, I was able to follow the “sleep when the baby sleeps” rule.  And even when I had three kids, because the oldest was only 3 years old at the time, there was nap time! I wasn’t working (outside the very difficult title of “stay-at-home mom”) and responsibilities were not as much as they are now.

Here I am, homeschooling my three older children, working a full-time job, and well, no one naps–not even Silver. And, you know, Silver doesn’t even sleep at night and consequently neither do I.

Still, as it turns out, while the sleep deprivation is cruel, I’ve learned some lessons from being up all night with a newborn. Not anything earth-shattering, but you know what? Look on the positive side, folks!

  • What I’ve Learned Being Up All Night With a Newborn 1 of 11
    newborn

    Who knew you could learn things at 3 am?

  • Netflix Is Essential 2 of 11
    10-3

    I can't tell you how many TV shows I've binge-watched since Silver was born. I've burned through more than a few shows and it's so essential for an up-all-night parent. It helps keep my mind focused on the crazy drama of "Parenthood" instead of the lulling noises of my son breastfeeding.

  • My Husband’s Snoring Makes Me Rage 3 of 11
    01-7

    It doesn't even matter if it's full-on snoring or just deep breathing--it makes me stabby. As I lay there patting the back of Silver on our fourth consecutive hour awake, while my husband happily sleeps away... it does things to me.

  • I Get Really Hungry at 3 AM 4 of 11
    02-4

    I don't have a lot of time to eat, and coming off a pregnancy where I had such little appetite I was shocked to learn that when the clock strikes THREE, I want to eat all the things. Of course, I'm trapped under a not-sleeping baby.

  • I Get Really, Really Grumpy at 4 AM 5 of 11
    03-3

    Like don't-even-look-at-me grumpy. It's not my finest hour.

  • Co-Sleeping Saves My Sanity 6 of 11
    04-4

    If I had to get up out of bed and walk down the hall every 45 minutes while the baby refuses to sleep, things would be so much worse!

  • Blackout Curtains Are Necessary 7 of 11
    06-4

    Since Silver (and on the weekends, me) can sleep only during the day, the blackout curtains help regulate some form of sleep and sanity. I am so thankful I bought them and put them up the day before Silver was born.

  • Bed-Share! 8 of 11
    07-6

    I can't wait until Silver is just a little bit bigger so we can bed-share. Sure, we totally could right now, but for our own personal reasons, we're room-sharing at the moment until side-lay nursing will be easier for us. We're not there yet, but that's what I dream about when I... well, daydream.

  • Don’t Make Sense, Don’t Care 9 of 11
    08-3

    I am learning to let go of the perfection and pretending I am not deprived greatly of sleep. I don't make sense all the time--won't make sense--and that's OK.

  • That Rule Is Lame 10 of 11
    09-2

    You know that "sleep when the baby sleeps" rule? Yeah, I've learned it's a totally bogus thing that can only apply to first-time moms. If I followed this rule, I would be sleeping right now.

  • His Smiles and Cuddles Make it All Worth It 11 of 11
    05-4

    It doesn't matter if he keeps me up for days, I've learned that once he nestles his head into my neck or finally falls asleep and smiles, I melt all over again.

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All images © Devan McGuinness

Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario with her husband and four kids . Read more from  on Babble and “like” Accustomed Chaos on Facebook!

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