You know the one…the one where you wake up before your baby. The one where you almost feel like something resembling well rested. The one where THE BABY SLEPT THROUGH A FEEDING ZOMG THE BABY WAS ABDUCTED OR THE CAT FELL ASLEEP ON HER FACE OR SHE STOPPED BREATHING!!
We’re all on the same page?
In theory you should be so excited that your baby is growing up and the sleeping! It’s getting easier! I may get to sleep for FIVE! STRAIGHT! HOURS! EACH! NIGHT! You should be able to go back to sleep peacefully, knowing that your baby is safe and comfy in their bed.
But no. NO NO NO NO.
You’re absolutely sure that the baby stopped breathing. There’s no other reason that the baby should be so quiet. You lie there. You run over the bedding situation in your head. On her back? Check. No loose blankets? Check. Good air temperature? Check. Proper bed? Check! You lie there some more, completely silent. Hoping to hear a breath or a squeak or the a thump of a limb. You wonder how you should approach the situation. Bend down close and listen? Poke and run? Hand on the chest? Sneeze and watch for a wiggle?
If you’re anything like me you would have seen those mats you put in your baby’s bed that alerts to you when they stop moving or breathing for a certain amount of time and you would have rolled your eyes and wondered why on earth anyone would spend hundreds of dollars on something that one of your five senses could just as easily tell you. (So maybe don’t taste the baby…) Suddenly it all makes sense in this one panicked moment. (Although again, if you’re anything like me even if you did have the fancy contraption you’d be absolutely sure the damn thing stopped working.)
I’ve had several friends who have the fancy is-the-baby-breathing contraption and they have either been A) awoken by it and found that their baby was in fact face down in the mattress leaving them thankful albeit panicked or B) awoken by a false alarm that nearly killed them dead with panic anyway.
I think I’ll just take wait for that one night to pass by, the one where the baby sleeps longer than me, have my little worry session…poke the baby and realize everything is okay. It just another part of new parent initiation isn’t it?