Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dumb pregnancy advice made useful.

I wrote a blog called "Obnoxious things people said to me while pregnant," but never hit "publish" because it seemed more angry than funny at the time. I'll wait for better timing with that one, when I can look on those things with enough distance to laugh rather than roll my eyes. For today's blog, however, let's discuss the most annoying thing people said: sleep while you can!

Yes, even you probably said it to me, my good friend.

Reasons that is dumb advice:

1. You who said it, have you ever been pregnant? Have you forgotten? I'm actually able to sleep more than 45 minutes without having to pee now. I'm not saying I've enjoyed a fabulous night's sleep since the baby arrived, but I've definitely slept more deeply and for a longer stretch of time than when I was pregnant.

Cute baby photo of the day.
2. Newborns sleep, like, a million hours a day. We aren't yet masters of sleeping while the baby sleeps, mostly because he's not a big fan of his crib just yet, and we live in fear of smothering him. But we'll get there. And tag-teaming with a great partner, not to mention a grandmother who came to live with us temporarily (it takes a village, remember?), has allowed at least one of us to get a nap. We don't know what day it is, and we haven't returned a phone call in two weeks, but life is definitely not miserable. Besides, the no-sleep high is the best high of all.

3. You can't bank sleep, so there's not much point to sleeping while you can.

I'm thinking that the "Ha ha ha, sleep while you can, sucker!" advice could actually be made useful with a mild adjustment: don't take it literally. Rather than actually sleeping while you can, take it as a modern Carpe Diem or YOLO or Gather Ye Rosebuds, etc. You know, it means to enjoy every peaceful, quiet moment because life is going to change. That's pretty good advice. Although, to be fair, that's good advice to anyone -- future parent or not.

Another similar piece of advice that would actually be useful? Rather than "sleep while you can," how about: train yourself to fall asleep quickly. I find the hippie Hypnobirthing techniques that were useless during delivery were actually really useful to help me fall asleep during pregnancy. If I remember to do the relaxation techniques as soon as the baby falls asleep, I'm actually able to sleep while he sleeps. But if I'm awake worrying or making lists, then I only actually drift into dreamland just as the baby is waking up. So, yeah, better advice? Get a meditation CD or self-hypnosis app -- anything to help you fall asleep in 5 minutes rather than 30.

Okay that's my rant for the day.


  1. I hope I didn't give you any advice like that :) People don't really need all that much advice in general. I will say this though, sleeping is GREAT, you should definitely do it while you can, regardless of having a baby. Some people [like Margaret Thatcher] sleep 4 hours per night and think anything more is a waste, but not me, I think you can actually do a lot of thinking while you are sleeping and it pays off when you awaken. Long live sleep!!

    1. Totally agree! Sleep is great. (Unless I'm on vacation, then I have to wake up as early as possible and see EVERYTHING IN THE TOUR BOOKS!) Silly Margaret Thatcher.

  2. Hey - That Is ALWAYS said as a "Haha - sleep while you can, because it will never happen again." Except no one wants to actually say that, so they couch it as advice. All of us old muthas just laugh amongst ourselves later after we say that sort of thing to you guys. People said the same thing to us. They laughed , too, I think.