My Advice to New Parents

The past two of four nights, I have not slept in my bed.  And, on any of the various the nights I have slept in my bed, my husband and I find ourselves accompanied by little humans, even when they start the evening in their own beds.

Experts claim when small humans are on the verge of developing a new skill, or meeting a new milestone, the small animals go through a sleep regression period.  This could manifest itself in myriad ways: refusal to go to sleep, refusal to stay asleep, or, in our case, refusal to be separated from the mother figure while in a slumber.  

Literally, the moment the smallest human is lifted to be placed in her crib, the eyes open, the arms tighten around me, and the crying begins.  One time, I had to go to the bathroom.  I was gone two minutes.  During that time, the crying turned into screaming, turned into throwing up – all in the time I was using the bathroom.  So, I am not a “cry it out” advocate.

Last night, after two attempts to put the baby human in her crib, I gave up and took her into our bed.  For the first time in the week, the oldest human child had gone to sleep in his bed, and I would have done a happy dance had I not had a baby attached to me.  Instead of our usual interloper (our son), we wound up with a new intruder in the bed all. night. long.  

I usually don’t like to give advice to new parents, aside from “enjoy the ride,” or, “enjoy your sleep while it lasts.”  Sometime around 3:30 in the morning, as the youngest small human nursed, I realized I have new advice to give.

Invest in some comfy furniture!

You don’t need some fancy, expensive glider or rocking chair.  

What I recommend is to buy a piece of furniture that is comfortable, durable, and that you will love to spend hours in – and, consider whether or not you can nod off in the furniture!

Countless hours have been spent in our glider, feeding both children, but it isn’t the most convenient to nod off in, because I am too afraid I will drop my them.

Before we were pregnant the second time, we visited a then-local Ikea store.  I absolutely fell in love with their sectional that included an option for a chaise.  I told my husband I could envision myself lying on the chaise while our son frolicked around with his toys – chocolate may or may not have been part of that vision.

Fast forward to this current sleep regression phase of our youngest small human.  Two out of the last four nights have seen me camped out on our chaise.  One of those nights, I developed insomnia, and binge watched my current guilty-pleasure show (ABC’s “Scandal”).  The second night, I nodded off, safe in knowing my small human, snuggled onto my chest (since she is too big to snuggle into now), would be in no danger of rolling off me onto the floor.  

My beautiful, blissful chaise lounge – my bed away from bed!

The stolen moments of slumber that night were priceless.  

Last night, tucked into our king bed, sheets and pillows far away from the smallest human (who was placed on her back), I was also able to relax enough to get a few minutes of restful sleep.  

I also pondered how much I love the furniture in our house.  While they may not be the most expensive or the prettiest furniture pieces money can buy, and for other people, may be too stiff, to me, in my sleep-deprived state, they are the most comfortable pieces of furniture in all. the. world!

So, if you are expecting a new baby, my advice is to find some furniture you love and doesn’t just look comfortable, but is comfortable!

Believe me, you will use it more than you know.

What about you?  What is your advice for new parents?  Or, what is your most prized piece of furniture while raising small humans?

12 thoughts on “My Advice to New Parents

  1. Your advice is right on target! My three are all grown and out of the house. I spent many nights in the recliner where my small humans would be cradled next to me. When they refused to sleep….a little Marty Robbins playing softly in the background did the trick. I am never sure who fell asleep first – the child or me.

    1. Fantastic!! My son would fall asleep with Tim McGraw. My daughter just seems to fall asleep with Mom – that’s all she wants. As long as she has her designated body pillow, then she seems good. I just don’t like to do that on our bed, when we have the older one in with us.

      1. My middle son would wake up every couple hours the first year. All he wanted was for me to come in, hum a little to him and rub his back. It made for a tired set of parents but we survived and he is now 30! I have no idea where that time went.

  2. OK well if you want some real advice now, I think it is critical that both parents provide a consistent and unwavering level of discipline with the children, and never question the other parents position in front of the children. If you have a concern take it off-line and where the kids can’t hear you discussing it. Once kids see there is any kind of split between the parents and how they should be disciplined, they will play it and you will lose their respect.

    I always supported their mother’s actions in front of them even if I did not agree with it. I would always questioning her about it in another room and out of earshot of the kids if I had a concern. She would always challenge and then argue with me in front of the kids. Guess who they lost respect for? It wasn’t me.

      1. And even more important that YOU NEVER question the other parent about it in front of the kids. The only exception is if someone might get seriously injured. And I don’t mean the needing a safe space BS.

      2. I will say it is important for children to see their parents disagree from time to time (models conflict resolution), but I agree it is important to back up the other parent, and be a united front – when one parent implements a consequence, both parents have to support it (even if it’s not how you would have done it).

        Thank you for sharing your tried and true wisdom and your advice!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.