My mackerdoodle was not a sleepy baby. She always slept well at night, but from her first week she slept for roughly 45 minutes in every 2 hour cycle. People would say “Sleep when the baby sleeps” and I’d wonder how people could do that. By the time I’d start drifting off, she’d be awake again.
So you can imagine my alarm when the cheesedoodle, at more than a week old, sleeps for more than 20 hours of the day! At first I was worried that he would be up all night, and when that didn’t happen, I began to worry that there was something wrong with him! I mean, he couldn’t be normal, right?
Well, praise the Lord for What to Expect in the First Year. In the new born chapter it tells me that by four weeks old babies will be awake for up to four hours in a day. In other words, my son is more awake than the average child his age. I’m just comparing him to his sister who was clearly extraordinary from birth.
This gives me hope that the cheesedoodle may sleep more at other points in his life than his sister did and does. It also helped me decipher his attempts at communication. The first few weeks are mama and baby just learning to communicate with each other, and I tend to default to “food” when I don’t know what’s wrong. I had noticed that the little man seemed hungry more frequently when he had been awake for a period of time. Turns out I was misinterpreting “mama, I’m tired” as “mama, I’m hungry.” It hadn’t crossed my mind that a baby who had been awake for 45 minutes might be tired. I wasn’t even including it in the list of possibilities. I was wrong.
I’m thinking normal is defined by each child.