Nine things only parents of early risers will know
I’LL admit it, when my eightweek-old newborn started sleeping through the night, I was smug.
I held my breath for the dreaded four-month sleep regression, having heard all about the horrors, but it didn’t come.
Ditto for the 10-month sleep regression everyone warned us about – but nothing.
My champion sleeper just snoozed on through the night, rising between 6.30 and 7 each morning.
Then came his first birthday.
I was well and truly wrapped in my false sense of security by this stage, which is why when my sweet child began rising at 5am on the dot, I assumed it must be teething.
It continued into the following week, and I worried it might be sickness.
He’s now 18 months old, and he’s continued waking at a godawful hour ever since that fateful birthday.
I have become reacquainted with hours of the day I’d forgotten since my university partying days.
When I see other parents entertaining their children at the park in the wee hours of dawn, we share a knowing glance, and I feel like I’ve been inducted into a club I never wanted to join.
It is in that sense of solidarity that I put together this list ...
Things you will only know if your child is an early riser:
1. That sinking feeling of dread when you roll over and notice the clock has a five in front of the time ... or even a four.
2. The internal turmoil you have trying to decide whether to leave them to try and settle, or whether to just get up and start your day.
3. The futile hope you have when it suddenly goes silent for a minute, and you dare to dream that your little one might actually have drifted back off again.
4. The devastation that stings even worse when you hear them cackle a minute later, louder than before and most definitely awake.
5. The realisation that your day has gone to crap because while they’re all smiles now, they’ll be grumpy, tired and feral within a matter of hours, well before it’s time for their nap.
6. The pure desperation that leads to your ‘Hail Mary’ predawn mission, driving around the streets in the hope they’ll fall back asleep in the car so you can pull over and have another 40 minutes of shut-eye.
7. The rage that strikes your heart when you hear a childfree friend talk about getting up to go to the gym at 5am, and you just want to shake them and beg them not to waste their remaining sleep-filled mornings on something so silly.
8. The disappointment when you try yet another blackout blind/bedtime/Gro-egg/feeding schedule that someone recommended, only to realise it was a failure.
9. Thinking just how lucky they are that they’re the cutest kid in the world when you finally go in to get them up for a cuddle. For more, visit www.kidspot.com.au.
IF YOU DON’T LAUGH, YOU’LL CRY: Not many mothers start the day this happy after being woken by an early riser.