Wake Up, Your Baby is Crying.

wake up every night

An article in the New York Times reported of a study by MindLab to determine the top ten most frequent reasons men and women awaken from their sleep.  Are you surprised to hear that the sound most likely to wake a woman from sleeping is a crying baby, regardless of whether the female subject had a child of her own?

 The top ten sounds a man is most likely to waken to are car alarms, howling winds, buzzing flies, snoring, noise from drains, crickets chirping, sirens, ticking clocks, construction sounds, and a dripping tap.
“Crying baby” didn’t even make the list.

And that’s not all, folks. An article in the Washington Post reported that, according to a study done by the University of Michigan, women are 2.5 times more likely to wake from sleep to care for others.

Is it not just me, or is this not even remotely surprising? The lead researcher on the study by the University of Michigan, Sarah Burgard, commented, “Obviously, the child-rearing responsibilities may be slanted at first due to breast-feeding, then the responsibilities are never renegotiated.”

I know some of you will disagree with the study completely. Some of you probably would have to be reminded that you even have children while you are sleeping. I would have assumed, pre-motherhood, that this would be true of me. I’m the world’s most crabby person when woken–particularly when woken repeatedly–and I tend to get downright nasty if you don’t shut off your flipping stupid alarm right this second

Approximately one day postpartum with my first child, I become an entirely different person in my sleep. The softest baby moan rouses me from the deepest, most loveliest sleep. To this day, my two year old rarely sleeps through the night, and I am the one to take her to the potty many times over, give her a sippy, *I command you not to judge me* and comfort her when scared. The other day my husband went to bed with a migraine. I woke up no less than half a dozen times with Abigail, taking her potty and soothing her back to sleep over and over.
{Mental note: find out about sleep training.}
 Most nights I don’t mind, as I’m a stay at home mom and my husband leaves the house before dawn. Half a dozen times seemed like a bit much, however, and I was exhausted the next day.

The next night my husband was feeling better after sleeping an entire day and a half. I commented that as he had slept the past 36 hours, it was his turn to take care of Abigail during the night. Any guesses as to how many times she woke up?
I think that’s a first since potty training.
Go figure. 

Who takes care of waking children in your home? Do you take turns, or is it all up to you?

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4 Responses to Wake Up, Your Baby is Crying.

  1. Laura says:

    Hahaha! Oh man, if I could only tell you about our struggles with sleep since we’ve had kids. Suffice it to say, it’s usually me (also for the same reason as you, my husband wakes up early, like around 3:30-4:00 a.m. and I stay at home with the kids). He does help more on his nights off sometimes, but it just depends. We do trade sleeping on on his days off though. One day he gets to sleep in, and then the next day he has a day off it’s my turn. This has saved our sanity!

    • That’s pretty similar to how we work it on weekends when Gary doesn’t work. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t wake up when the kids do. I just nudge him hard until he remembers it’s his turn!

  2. Thyme says:

    “S/he who has to wake up first…gets to sleep.” pretty much became the rule. Our first two kids weren’t breastfed, so on Saturday and Sunday my husband would take some nighttime feedings. And he does breakfast on Saturday and Sunday to help his poor insomniac wife.

    Although, when I wanted a third child we made the agreement that he didn’t have to do anything after the first two weeks. Since I’m bf’ing him I wonder if my husband will feed him breakfast when he’s old enough ;) jk

    • I love that rule. Unfortunately, it’s always my husband who has to wake up first. On those rare weekends where he doesn’t have to work Saturdays, we do take turns… One does the early ‘shift’ on Saturday, and the other takes it on Sunday. One small compromise that makes our marriage work!

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