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Relishing the First Sleepless Three Months

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

It seems a bit crazy to think that you could relish a time that is so physically exhausting, but there's something about the first three months of a baby's life that is extraordinary. Brand new to this world, a baby is 100 percent reliant on you for survival, for love, nourishment, comfort and care. Unfortunately for you, that care requires being on duty 24/7, day and night.

To make it through, you have to go in assuming that the first three months are going to be tough. Your body is out of sorts - you get night sweats, things are leaking, parts are soft and mushy - and on top of that, you're not sleeping. There are those rare, urban-legend babies who start sleeping through the night at two weeks old, but until I experience that myself, I'm going to assume they're just a myth.

Being a parent of a newborn puts you into a special club, one where, "Are you getting sleep?" is the secret handshake. A club where waking up every two hours is common, getting pooped on is a daily occurrence and carrying around a 10-pound weight all day, every day, is your only form of exercise.

But what a special club it is. I look back on the newborn phase as one of those time periods that I don't really miss necessarily, but I do look back on with such nostalgia. The baby is so small, every day she looks different - those newborn reflexes, little mouth movements ... oh, how sweet. My baby isn't even a year old yet, but looking back on pictures from when she was first born makes me melt and marvel at how quickly time goes by.

If you're in the thick of those first three months, days can seem never-ending. But focus on those things that only newborns do and realize that it's such a short period of time. Your baby eventually will sleep, and as taxing as that every-two-hour feeding schedule is, knowing that you'll soon come out of it can make it a bit easier to handle.

That newborn stage is such a precious one and there really is no other stage like it. You and baby are getting to know each other: you're learning about your baby's needs, baby's personality is starting to come out and, hopefully, you're relishing every sleep-deprived second of it.

Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk

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