Do you get enough sleep?

This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. This post asks do you get enough sleep? For more info about my book Homemade Kids, with lots of ideas about parenting (and ways to wear children out so they do sleep), click here.

When the my kids were babies, and really until they were about three, there was no guarantee of a night’s sleep. Considering I used to be a genius sleeper it is infuriating that six years of having children three or under has wreaked havoc on my sleeping patterns! Today I’ve been up since before the dawn chorus and heard the milkman come by, a fox scream with rage as it landed on the wobbly hen house roof and been out in the garden on much-needed slug patrol.

I’m knackered. But knowing real hunger for sleep made the novel Night Waking by Sarah Moss (now a paperback) all the more personal.

Do read it
Night Waking is an enjoyable book – mostly domestic scenes and slights and chores turned into a beautifully plotted piece of fiction set on a remote Scottish island. Well actually, mostly in a house on an island. There were times I wanted to scream at the characters, just let the baby sleep with you in the bed, but if they had it would of course have ruined the book… Also loved the back story with all it’s twisting history and info about childhood, motherhood and crofting.

Don’t believe anyone who thinks this is misery chic lit – the I had a baby and it hurt story – because it’s much funnier and slicker than that. And a novel which features so many biscuits has to be good too. Definite one to give to anyone who’s had a baby that didn’t sleep nights (all mothers I guess). And all that sneaky eco information out of the mouths of the 7 ear old Raphael was masterly too.

Actually it could make a decent alternative to PM David Cameron’s new idea to give new mums/dads parenting classes. As Night Waking reminds us, what mums of young children need most is more sleep, and perhaps more help too, because childcare done well tends to be repetitive and boring. Except that is for the books you get to read aloud – and perhaps slightly pervert, see how Sarah Moss tweaks The Tiger Who Came for Tea and The Gruffalo.

Here’s to a good night’s sleep, with a lie-in.

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3 Comments on “Do you get enough sleep?”

  1. homemadekids Says:

    From Facebook:
    Julie W: ” I think the secret is not having kids”

    Caroline “Strange how baby-broken-sleep turns into relentless round of bed too late, up too early. Think I may need to sleep for several weeks to catch up.”

    Mary-Louise O’Callaghan “pain killers! Spent most of 2005 asleep (on the island of Bellona) to catch up on four babies and a book!”


  2. I was really lucky with my daughter, from the age of 2 weeks she slept right through the night, every night! I remember expressing concern to my doctor and asking whether I should be waking her up to feed her in the night, and he said “Certainly not! Just be grateful!”. My son was the complete opposite, waking several times thorough the night for many many months, and it wasn’t until then that I appreciated how lucky I had been with my daughter. However, despite the extreme tiredness, there is something special about those quiet middle of the night feeding times when everything is still and quiet, and it feels like the whole world is asleep apart from the two of you.


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