The Bodacious Belgrade Blog

December 12, 2008

The Physics Of Sleep

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 4:55 pm

Okay, this will probably be the last post dealing with the sleep issue, since i know you all get it.

However, a friend of mine asked in earnest what’s up with the whole new parents/sleep thing and why it’s so difficult if the baby sleeps a large portion of the day. (Although a little note: Adam is definitely sleeping a bit less, and noticeable more Present. He has begun proper smiling and is just beginning to display a wider range of emotions and new facial expressions which delights Dadi here to no end. he even has his variation on the famous “Nathan Wonder Mouth”)

Certainly with Maja better, i’m getting some decent sleep again and my mood is giddy again these days. I’ve adjusted to the baby and am back to bliss.

Here’s the thing with sleep. For all y’all who think you might one day have a little Angel-Puff of your own.

Your newborn feeds every2 and a half to 3 hours. Let’s just say 3.

Every 3 hours.



Morning, noon, night, every 3. During the night sometimes it can go to 4 hours between meals, and sometimes, during the day it’s every 2, or even every hour if he doesn’t really fill up. Maybe your titties aren’t really gushing milk and maybe he’s not pulling it out well enough.

24 hours a day, 7 days a wekk, you are feeding him every 3 hours.

But wait,  the math gets even tougher.

It’s actually 3 three hours from the beginning of one feeding until the beGINNING of the next. If he started at 6:30, he’ll want again at 9:30.

So, it’s 3am. Baby wakes. He is HUNGRY. He is crying and if you don’t take care of him fast crying will turn to screaming fits.

We change his diaper usually before his feeding. So, first we change his diaper, which he views as nothing less then waterboarding level torture. Despite that i change his diaper 8 times a day, you’d think he’d get used to it, but no. As far as he’s concerned it’s electrodes on his nipples. (which, interestingly enough, is how Maja views feeding him sometimes)

So. 3am. Baby hungry. You get up. You change him. Maja gets her breast ready. This includes massaging them and using some hot, wet clothes on them to get the milk flowing. After changing we take a few minutes to calm the baby down.

Now comes the feeding.

Sometimes he latches right onto the Titty and starts hoovering away. But sometimes it’s not so easy. Sometimes he just doesn’t put in the necessary force to get the milk out.

Using the bottle and formula to supplement can be tricky. This is because sucking from a bottle requires almost zero effort. So when he goes back to the nipple, he doesn’t want to work for it. It can take 15 minutes to a half hours of incredible frustration on both his and Maja’s part until he starts really getting the warm white goodness out. In his frustration he may bite Maja’s nipple which creates an insanely bad situation, since now we have a breast down and he’ll never fill up on just one anymore.

But let’s say it was fairly easy. So he’s sucking away. He’ll do this for just under an hour if it’s going smoothly. Takes time to empty them silos.

He finishes. If everything has gone REALLY REALLY smoothly you’re at a little over an hour. It can go from there to an hour and a half, easily. Don’t ask me how, it just does sometimes.

So now he’s fed. Great. If the baby fairies are smiling upon you, they’ll just knock him out and you can put him in his little sleep space and go back to bed.

But the baby fairies are fickle fairies who like to have fun with new parents. While the baby will fall fast asleep while slurping the last dregs of the Titty keg, most of the time as soon as you take him off he’ll wake up. And he  won’t want to be left by himself.

So now, in order to get back to sleep, you need to put him to sleep. Rocking him in your arms works really well. But once again, as soon as you put him down the fairies sprinkle crystal meth all over his little baby head and UP he goes.

You can sing. For a half hour at a time while cuddling him, or petting him or whatever.

Finally he is asleep. Can take 20 minutes to a half hour if it’s a time of day he’s actually interested in sleeping.

So, all this has taken between and hour and a half to 2 hours. But he feeds every 3 hours.

You see the insidiousness?

THIS is why you, blissful new parent, will never, ever sleep.

Oh sure, you’ll push the 3 hour thing. After feeding he might wait 2 hours before being hungry. If it’s the middle of the night he might wait 3 (HalleLUJAH! You will offer the baby fairies sordid and degrading forms of tribulation for this) but maybe not.

This is why we shift it out. Maja has the mornings. I have the afternoons and late nights. After his 2 to 3am feeding i sleep. Maja can sleep during the afternoon and nights all she wants, except for that tricky little thing about being woken up every 3 hours on the nose to feed. Which is why the occasionally bottle saves her life. Although the next feeding after the bottle will be difficult for him so she’ll pay for it one way or the other.

There you have it. The math. 1 + 1 = you will never ever really truly sleep. Especially if you’re the mother. And when you wake up after 2 hours to feed him, sometimes he will ravage your nipples like BabyZilla, but i believe we covered that one.

So good luck all you new parents to be! As soon as he’s old enough to sleep through the night, i will buy a swimming pool, fill it with beer, and slowly sink to the bottom where i will sleep until he’s diaper trained.









  1. Awesome pictures. I love that look on his face, a constant “what the hell is THAT?” Which is understandable, given his prior habitat.

    The physics of newborn sleep are cruel. Glad you’re adjusting.

    The biggest threat to my sleep nowadays is actually the damned cat. Her “I must see the sunrise!” demands at 5AM are followed by the “holy shit it’s cold!!” yowling and pounding at the door. 20 minutes later she’s learned nothing and wants out again.

    It’s a pain in the goolies, but thank you for reminding me that it could be and has been worse…

    Comment by matthew — December 12, 2008 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  2. It’s so funny how all newborns look kind of the same—little newborn fish mouth and googly eyes. Nathan had that too (with chubbier cheeks). I was looking at his baby photos the other day, and think that his current “face” didn’t really start showing through till 9 months or so, though there were glimpses before then.

    Can’t wait to see the first “outing” pictures with cute hats and snow and whatnot.

    Comment by emjaybee — December 12, 2008 @ 6:48 pm | Reply

  3. In the 3rd picture down especially, I see a lot of you!

    Comment by Ann — December 16, 2008 @ 4:34 am | Reply

  4. those photos of mama i tata are priceless, each in their own special way. heheh.
    also? i swear that kid’s gettin cuter by the minute! 🙂

    Comment by turtle — December 18, 2008 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  5. No new posts in a week, what gives? You’re not busy or anything…

    Comment by matthew — December 18, 2008 @ 6:39 pm | Reply

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