Knitting with a newborn isn’t an easy feat. Even if they didn’t have a lot of needs which take up a lot of time, they are just darn so cute that you would spend all that time just watching them be cute.
For those who aren’t aware, my husband and I became parents in May. Our little boy arrived unexpectedly early and rather quick on our living room floor!
Since then the most common piece of advice we’ve been given is to sleep when the baby sleeps. Since newborns sleep roughly 18 hours a day that sounds like bliss. But if you have your own children then you already know why that is the most worthless piece of advice out there.
Think about all the things you do in a day. Get dressed. Brush your teeth and wash. Eat breakfast, lunch, and tea. Keep hydrated. Use the toilet. Cleaning. Cooking. Shopping. Laundry. Bathing. And of course, sleeping. Perhaps you also exercise, go to work, see family and friends, do hobbies, and so on.
But when a baby is finally asleep they’ve already got a headstart on you. They’ve been fed, bathed, and can go to the toilet anytime they want.
In reality there are two types of “sleep when the baby sleeps” sleeps.
The first is when you really do sleep when baby sleeps. Your baby goes down in their crib and you’ve managed to sneak away in true ninja style and baby is still sleeping. Magic! Then comes the franticly silent rush of brushing your teeth, having a drink and maybe small snack, and getting into bed for as many seconds sleep as fate allows.
The second is when you really do need to tend to some of those other things. Eating properly. Cleaning. Laundry. Getting dressed. Having a shower or bath perhaps.
This second type sacrifices your actual sleep. But you need to relax, even for 5 minutes. So this is when I try to fit in some knitting.
Knitting relaxes me. And whilst it may not be as refreshing as sleep, it calms my soul enough to make it through the next waking phase regardless of how little sleep I’m actually running on. And I may not be making very fast progress on my jumper, but that isn’t important.
So I’m not going to pass on the advice of “sleep when baby sleeps.” Instead I’ll amend it to “relax at least once each time baby sleeps.”