It has taken me a while, but I have come to categorize questions regarding my baby’s sleep with comments about my baby’s hair — people are just trying to start a conversation with the new mum. With all my babies the hair has been so striking it has made a great opener for strangers. And for those who know me and care about me it is the questions about sleep.
The thing is, sleep is loaded with cultural constructs. If he sleeps through the night (which according to some people is six hours and others it’s twelve) then he is a good baby and I am a clever mummy. And if he doesn’t sleep through the night? Does that make him a bad baby? Or me an incompetent mother? Is it even possible for an infant to be “bad”?
So to my dearest friends who ask if he is sleeping through the night I smile and say that my babies don’t really do that until about 18 months. It takes the pressure off us all to fit into someone else’s mold.
And to the rest I just smile and say “he sleeps like a baby.” Because he does.