Preparing to Become a Light Sleeper?

Updated on February 26, 2013
T.P. asks from Castle Rock, CO
13 answers

I've always been a heavy sleeper but now with first little one on the way, I wonder does becoming a light sleeper just happen automatically after your baby comes? My mom's youngest is 33 and my mom is STILL to this day, a very light sleeper. Is this just one of those things that happens when you become a mom? The only thing that wakes me up a lot now at night is my overactive bladder, but I can go right back into a deep sleep each time. I don't want to sleep too heavily, but I also wonder how I will adjust to likely not ever feeling rested again, especially knowing I will have to work again after my leave is up. I do not function well at all on little sleep.

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answers from Dallas on

I think for most, the "mommy radar" kicks in and you'll never sleep through a strange noise unless you're wearing earplugs. It should kick in automatically. If not, team up with hubby.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from El Paso on

I was a very heavy sleeper, too, until my first was born. I was afraid I would sleep through her crying. NOPE. You're biologically programmed to be sensitive to your baby's crying.... and yep, say goodbye to your heavy sleeping. :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Wichita Falls on

I am also a heavy sleeper - even with four kids, and don't function on little or no sleep. I worked out a deal with my husband (who is a light sleeper), I would get up with the kids for the first six weeks, he got them after that. We were blessed with kids that were sleep-trained by that time. I spent six weeks at a time sleep deprived and slightly insane and he still gets up for the middle of the night getting sick or nightmares.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My niece slept a bit lighter for awhile, but soon went back to being a deep sleeper after the baby was born. That's what monitors are for..... just turn up the volume. But don't worry...... baby is safe in his crib.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

For me, I became a light sleeper after my daughter was born. Before that I was a very heavy sleeper.

There's no way to know if that will happen with you. You'll just have to wait & see :-)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

T. - lots of stuff bigger on the horizon. :)

But yes, I didn't decide to be a light sleeper post-procreation, it just happened.

Congrats on your first! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think it just happens and wouldn't worry about it. Especially if you breastfeed, you would wake up anyway from full breasts a couple of times a night. We are very much wired to respond to our babies' cries and many mothers will tell you that they will suddenly wake up right before the baby actually fusses loud enough to be heard. I can sleep through my husband coming in our room, turning on a light, the dog jumping on the bed, my husband snoring like a chainsaw, and him getting up, dressed and leaving in the morning. Yet I will wake up if I hear one of my kids coughing or softly talking in his sleep three rooms away, through two closed doors, down the hall.

I know that most of us who thought before kids that we'd never survive or function without sleep do simply adjust and get through it, but one of my sisters really, really, really fears not getting enough sleep so she hired a night nanny for her kids. So do know that if, when you go back to work, you literally can't function without a good night's rest, then there are options out there to hire help at night. But most of us do just fine, so assume that you will as well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I always heard my kids when they needed me, but I still sleep deeply. There is hope for you. :) Of course, the first several months can be agony as far as actually getting to sleep at all, but that's a whole other issue. Lots of hours in the middle of the night breastfeeding and comforting your little bundle. Looking back, I have fond memories or lullabies and rocking chairs, but at the time it was definitely a challenge some nights. I have trouble on limited sleep too, but you adapt. It sure teaches you how tough you are, motherhood. Now I can work for hours at night and it's nothing compared to those early days with a newborn. It's a beautiful phase. They still sleep a ton during the day, so they prepare you for when it's really hard...toddlerhood. ;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I could sleep through a hurricane...before I had my kids. Now I will wake up if they have a tiny cough. You'll "learn" to get by with whatever sleep you can.

In the beginning, there were nights that I did actually sleep through the night, and I'd end up rushing to the baby's crib fearing that she had died. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Where'd the question about being a martyr go?

Anyway, I don't think you have to worry. For most people, you become too paranoid to sleep soundly at first, and then you gain your "mommy ears". If you are concerned that you won't get mommy ears, just be sure to put your baby to sleep in his/her crib at night instead of co-sleeping. That is one of the hazards of co-sleeping---sleeping so deeply and rolling on top of your baby.


answers from Santa Fe on

After having 2 kids I now have to sleep with earplugs in just to get in a semi-normal night's sleep. The smallest sounds wake me up...I'm on high alert all the time I guess. I hate it! Everyone is different though. Maybe it will not happen to you.



answers from New York on

A tiny whimper and you will jump out of bed!!!



answers from Provo on

I slept deeply before I had kids. I woke easily with each child as they were babies and went right back to sleep after taking care of them. Now that they don't need me much in the night, I sleep deeply again (for example, hubby came to bed an hour after me last night, I didn't even notice).
I worried about this same thing, but there is something about your baby's cries that will have you awake in an instant.
Good luck!

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