News Sleep deprivation: Diary of a first-time father

The most magical moment in a man’s life if you asked me would be that exact second you heard the cry of your new born baby in the labour room, just right before the nurses or doctor came strolling to you with a sheepish smile with hands held outwards congratulating you for been a father. Lest I forget to mention, nothing gets you prepared for the heavenly feeling of holding that little being in your arms… (Oh dear! Heaven must be darn good to be at).

As a man, the first two (or three days) go pretty fast as you and your buddies go out drinking (or do anything that rock your boats) while the incessant congratulatory messages keep reeling in non-stop. Oops, I almost forgot to mention that you get warmest handshakes from lads that already father.

Fast-forward to the 4th day and your angelic (almost perfect) baby is home and thank God you had already shopped for baby things (e.g. bassinet or Craddle, receiving blankets et.c), so you would but have a seemingly automatic thought that everything would be fine. I mean that would be logical right? Babies shouldn’t have the slightest worry in life, their routines should be suck on your momma’s breast, sleep, poop, suck some more, sleep and, on like that in circles (with the occasional bathing and all). LIES!!! Babies are completely and totally helpless in every way.

The reality for the next few months is that, their main mode of communication is CRYING – take it or leave it.

From my point-of-view (that of a working-class father), I am almost tempted to think that my baby (Whose name is Fiona by the way) also goes to sleep at the exact hours I am at work (which usually is 9am – 6pm). My pretty wife (who is on her maternity leave from work) is home with Fiona and she tells me my little sleeps basically through the day and wakes up around about the same time I am about getting home.

That’s sort of good in a great ‘cos as a father it is flattering to have two pretty ladies welcome you at the door with open arms and a welcoming embrace assuring you that now that you are home – everything is fine. However the issue I have got with this is my daughter plays with me and her mother (which I must add is a fantastic and caring lady and mother) all through the evening and stays up almost all night.

Did you just read that again? Yes I said it! She stays up almost all night which in turn means myself and my wife have to stay up to – ALL NIGHT, to tend to her by nursing, rocking, bouncing her to sleep which on some nights is effective and totally reasonable.

Here I am, new to this way of life and although it is a lovely and exciting feeling watch her play in your arms and occasionally watch her smile (for reasons you haven’t the slightest clue), it is a giving that it takes a lot of mastery and getting used to.

In coming days, I would update you on my experience as a new father and steps at which I am dealing with different issues with my baby hoping that my experience and solutions would help you learn to prepare yourself for this same experience or help equip you with the knowledge of the scenarios and how to tackle them as they happen.


Adedoyin Kassem.