by Mike Rothschild
“Sleep deprivation can have the same effect on the human brain as a night of heavy drinking,” says Dr. Harvey Karp. "Studies have shown that cumulatively sleeping less than 6 hours a night results in alertness equivalent of a legally drunk driver.”
New parent sleep deprivation is a silent crisis, to be taken seriously. It causes 100,000’s of devastating health problems and even fatalities. So new parents, for real, take care of yourselves! But we also can’t deny that it produces some high comedy, too. As these real-life stories show, exhaustion can lead “drunk tired” dads to do…some pretty wild stuff!
I answered the door in my underwear at 3 a.m. because I thought the sound of the cats running around was actually our babysitter knocking. Fortunately for everyone involved, it wasn’t. - Drew, 32, Baltimore, MD
I was so sleep deprived that I put the pacifier in my wife's mouth when she asked me to hand it to her. And she was so sleep deprived that she took it, no questions asked. Matt, 31, Studio City, CA
Multiple times, I forgot to open my bedroom door on the way to dealing with a crying baby in the middle of the night. The smack I made when I hit it was impressive. Ari, 33, Worcester, MA
The Mystery…That Wasn’t a Mystery
The first night in the hospital, our son cried, and I jumped up from the couch, stumbled over both my bag and her bed, finally caught my balance, and looked in the bassinet for the baby, only to scream when he wasn’t there. Fortunately, my wife had already scooped him up. Steve, 29, Warrenville, IL
In my sleep deprived state, I poured my hungry dog’s food into her full water bowl. No one was amused – not the least of all, the dog. Jamie, 30, Tyngsboro, MA
In the middle of the night, I tried to flush my 8-week-old’s diaper down the toilet, rather than throw it out. I was up for hours cleaning up the mess. Eric, 30, Seattle, WA
Some Surreal $#*! Goin’ Down in Chicago
Our son didn't sleep much for the first 3 weeks of his life. One night, I came home from work only to have my bone-tired and weepy wife open the door screaming "He's not real!!!! He's not a real babyyyyyy!!!!! Babies sleep!!!!" Zach, 32, Chicago, IL
Dads ♥ Duct Tape!
Desperate to get some sleep and calm our son down, I wrapped him in a swaddle blanket. When he started breaking out of it, as he always did, I slathered it in packing tape to keep it on. Miraculously, it worked, and we all got a little rest. Mike, 35, Los Angeles, CA
Spicin’ Things Up
One night, I wanted a glass of water. We keep cold water in a dispenser in the fridge, so I opened it, pushed on the dispenser nozzle, and began to fill my glass. Water started hitting my feet, and I realized that I was filling our garlic salt with water. Somehow I had opened the spice cabinet, removed the cap from the garlic salt and began filling it. John, Salt Lake City, UT (writer of askyourdadblog.com)
There’s No Place Like...Home?
I put my daughter to bed and sat down on the couch to rest my eyes. My wife came out to the living room and told me to come to bed. I grabbed my keys and got in my car to leave. My wife ran outside and asked me what the heck I was doing. I told her I was going home. Aaron, 32, Winston-Salem, NC
Almost every new dad has some story about what he’s unthinkingly done while desperate for sleep – so, please…keep yours on the funny side! Always make sure your baby is sleeping safely, take naps when you can and remember that exhausted driving is the same as drunk driving.
Did you know? SNOO smart sleeper helps babies sleep longer and keeps them safer than any other baby bed in history. When babies sleep, the whole family sleeps (even dads)! Learn more.