Having a newborn can seriously damage your health

Who is most tired?
Who is most tired?

Just a week or so into the school holidays and I am already worn out - not that I have played much of a role in childcare this summer, but the mere thought of it leaves me weary.

In fact, on a bad day, walking up the stairs is akin to attempting the Three Peak Challenge, on a unicycle. It is not that I do any more than your average, harassed, moderately skilled, late thirty-something dad but my tiredness threshold is equal to that of a milk hungry infant, which is kind of appropriate considering what awaits me in the coming days.

Blaise Tapp

Blaise Tapp

Just months from my 40th year and I am on the brink of becoming a dad for second time - granted I am in no danger of giving Old Father Time a run for his money but the prospect of stinking disposable nappies and 2am wake-up calls are things I do not relish. As delighted as Mrs Tapp and I are to have a new addition to the family, I have asked myself if we have thought the consequences through.

Even though we are routinely woken before the Today Programme begins we still manage between seven to eight hours’ shut eye each night and have become used to being a family-of-three and all the perks that come with not having a tiny sleep thief next to the marital bed.

While I cannot wait to embrace my newborn child and watch him grow up, I am not looking forward to the compulsory ‘I am far more tired than you are’ competition which is keenly contested by new mums and dads everywhere. For the record, I won the last time it was contested in our house.

A series of clinical studies have informed us of the importance to get up the wooden hill as soon as the News At 10 has finished but it is the most recent report which should make us sit up and take notice,

Researchers in Sweden have discovered just one night of disrupted sleep can seriously screw up the building blocks of our body and have an adverse effect on our metabolism.

As chuffed as I am to have the privilege of being a dad again I do so in the knowledge that welcoming a newborn into my home could be seriously damaging to my health.