LO #1 is a terrible sleeper - Dreading doing it all again with #2... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-23-2012, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I are getting ready to TTC #2 in a few months. We are really excited about it- we love our son he is amazing and wonderful in every way...except sleeping. He's always been a horrible, HORRIBLE sleeper at night and for naps. We've struggled with really insane sleep deprivation and all the accompanying issues since he was born. He's 20 months now and is getting a bit better now that he is nightweaned. But we are and have been so tired, tired, tired down to the bone for what feels like eternity. 

 

I am having a lot of trouble coming to terms with the fact that our second kid might be exactly the same. I was thinking about it the other night while having back spasms and nursing DS from 4-6 am and I almost started to cry. The only way I can describe the feeling is pure DREAD. When dh and I talk about it, I always say that there is no way the next one can be as bad as DS is/was... it can't be any WORSE...it has to be better! This is what I keep trying to tell myself, though I know it's not true. 

 

I guess this is kind of a vent as I deal with my fears and dread and try to ride the more positive feelings of excitement and joy that come with adding to our family. 

Is there anyone out there who has a hopeful story- a second baby who was a wonderful sleeper? Completely different from your first baby??? Please tell me it was true for you and can be for us!


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#2 of 7 Old 03-24-2012, 08:53 AM
 
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You never know what you'll end up with.  There's just no way to predict, unfortunately.  Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst might be useful... it's hard to say.

 

We got lucky.  Our first was a rough sleeper like you describe.  Then our second was born.  He has different sleep issues, but we make it work.  The first hates falling asleep and fights tooth and nail.  He woke up frequently to nurse.  The second falls asleep easily but also wakes up easily and is always up for the day at 5:00 a.m.  I started going to bed earlier and now my husband is in charge of nighttime parenting big kid (who was nightweaned *instantly* at 2y4m when I realized I would die if I nursed them both all night and never slept).  You find a way, usually.

 

I keep telling myself that when they're teenagers they'll love sleeping and I'll be complaining about trying to get them to wake up!  It's hard to imagine now.  So, I feel your pain.  And I think you just have to roll the dice, unfortunately, and see what happens.  Do you have a support system in place?


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#3 of 7 Old 03-29-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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Yes! The second one can be wonderfully different! It's true! orngbiggrin.gif

 

DS1 was also a terrible sleeper - a great napper, but a terrible sleeper at night. He is now in first grade, and had to write a paragraph at school recently about something he was afraid of. He wrote about being afraid to sleep alone (!). I don't know where this came from, but I swear he was born with it - the night we brought him home from the hospital, he woke up screaming every time I laid him down to sleep; finally my mother took him and he slept through the night on her chest! Thereafter it seemed like it took forever for him to go to sleep, and he would *only* go to sleep on the breast. This scenario lasted for 4 years. (Yes, for 4 years he would *only* go to sleep on the breast.) Our bedtime routine lasted for about 2 hours. Every night. And then, unless he was already asleep in a baby carrier or on Daddy's chest, he woke up approximately every 25 - 30 minutes until someone came and got into bed with him, at which point he would settle down and sleep a good 2 hours at a stretch. This of course means I did not sleep through the night for something like 4.5 years. (And people ask me why there is a 5.5 year age gap between my kids?! Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....shrug.gif)

 

Anyway, fast-forward to DS2, who is now 14 months. He loves to nurse, but will fall asleep for anyone with the patience to rock him for 5 minutes. He falls asleep in the car. He falls asleep in the high chair. Once, memorably, he fell asleep in the middle of the floor, mid-crawl. Just sort of pitched forward and started snoring. It was hilarious! I don't mean to suggest he's narcoleptic or anything - far from it - just, the transition from awake to asleep doesn't seem to be as painful for him as it still is for his brother. And though he does wake at regular intervals throughout the night to nurse (which I blame on the fact that I am a FT WOHM, and DS2 prefers his milk from the source, rather than the bottle winky.gif), he falls asleep again promptly and sleeps pretty soundly. In fact, when I was home on maternity leave and nursing all day on demand, he started sleeping from midnight to 6am without a break!

 

Anyway, point is, both boys came out of the same gene pool, and have wildly different sleep styles. It could happen to you, too. thumb.gif

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#4 of 7 Old 03-31-2012, 05:13 PM
 
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I wasn't going to have a second because of how bad DS1 was. Well, we got accidentally pregnant and i now have a 6 month old. I'm not going to lie, the boy doesn't sleep well at night, but I am not at all as sleep deprived as I was with DS1. I feel much more rested and I'm even working full-time. He's all round an easier baby, so I just nurse him and he's back to sleep. He does take good naps all by himself, so that's much better. We also don't need to do the bouncing to sleep that we had to with DS1. But I don't get a stretch longer than 3 hours, and usually it's 2 hours, and on a bad night...well. He will also allow anyone to put him to sleep - with DS1 it was me and only me.

 

I guess my point is that it won't be as bad as your first and you will be able to cope better. If you're thinking of TTC, I'd recommend waiting until your first is a little older...it will make everything easier when the first child is more self-sufficient.

 

I wouldn't change a thing. I know that I'll sleep when he's a bit older and the time absolutely flies by with the second.


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#5 of 7 Old 03-31-2012, 06:32 PM
 
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My first woke every 1.5 hours all night every night until she was 24 months old. My second slept through the night perfectly almost since birth. It can happen, but it won't necessarily happen. You can't predict. They're all individual. Good luck, though!
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#6 of 7 Old 04-03-2012, 10:32 PM
 
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My first was a bad sleeper until about 3 years old when I "let" her drop her nap.  We had night-weaned her around 22 months which did help reduce the # of night wakings (it also led to somewhat-surprise #2 with my first PP egg w/no prior AF smile.gif) a bit although naps were still awful.  Now at 4 years old she sleeps (throught the night!) from about 8pm to 7am most nights.

 

Hate to say it but #2 is a bad sleeper, too, unfortunately.  It didn't help that for his first year DD was so loud and obnoxious every time I was trying to get him to nap (she is better now that she is 4).

 

One thing we did differently with DS is that he just had to get used to DH putting him to sleep.  I nurse him before bed and then DH lays with him until he is asleep.  I deal with him all night after that.  With DD I was doing it all myself and I got really burned-out and resorted to some "gentle" sleep-training to try and get her to fall asleep on her own at bedtime, which I really regret (not to mention it didn't work).

 

I have not had a full night of sleep since DD was born, but I am surviving and do not regret #2 at all.  Honestly, his sleep issues are easier or me b/c I totally expected them because of DD.  I know DS will sleep better once he is night-weaned and hopefully within 2 years will be STTN.

 

However, sleep issues are a big reason there will be no #3.  


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#7 of 7 Old 04-09-2012, 03:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by To-Fu View Post

  Do you have a support system in place?

Nope. We live abroad and have no family nearby. We have friends but not anyone who I would consider a support system. Sigh. It's hard. Not counting when we were home for vacation with lots of willing family to babysit around, we've been out about 3 times since DS was born. We manage ok on our own but we're tired. All the time.
 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caryliz View Post

Yes! The second one can be wonderfully different! It's true! orngbiggrin.gif

 

Anyway, point is, both boys came out of the same gene pool, and have wildly different sleep styles. It could happen to you, too. thumb.gif

Thanks. Here's hoping. 
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Louisep View Post

 

I guess my point is that it won't be as bad as your first and you will be able to cope better. If you're thinking of TTC, I'd recommend waiting until your first is a little older...it will make everything easier when the first child is more self-sufficient.

 

Yes, I'm hoping we'll be able to cope better. If not, DH and I will do well in a padded room somewhere together. Yes, we are waiting and hoping for at least a 3-year age gap. I don't know how I will deal with pregnancy if DS isn't sleeping markedly better... scary thought.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

My first woke every 1.5 hours all night every night until she was 24 months old. My second slept through the night perfectly almost since birth. It can happen, but it won't necessarily happen. You can't predict. They're all individual. Good luck, though!


Yey another wonderful sleeper for #2!  Thanks for the good luck wishes.

 

Right now I'm trying to figure out what we might do differently. Use pacifiers? I swore off them with DS, and regretted it later thinking it may have helped. He wouldn't take one later on when I tried them repeatedly. Also I think I'll plan not to night wean when LO #2 is around 1 year, but to seriously encourage to get him/her to fall sleep asleep without nursing and to go back to sleep without nursing. I think DS was was just too dependent on it from the start because we never even tried anything else until he just couldn't have it any other way. 

 

I'm a planner...obsessively so. I can't help but try to plan a different course for #2 that might take us to a better outcome. I don't want to sacrifice my AP ideals and principals but I think with #2 I won't be so rigid about it all now that I know the cost of sleep deprivation for everyone involved.

 

Thanks for the replies. Any more thoughts are welcome! 

 


Me dreads.gif 32, loving him fuzmalesling.gif33, more each day. Rad boy, jog.gif 7/12/10 & Cool gal baby.gif  4/28/13

I'm a biracial, atheist, humanist, pacifist, anarchist, bibliophile, and educator. Rainbow.gifgd.gifwinner.jpgnocirc.gif

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