Is sleep just as insane with a second baby? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really really struggled with sleep with my daughter as a baby and toddler.  She is now 2.5 years. I was committed to attachment parents/co-sleeping, but I see so many posts on this board about extreme sleep challenges (including myself). I am really questioning whether it was best for us because the sleep deprivation had huge costs. 

 

I am now pregnant and wondering if people often have an easier time with the next baby? I realize there are huge variations on temperament between children. What things did you change with sleep for your second baby? Did this result in better sleep? I do not want to repeat what I did last time (co-sleeping/breast feeding all night until I could not function). 

 

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Old 10-16-2012, 02:16 PM
 
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Well, every baby is different, so no one's story will help you predict your own future.  But... my now 4.5 year old was a HORRIBLE sleeper from birth until, well, just a few months ago!.  We tried almost everything to help him, and nothing worked but time and patience (and lots and lots of coffee- for me, not him wink1.gif)  Now he sleeps ok-ish, waking "only" 2-3 times for brief reassurance and a snuggle.

 

My daughter is now 14 months old.  We didn't parent her differently.  I was there to sleep next to her and nurse her as often as she needed it at night, just like my son.  But, she's already slept through the night in her brief life probably 5 times as often as my son has in 4.5 years.  Except for a few short periods around key milestones early on, we were always getting solid 4+ hour chunks of sleep practically from birth.    It was/is just her temperament.  I nurse her and lay her down drowsy for a nap, and she sleeps quietly for 2-3 hours every time.  My son needed someone to lay with him to fall asleep, even as a preschooler, then slept for 45 minutes at most before needing to nurse and cuddle again.  

 

We co-slept for a long, long time with my son, since that was the only way to get any semblance of rest.  We planned to co-sleep for a long period with my daughter too, but at about 10 months she started getting super restless at night.  We tried laying her in her own bed in a different room, and she took right to it, sleeping soundly right away.  If she wakes at all at night, it's for a quick diaper change, a 5-minute nurse, and then she's back off to sleep without a peep.  My son needs people nearby to sleep.  My daughter seems distracted if others are around, and now sleeps better alone.  Two kids, two personalities, two sets of needs.  

 

I hope for your sake that your child-to-be gives you an easier time.  And if he does, you'll know how much to appreciate each easy nap or bedtime!  I'm still in awe every time I lay my daughter down for sleep knowing that I have several quiet hours ahead of me.  I never had any free time during my son's naps because he kept waking and needing help to fall asleep again!  

 

It's healing to me in a way, because I can see now that it wasn't attachment parenting or co-sleeping that "made" my son the sleeper he was.  I did the same things with my daughter, and I got a completely different result.  


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Old 10-19-2012, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel like I know of many parents who had a better second sleeper. I know of far fewer (if any) who had a far worse time the next time around. My grandmother had seven kids.  She said the first one slept so poorly that she took him to a sleep specialist. I can't help but wonder if there are indeed subtle changes that occur with sleep and subsequent children. Are parents just more relaxed and confident and that affects the sleep of their children?  I know with my daughter, I would respond the second she cried (not even waiting 10 seconds).  I wonder if it would even be possible to do that with a far busier household now and managing multiple needs. Would not responding SO quickly actually help improve sleep? This would not be 'crying it out' but but the fact that it takes 30 seconds to finish pouring my toddler a glass of water before responding to a baby. 

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Old 10-19-2012, 06:11 PM
 
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Just as insane here. Four kids. Four crappy sleepers. I never won the "sleep" jackpot apparently. eyesroll.gif


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Old 10-19-2012, 06:32 PM
 
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My first child was horrible for the first year, then got better afterwards, until he hit the third year.  Then he was good again.

My second was a good sleeper for the first year, and horrid the second year.  She was also pretty bad her third year, and now fine again.

They're both moderately difficult now in that they wake up early no matter what, but at least they sleep through the night.

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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I'm a bit late on this post, but thought I'd throw my 2 cents in :).  My first seemed to be the worst. sleeper. ever.  I drove him around for naps until he was almost 3 because he wouldn't nap at home.  I can count on one hand the number of times he has slept more than 10 hours at a time (He's 3.5 now).  He still gets into bed with me every night.  He wakes up no later than 6 am, no matter how exhausted he is....ok, you get the picture.  My DH and I had so many fights about his sleeping that I considered leaving him when he forced us to try CIO (p.s. it never worked, or got any better, even though we tried for a month).  My second DS is 5 mths old now, and although he isn't exactly a champion sleeper either, I think my approach to sleep is way more relaxed.  He sleeps great in a sling/wrap, so I wear him in one for his naps.  He started fussing the second we laid him in his bassinet when he was 2 days old, so I sold it and he sleeps with me.  If I lay down to nap with him, he likes to nurse on and off for the whole nap, so I let him.  For the most part, I am well rested, and feel fine about our sleep situation.  I think the whole letting it go aspect has made my life with babe #2 so much easier even though the sleep deprivation is still there. 

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:58 PM
 
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My first woke every hour and a half for the first two years. It was very difficult. The second slept through the night almost from birth. It wasn't anything we did - I think we just got lucky with the second. It's a crap shoot every time.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:19 PM
 
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My first was wonderful.  She co-slept with us, and we transitioned her (mostly happily) to her own bed in another room by one year, and she has been a pretty excellent sleeper since then.  Our second (now 17 months) also co-slept with us and was a terrible sleeper from the start.  Our first was only 17 months when the second was born, and I really needed sleep, but have yet to get a full night in since about the second trimester of my second pregnancy (like January 2011).  All of which is to say that your second kid can indeed turn out to be a way worse sleeper.  I would love to put our second into her own room, because I think that is really what she needs but we only have a 2 bdrm house and I don't want to inflict her nighttime difficulties on our other child by transitioning her into her room yet.  I keep telling myself it will pass in a month or two, but I've been saying that for about a year now!  It is definitely getting better, slowly, and I think you just have to be forward looking about it.  Kids are who they are, sleep-wise.  I just hope we haven't screwed up her sleeping abilities for the rest of her life.  I loved cosleeping with her, but I think there are probably some kids who just need their own space and some peace and quiet, and that needs to be respected too.  The funny thing is that I think I am also way more relaxed about sleep the second time around.  With the first I tried some cry-it-out, and other things that in hindsight were totally unnecessary with her, whereas with #2, we've been way more accommodating of her bad sleep because she needs more help than #1 did, I think - I nurse her more, we sleep with her more, we cuddle her until she is asleep more...sometimes I wonder if maybe a separate room and a bit less accommodating approach is exactly what she needs.  At the end of the day, if nothing else, I feel like you, as a parent, have a broader perspective after your first child, and I feel I am more able to look at everything longer term, rather than getting so caught up in what I "ought" to be doing or what milestone my child "ought" to have reached.  You get less scrutinized with your second, and no one asks you stupid questions about whether she is sleeping through the night which is so upsetting for new parents.
 

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Old 11-08-2012, 09:40 PM
 
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I worried a lot about sleep with my first and with my second I just co-slept with the babe and DH was in another room. No stress. No anger. Much easier.

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Old 11-08-2012, 09:54 PM
 
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I had an easier time with my second.  Partly it was because he was just a better sleeper and partly it was because I didn't even try to get him to sleep alone at all.  I just went straight to full-time co-sleeping, because that was what finally put an end to my sleep deprivation with #1.  She was a terrible sleeper, but once she was in bed with me all night, I got enough sleep even with all the night wakings.  It sounds like your experience was completely different, though, so that probably doesn't help.

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Old 11-09-2012, 04:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post

I had an easier time with my second.  Partly it was because he was just a better sleeper and partly it was because I didn't even try to get him to sleep alone at all.  I just went straight to full-time co-sleeping, because that was what finally put an end to my sleep deprivation with #1.  She was a terrible sleeper, but once she was in bed with me all night, I got enough sleep even with all the night wakings.  It sounds like your experience was completely different, though, so that probably doesn't help.


Same here. My first sleep trained me lol. I didn't even bother with dd, dh started sleeping in a separate bed from her birth and we had a big bed just for ourselves.

It was well worth it in the end, many years later. Ds is a great sleeper, dd just started asking to go to sleep by herself.


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Old 11-09-2012, 11:52 AM
 
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My second was a much better sleeper. I Did nothing different.
That being said dd1 became a perfect sleeper after 15m. Dd2 still wakes at night.

I'm getting less sleep than ever. Dd1 want me to stay up late with her and dd2 wakes up around 6am

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:44 PM
 
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Same experience. I totally committed to cosleeping without dh with he second and to much more sleep. No tears.
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