let's try that again - sleep and second (or subsequent) babies - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-27-2008, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I tried to post this earlier, but it didn't work. I am just curious how you would rate your second baby on the sleep thing?

I have heard from a ton of friends how the second baby is mellower, a better sleeper, etc. I have a dd that literally just started sleeping through the night (like 12 hours at a time, on her own) at 3.5 years old. She co-slept until 21 months and then I would sleep with her after her first waking. She nursed until November, so almost 3.5. I personally will do the same parenting with this one that I did with dd. Yes, it took her a long time to get to where most people hope their kids will get to, sleepwise. But we have such an amazing connection with our dd, in part I think because of our hands-on parenting.

I am just curious if the second kids are easier because parents do something different or are more relaxed??

What is your story?

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#2 of 6 Old 03-27-2008, 03:09 PM
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First let me start by providing you with our definitions of sleep! I've found people really vary on their idea of what sleeping through the night really means.

Definition of "sleeping through the night" (for an infant, up to 12 months): Sleeping/nursing for at least 5 hours at night without actually "waking up" and needing to be entertained.

Definition of "sleeping through the night" (for a toddler, 1-4 years): Sleeping for at least 8 hours without nursing or waking often.

1st: co-slept for 2 weeks until we decided to try the crib my dad had built for us (it is gorgeous). She slept through the night until 3 months old. Fought with her until she was 10 months old, finally came to our senses and she re-joined us in bed. Slept in our bed (or sidecar bed once she turned 2) until she was at least 4 1/2 (brother was 1 1/2 by then). Didn't sleep through the night again until she was 2 and night-weaned.

2nd: Co-slept from birth and slept in sidecar bed once he turned 2. Didn't sleep through the night until he was 2 and night-weaned. Moved in with his sister around 3 1/2 or so (when the youngest was an infant). Ended up back in our room (at the foot of the bed, on the floor) often until he was 4-5 years old. Was obviously not ready to move out.

3rd: Co-slept from birth and slept in sidecar bed once he turned 2. Didn't sleep through the night until he was 2 and night-weaned. Moved into a room by himself when he was around 3 1/2 (when the youngest was an infant). Slept pretty well by himself. Moved into a room with his older brother at 5 1/2 and now sleeps really well.

4th: Co-slept from birth and, by far, our best sleeper!! She started sleeping through the night around a year. Night-weaned herself. We're currently starting her on the sidecar bed at bedtime (can still nap in our bed) as the baby will shortly be on our bed and we don't want her "displaced". She can come in with us when she wakes in the middle of the night. She sleeps very, very well with us and has no interest in her bedroom across the hall which is currently not being used as a bedroom! As with all of our other kids, figure we'll try it again when she's 3 1/2 or 4 years old.

Never did use my dad's crib again. He's so sad. My brother just had his 1st baby and while it's in the nursery, I believe the baby's in bed with them. Oh, well!
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#3 of 6 Old 03-27-2008, 03:50 PM
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Both of my boys were always good sleepers, although I was able to co sleep a little longer with our second and hope to improve on that with the third. I think the second time was much easier because I'd had a better birth and didn't have so many obstacles to deal with (new mom, withdrawals from drugs I was given in labor, not being used to having my sleep interrupted a million times during the newborn months) With my second one things went much smoother, and I mastered taking care of everything without having to get out of bed. I used the co sleeper to keep diapering stuff in and kept a bag tied to the end of it to toss used diapers in, I think that alone saved me a lot of sleep! By the time Henri was 13-14 months old he was sleeping through the night most nights (at least 6 hours without waking to nurse).
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#4 of 6 Old 03-28-2008, 10:44 AM
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Oh, it just depends on the baby, I think. Our second has been our worst sleeper so far : Sorry. And yes, your definition of sleeping through the night changes, too. You're better at coping with less sleep.
FWIW, DS1 slept thru (8 hrs) at 6 weeks (!!) but that was beofre we were doing much AP-wise. DS2 took until about 11 months to sleep that long, and DD took until 9 months. DD is the first one I co-slept with for any length of time and she was great through the night - we got tons of sleep because she'd just wake up, nurse some, fall asleep, repeat. No middle of the night screaming/rocking sessions.
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#5 of 6 Old 03-28-2008, 11:27 AM
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Our second was not any different from the first. But I found that I didn't mind the wake-ups as much - I think he sleep-trained me!

busy mama of three
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#6 of 6 Old 03-28-2008, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting posts! I totally agree with the way you define sleeping through. I recall that most books (even the hard core ones) refer to it as 5 hours straight. Heck, dd was doing that from an early age too, it was just from 7 to midnight and then it was an all night party from then on.

Looking back over her short life, I can't say that it was the worst thing in the world to be woken up by her. In fact in many ways those were really sweet times, snuggled up next to her. I think that the hardest thing for me was comparing myself (and dd) to the parenting books out there that said she shoudl be doing x,y and z by such and such an age. Now that I know it is possible to get an independent sleeper without making them cry it out (albeit later than some might be comfortable with) I don't think I will stress as much and just enjoy. This is most likely our last baby (dh is done, I wouldn't mind one or two more shh!) so I don't want to fret over the small stuff.

I was mostly curious to hear your experiences vs. those of my friends IRL. I figure you have nothing to gain from sugarcoating the experience!

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