If you would have told me that, unlike Leighton, my second baby would be a "sleepy baby" I wouldn't have believed you. Unless you also promised me that, unlike Leighton, the little deuce would be difficult to feed. That trade-off may have captured my attention as decidedly plausible.
From her first night in the hospital, Leighton has never been much of a self-soother and we never did get up the nerve to let her just cry it out.
At twenty-two months old, she still loves her nukka at night. She also still prefers her "cozy" spot comfied up a "certain way". And, she still comes into our bed at 2am and drills us with her little toes and elbows until 6:30.
However, she maintains 11 hours of sleep at night plus a two-hour nap during the day, making her incredibly well-rested and happy. And Lei has always been a SUPER good eater. Bless her that curried mango-glazed salmon, steamed broccoli and shitake mushroom risotto is her undisputed FAVORITE meal. I cannot wait to take her, and her rather sophisticated palate, wine tasting in twenty years.
You win some. You lose some. The sleep experts wouldn't advise you based on some of our tactics, but it's working for us in more ways than it isn't.
For her first two weeks on the planet, our experience with Little Sis has been just the opposite. We were all well-rested in the hospital and it continued initially when we got home. Mairin will sleep through the night, every night (at least for five straight hours) unless I wake her for feedings. Her startle reflex is fierce, so we still employ the time-tested practice of swaddling. In fact, last night's swaddle was so award-winngly amazing, I would have taken a picture for you had my camera been handy. I felt like a pro.
With our "sleepy baby" comes a few unforeseen issues that are actually, kind of a pain in the ass - all of which are related to feeding our sweet little bug:
1) Even if Mairin sleeps longer than three hours, I still need to wake her to feed her. If that doesn't work, I must get up to pump or suffer the unpleasant consequences. I figure, at least everyone else can wake up fresh in the morning. I'm on maternity leave, so waking up every three hours is actually in my job description. Bummer.
2) In light of #1, I must tell you that it's ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to wake Mairin to eat. We tickle her, change her diaper, wipe her little cheeks with a cold baby wipe, talk to her, walk around with her ... Even when I get her to start eating, she usually falls right back to sleep a few seconds later. Thus, dragging a ten minute feeding out for sixty more.
3) The tomfoolery involved with #2 sometimes leads me to fall asleep sitting up at the Boppy, inadvertently soaking Mairin, her PJs, the Boppy and any nearby blankets once she dozes off too. At this point, I can only put towels on the bed or try to convince Ryan and Leighton to get up so I can change the sheets because (as you will see in #4 below) sleeping in a bed soaked in wet breast-milk is wholly unappealing to me.
4) Even when I do manage to get the requisite amount of milk into the baby, she falls asleep while I burp her. If I don't get a good burp out of her, then she spits up, repeatedly, for the rest of the night. Because this grosses me out completely (I was like Leighton and never would have been able to sleep in damp, stinky spoiled-milk pjs) I change her, then she poops, then I change her diaper, which causes her to spit up again and the cycle continues until she's actually awake and hungry, at which point I will feed her and most likely fall asleep at the wheel again anyway.
5) If I just let Mairin sleep (which is what you've been mentally wishing I would do while reading the first four items of my sad little list), please know that I probably won't wake up to pump, thus soaking the whole bed eventually anyway. Or, she'll wake up just after I've put the freshly-pumped bottle in the fridge, thus dragging my nocturnal experience out another forty minutes. Either way, I will curse myself for not trying to wake her.
Letting her sleep just isn't that cut and dry of decision. Plus, my ability to make sound decisions is heavily warped by my lack of sleep and I just can't be held responsbile for my own inconsistent ballyhoo until I come up with some sort of solution.
6) If any of this ridiculum wakes up Leighton, then she needs to kiss her baby sister, make a trip to the potty and spend a few minutes begging to watch Annie. She will finally compromise on the movie by having me tickle her back with her blanket ribbon until she falls back asleep.
This routine can last for quite some time. In fact, this very set of circumstances escalates the evening to a "Code Red" for which no amount of training can prepare you and no amount of red wine and girl scout cookies can fix the next day. Only irrational bickering with my baby daddy, a profuse shedding of tears and a four-hour nap will right this ship. Good thing the "Code Red" is incredibly rare so far.
Sound familiar? Have any advice? Please leave a comment and share your fuss with us! I'd love to hear from you.