The other day, I wrote about how hard breastfeeding can be. You know what else is hard? Sleep deprivation.
This time around, I feel like I was much more prepared for the lack of sleep that comes with having a baby. First of all, I don’t think I ever really slept completely soundly or thoroughly since Littleman was born. Second, I suffered from some pretty good insomnia during the third trimester. Finally, I remember the tough nights from when Littleman was a newborn and I know it passes.
But, no matter how prepared I thought I was, this is damn hard. I am so tired.
Bo sleeps pretty well during the day. Not for super long stretches at a time, but he settles quite easily. Sometimes I’ll put him down awake (in his bouncy chair) and he’ll doze off on his own. Other times he’ll fall asleep on my chest while I’m holding him upright after a feed.
Since he has a three-year-old brother, Bo is skilled at sleeping through noises (for example, fire engine sirens, the crash of toys being dumped on the floor, a high-pitched voice yelling “wanna play with me, mommy?”
But nighttime has been a different story. He still has trouble lying on his back, so the bassinet is not happening right now (even with one side inclined). We finally put a bouncy chair in our room, which is a bit better. But, for some reason, his reflux seems to bug him more at night, which means he gags and groans and whines for long stretches between feeds, which keeps us awake.
We’re trying every trick we can think of and have had luck replacing our swaddling with a sleep sack. He’s much happier with his hands free. The pacifier helps a bit (I think the swallowing action helps the reflux) but he spits it out if he’s really worked up. We finally decided that the Sleep Sheep (which we loved with Littleman) wasn’t cutting it so we brought in some more hardcore white noise. We now sleep to my old iPhone blasting “extreme rain pouring”. Amazing.
Last night D was on night shift so I was on my own. I’m proud to say I got one 3-hour stretch and one 2-hour stretch of sleep. Of course, I still feel exhausted but I don’t think I can expect much more at this stage.
Oh ya, and “sleep when the baby sleeps” is a nice idea, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t work quite as well when the baby has a big brother.
At least I have this face to remind me that it’s all worth it!