My little guy is 2 weeks old now and we’ve definitely had some ups and downs while trying to get into a good bedtime routine. I knew to expect very little sleep, but the first few nights were still rough. It’s amazing how much you forget when it’s been two years since you took care of a newborn! With Emma, we kept her in her own room in her crib from the get-go. This time, we don’t have an extra room for Isaac… and honestly, I know I worried too much with Emma when it came to schedules and doing everything “right”. I listened for her cries and would get up, get her from her room, and go to the living room where our glider resided to nurse. It was TIRING. I wish I had just kept her near my bed at first. I remember jerking awake while rocking and wishing there were an easier way. We thought co-sleeping was bad, though, so I didn’t even attempt it. ;-)
I knew before Isaac arrived that I would be keeping him in a bassinet beside the bed. The first couple of nights were hard because I was so sore and tired, and Isaac was used to being up all night and sleeping during the day (that was his in-the-womb schedule). But with some effort I got him used to being more active during the day and less at night. You know, by keeping things noisy and bright and stimulated during the day and quiet, dark, and unstimulating at night. When he wakes up and cries, I feed him and put him back in his bassinet. But there have been times I’ve fallen asleep while feeding and then we end up co-sleeping.
I never thought I would like co-sleeping, but I really do! I don’t want to keep it up long-term because I think it’s important for kids to have their own place and learn to fall asleep by themselves, but for this first month or so while I recuperate from giving birth and get used to having two children to take care of, it works for us. It helps me get extra rest and I care more about that than anything else right now!
I’ve been swaddling, too, and that seems to help Isaac feel more secure. I swaddle him myself in a receiving blanket every night, something I had to teach myself via youtube video – it’s harder than it looks!
Isaac likes to suck on a pacifier once in awhile, like during diaper changes and sometimes in the evening, but I haven’t been giving them to him at night because when I do he fusses more due to the fact that it falls out of his mouth. I put it back in, 20 minutes later it’s out. I tried that the first two nights after he was born and it was not worth it.
So far I think I’m just lucky that Isaac has fallen into a nighttime routine. He caught on quickly! There have been nights so far that he’s only awakened me three or four times throughout the night.