I have recently given birth to my second child. Everyone seems to know how with subsequent children you are more relaxed, you don’t panic over every little gurgle and noise they make (which is good because they make a LOT of noises). But for me there are a couple of important things I made sure I concentrated on from the start this time. Things that nobody told me last time that might have made life easier… Possibly much, much easier.
Remember to burp your baby. Breastfed, bottle fed- doesn’t matter. While you’re enjoying the easy first couple of days in hospital it isn’t so important. They only drink a few ml at a time. By the time you’re getting to a few weeks old they can really put that milk away, and if you don’t burp them it’s likely to do one of two things. Make them VERY uncomfortable so they cry and writhe around in discomfort, or it will escape violently (usually followed by 80% of the milk that went in). So remember to burp them for everyone’s sake.
Babies are born with no real concept of day and night. They will keep you up at night because they don’t know what it is! Even worse- the first few days in hospital do nothing to help the situation. Lights on 24/7, constant announcements of ‘code tangerine in the east wing’ at all hours, followed by the ‘code tangerine all clear’ message. People interrupting them to poke and prod and measure and check just as they get to sleep. No, the little bubs don’t really mind any of this, but it will make your life harder when you get back to your normal family home.
So I made a point of working on these 2 points as soon as I could. I was visited by a midwife the day after I got home from hospital and she asked what I was going to do for the next few days? My answer was teach this baby the difference between day and night.
Night feeds meant no lights, no talking, no simulation. Daytime meant household noise, a pre-schooler running around at her usual volume (ear splitting), and he just had to deal with it. Sleep or don’t sleep, the choice was his and the noise want going away.
Why were neither of these things mentioned to me, either of the times I was sent home from hospital with that tiny bundle of baby that couldn’t communicate with me yet??
Now I know that all babies have their own temperament and this little one is a very calm little soul by nature. But he also put himself into a great little feeding routine by the time he was 3 weeks old and has had only had 1 night feed since then. I am positive that our work on his day/night schedule made a big difference.
So there are my two big tips for parents, according to what we tried and what worked. Just maybe someone else could get a better nights’ sleep thanks to one of these points.