Must. Have. Sleep.
Well, we are 7 1/2 weeks into living as a family of four, and as thankful as I am to have a new, sweet baby boy, I am very ready for a full night of sleep! When we first brought Liam home from the hospital, he quickly adjusted to a 2 1/2 to 3 hour feeding schedule during the day, and a 3-4 hour feeding schedule at night. I was waking up around 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. to feed him; however, Liam quickly moved to wanting to eat only once in the middle of the night, typically around 4:15-4:30 a.m., which was 6 hours after his last feeding. I was very excited and thankful for the extra sleep! Then, we hit his 6 week growth spurt, and he was eating every 2 hours for a few days. I was hopeful that after the growth spurt ended that we would move back to going 6 hours between feedings at night. Instead, Liam has been pretty inconsistent. He eats around 10:30 p.m. and has woken up anytime between 3:30 and 5:30 a.m. I think the sleep deprivation is starting to catch up with me, though at the same time, I know I'm pretty lucky to only get up once per night.
I know you shouldn't compare your kids, but of course, I do it all the time. I think most people probably do! It's not that I'm really comparing Noah and Liam to each other but rather my experience with each one. While Liam adjusted quickly to a consistent night routine initially, Noah was up all night long for the first 3 weeks. Then, Noah starting going 8 hours between feedings at 7 weeks, and Liam is still stuck at 5-7 hours between feedings. We use the Babywise scheduling method (Eat, Awake, Sleep) with Liam just like we did with Noah, and by 9 weeks of age, something like 96% of boys start sleeping through the night. I am PRAYING that Liam is in that majority because I am ready to sleep all night! When Noah was little, it wasn't as big of a deal if I didn't sleep all night because I could nap during the day or just take lazy days here and there. Because Noah is 3 years old, I can't just take naps or be lazy when I'm tired from a long night with Liam. I have to give him my best effort and be engaged to play games, go fun places, and be silly with him.
This won't last forever, and I am hopeful that most of my sleepless nights are behind me. Even when I'm frustrated by getting up at 3:00 a.m. for a feeding, I am thankful that 1) Liam is still alive (SIDS is a scary thing!), 2) breastfeeding is going well, and 3) I get to snuggle with this precious gift. I started letting Liam cry a bit more to put himself back to sleep. I know he is not hungry, his diaper is changed, and he has burped, so Last night, he woke up at 3:30 a.m. to eat. After I finished feeding him, he fell asleep, but he woke back up crying. I let him cry for 5 minutes to start. I picked him up, tried to burp him (b/c he swallows air with all that crying), calmed him down, and he fell asleep right away in my arms. I put him down, and he started crying again. This time, I let him cry for 10 minutes. I again tried to burp him, told him he was ok, and put him back in his crib. That time when he started crying, it only lasted about 3 minutes, and he fell asleep. By this time it was 4:40 a.m. Liam then stayed asleep until 8:15 a.m. - thank goodness!
The boys are both napping now, but I need to wake Liam up to eat because it's been 3 hours since he last ate. I was able to take a shower, get ready for the day (yes at 1:15 p.m.), cut out coupons/organized grocery trips, pay bills, talk the people at AT&T into lowering our phone and internet bills, and talk to the owner of a preschool about Noah possibly attending there for the 2012-2013 school year. I'd say that was a pretty successful use of my time during their naps! Now if only my dishes were done, and the carpets were vacuumed... :)