I was recently going through some old files and came across a notepad that had a very intricate schedule and timetable of when my daughter would sleep when she was about three months old. It brought back both funny and horrible memories of my husband and I trying to navigate those newborn days.
I literally wrote out every time she would fall asleep, even if it were just a 15-minute snooze in her crib. And then there was the page where I had written out her bedtime routine for my parents to follow when they had generously offered to put her to bed one night so that my husband and I could go out on a date. Not only did I write down how to put her to bed, but I included “turn off the faucet” after giving her a bath, because you know, my parents had never turned on a bath before. I’m surprised my parents didn’t bop me on the head when I got home that night.
As anyone who has met me knows, I’m a Type A person and schedules and organization is what I live for. And now, in two weeks, I’m due with our second child (a boy!), and I am really hoping to be able to loosen up a bit. I have a few goals I’d like to meet this time around:
Ease up on the napping/sleep schedule. I was (and still am) strict about our daughter’s sleep. When she was younger, our lives revolved around her nap schedule. I’m hoping to have our son on a schedule, but a slightly looser one, since I know life really can’t stop this time around (nor do I want it to). I’m hoping to utilize our Ergo and wrap a lot more than we did with our daughter so that he can sleep while we’re out and about.
Relax about how the baby sleeps. This is a bit more controversial, I think, but with our daughter, I was incredibly strict about her sleeping flat in her bassinet or crib from day one. My husband and I got into many fights about this; he would try to convince me to let her sleep in a little reclined chair, and I would refuse. This time around, I’m going to make sure our son is sleeping safely, but I’m also going to let myself have some grace and that a few nights here and there in our bed or in a reclined chair will not damage him for life (even writing that sentence gives me a bit of anxiety, but again, doing my best!).
Really, truly breastfeed on demand. I tried my hardest to breastfeed on demand and did for the first few months, but, when my daughter got a little older, I adhered to more of schedule (of course, if she was hungry, I’d feed her). This time, I’d really like our son to take the lead. This will be difficult, of course, when I return to work, and he’s in day care, but hopefully for the first five months, we can make it work.
These all lead to the most important one:
Spend more time living in the moment. With our daughter I was so obsessed with making sure everything was just so that I sometimes think I missed out on enjoying her as a newborn. I’m hoping with our son I can stop and just enjoy every gas-induced smile, milk-drunk burp and hiccup.
Some say the second one is easier, since you’ve done it before and you know (somewhat) what to expect. Others say it’s a lot harder to go from one to two. Who knows how it’ll be for us, since every family and child is different. I’m just hoping to take in his sweet newborn smell for as long as possible (without having an anxiety attack if he doesn’t sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time).
Soni is a native to the Bay but headed east after high school to go to college in Chicago, and then moved to NYC where she worked in the magazine industry. After 5 years in New York, she and her then-
fiance (now husband) decided to move to the Bay Area. She has a 3-year-old daughter and a son on the way (due mid-August!). She is currently a graphic designer and art director. When she’s not working, she enjoys exercising and baking (balance, right?).
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