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I was recently having a meal with a first time mom friend of mine and we were discussing the best advice we could give soon to be moms that would actually help a new mom. One of the things she mentioned was “I now tell all of my soon to be parent friends to be prepared for night two.”
Night two? I didn’t follow so she elaborated…
“You know, your baby is sweet and sleeps the first night and then night two comes and they scream all night? Yeah…that’s night two.”
Yep! She was right! Why don’t more parents talk about the second night?! I know that not all parents deal with this, but I know a lot do!
I feel like so much happens in those first few weeks after having baby that we forget (or block out) some of what goes on, and that second night fussiness happens during a time that we are more concerned with making sure baby is ok than taking note that they freaked out on night two.
Here’s what’s up.
When baby is born, they are just as exhausted as you are. They just went through the labor and delivery along with you and their new little body is tired! More often than not your little one will sleep pretty well that first night.
Come night two, they wake up from that L&D coma and realize life is NOT the same anymore. They are in sensory overload and they aren’t wrapped in the comfort of momma’s cozy womb anymore.
Babies tend to be fussier and cry a lot more the second (and third, fourth, fifth) night of life. Breastfed babies especially will be more fussy on those nights because it usually takes between 3-5 days for your milk to come in, and they are a little hungrier than they will be once it does come in. I saw a huge improvement in each of my babies’ sleep the night after my milk came in.
Cluster feeding will very likely take place in those days, which is exhausting and frustrating. Cluster feeding is where baby clusters all of their feedings together (usually at night). It usually consists of patterns where baby will feed for a short time, then pull away and fuss for a while before rooting to feed again. Cluster feeding makes you as a parent feel like you are doing something wrong but I promise that it is SO common. If you are open to a pacifier, those can come in handy to help calm baby down and space out feedings a little more.Cluster feedings can continue for the first few months with some babies, so don’t be alarmed if it persists.
My best advice for these frustrating “second nights” :
- Have help handy. Have your partner, a friend or a parent there to help take baby for a little while if you get frustrated. They can change the baby and burp them just to give you a small break and gather your sanity.
- Make night and day as different as you can. Keep noise in the home throughout the day so that night time’s quiet will be an indicator to sleep longer (eventually)
- Swaddle, swaddle, swaddle. At this newborn stage, there aren’t many babies who can’t be swaddled so take advantage of the magic effect it has on your little one. This will help them stay as comfortable as possible in their new open surroundings. (Read all about the benefits of swaddling along with tutorials on how to swaddle correctly HERE)
Most importantly: Know that this WILL pass and your baby will soon sleep. Keep up the great work and enjoy every second of these early days.