Nights with a baby: is it all about perception?

EDIT: baby 2 wants me to publicly apologies as I made a mistake in the calculations with her data (for the R-people, as.POSIXct got me). Post now updated!

This summer, we doubled the sample size of our offspring experiment. We now have a sample size of n=2, so data analyses are really gearing up now!

The two test subjects interacting

First up, that crucial question: how are the nights? Are you getting some sleep? And most importantly, is baby 2 giving you a harder time than baby 1?

I’ll tell you our hypothesis first: we are feeling much better. Baby 2 seems to be giving us much more solid blocks of sleep than baby 1 did. We have vague memories of these first weeks with the first one, where we were bouncing a child through the living room in the middle of the night, trying in vain to get her screams to stop.

Baby 2 also has some issues (reflux is a bitch, I’ll tell you), but overall crying feels much lower, and sleep patterns more consistent. But does the data agree with our analysis? Let’s dive in!

Proxy of how much sleep we have been getting at night over time, using the hours between the two main night feedings (evening and early morning). Data for two different babies relative to their respective birth date. Note that we started tracking much earlier for baby 2, yet that she is obviously much younger at the moment.

After a first erroneous analysis which seemed to prove our hypothesis wrong, we can now proudly say that baby 2 indeed seems more parent-friendly! With things rapidly improving during the first few weeks (note that we were too flabbergasted to track those with baby 1), baby 2s performance has at first been more than an hour and now still on average more than 15 minutes above the one from baby 1.

Of course there is more to the night than the time between the two main feedings. While baby 1 always had a lot of trouble in the morning (so after that nightly feed), baby 2 also seems to be struggling through these hours a lot more independently. As a result, I now often find myself in bed at 6h30 in the morning, a rare sight with baby 1! So yes, life with baby 2 is a lot more livable than it was with baby 1.

Life with 2 is in any case much better than with 1!

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3 Responses to Nights with a baby: is it all about perception?

  1. Congratulations! My second baby was a heavy 9.5 lbs and slept well. The third was the lightest around 7lbs and woke up every few hours for feeding. It will eventually end…then they start walking.

    • Thanks :). Here both are pretty strong so we have been pretty lucky with that, both definitely had a tendency for sleeping long. It’s just that damned reflux that woke up the first one so many nights

  2. PS Now that I’m old, I wake up every few hours. I will be a good grandmother as I’m used to not sleeping.

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