The Challenges of a Second Child

More Sleepless Nights and the Left-Out Child

Challenge: Sleepless Nights Are Here Again

I'm one of those lucky moms whose kids sleep at night (more or less). But in the beginning, with both of them, those around-the-clock feedings nearly killed me. Night after night, I fell asleep sitting up, with Sara on my lap, asleep on her nursing pillow. She'd wake up later in a good mood; I'd be achy and cranky and frustrated.

As she grew, we had to deal with the bedtime-times-two factor. We figured out early on that my husband and I had to divide and conquer. It made me sad to opt out of Kate's bedtime routine, but she deserved focused attention, so she did a bath and reading with her dad while I nursed Sara and put her down. Once Sara was old enough for the big tub, we could bathe the girls together. And the closer Sara gets to her second birthday, the easier it is to read to them together.

The silver lining: As a second-time mom, you know that those early sleep-deprived days won't last forever. Also, try to be patient if your firstborn's sleep routine goes temporarily haywire; evenings will be chaotic for a good long time, but you will eventually get into a groove.

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