Easy, baby...

Big brother has been introducing Evan to all his animals.

I had no real experience with babies before Kostyn was born, and from the moment he came screaming from the womb I decided one thing was certain: There was no such thing as an “easy baby.”

There couldn’t be. Because everyone told me Kostyn was a great baby, and he was -- sweet and lovable and for the most part low-key. But he cried. A lot. He cried when he got his diaper changed. He cried when he was naked. He cried when he was trying to poop. And he cried at night. Oh, how he cried at night. He’s never been a fan of sleep, and he made that fact known every night for the first several months. We shushed, we swaddled, we let him suck on a pacifier. We nursed him (well, I nursed him...), we rocked him, we walked around the darkened house at all hours of the night singing to him. Still, he cried, and he didn’t sleep.

When all the baby books told us our baby should be sleeping 16-18 hours a day, Kostyn was sleeping 13-14, and not one minute more. (And believe me, he made us earn all 14 hours of peace and quiet.) When they said he should be averaging 12 hours of sleep at night, he was snoozing for 10, tops. He still gets up once or twice a night. Sometimes it’s cake getting him back to sleep; other times it’s a long, frustrating ordeal.



But again, people told me he was a great baby. And I believed them. (I still do!) I assumed he was probably about as easy as babies come — and I knew there wasn’t anything “easy” about him. So when friends or acquaintances would describe their newborn as being an “easy baby,” I’d nod and smile and think to myself, “Bullshit. ‘Easy baby’ is an oxymoron, and you’re clearly lying.”

“He hardly ever cries!” they’d gush, and I’d roll my eyes in disbelief when they weren’t looking. “She never even fusses!” they’d say, and I’d swallow my impulse to offer my opinion on the “cry it out” method of parenting. I know it was cruel and unfair, but for my own sanity I had to believe that these magical babies did not exist, that they were figments of sleep-deprived parents’ imaginations.

And then, quite unexpectedly, I gave birth to one. An “easy baby.” And I’m stunned (and elated!) to say that they do, indeed, exist. Evan is my definition of “easy.” He’s mellow, quiet, sweet, and he Rarely. Ever. Cries. I mean, he’s still a 2-week-old, so he does cry occasionally. But it’s mostly when he’s trying like hell to poop. (Poor thing. Not that I wanted him in my uterus for one second longer, but why does God have babies come on out to play before their digestive systems are mature enough to handle 2 measley ounces of milk??)

"Seriously, Mama, what am I supposed to do with this? Doesn't he know I can't really grasp things yet? Hell, I can't even see things yet!"

So here’s the real kicker: He sleeps well! Nights are a breeze with this kid! He wakes up and squirms, I scoop him up, feed him, burp him, kiss his face, lay him back down, and 9 times out of 10 he just falls back to sleep. There are no marathon singing and rocking sessions. There are no tears shed by either of us. I don’t dread nights the way I did when Kostyn was a wee one. In fact, if it weren’t for Kostyn still waking up at night, I think the whole family wouldn’t be sleep-deprived at all this time around.

On Saturday night — at a mere 11 days old — Evan slept from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. I had to wake him twice to feed and change him! His older brother still doesn’t sleep that long! (Yes, I realize I’m using an obnoxious amount of exclamation marks! But this is extraordinary news in my life!)

I know I’m basically just bragging at this point, and no doubt some of you are rolling your eyes and calling “Bullshit!” and I don’t blame you. But by God, I deserve this baby. I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in two years. Also, I’m sure as soon as I post this Evan will turn against me and keep me up all night with his wailing. Doesn’t matter. (Yeah, I know: “Bullshit!”) At least I got a taste of what an “easy baby” is like to have in the house.

It’s a dream come true.

Notice who's awake and who's asleep...

5 comments:

Maestra said...

I'm here to attest that Evan is indeed the easiest baby I've ever known. SOOOOO hoping that he was sending zen vibes to his cousin in utero because Lord knows after dealing with reflux issues last time we're praying for an "easy" baby too!

Lyn said...

There should be a law about how many adorable babies one woman should be allowed to have! Those boys are going to be TROUBLE when it comes time to date!

Dee said...

Glad he is such an angel for you to make it easier with big brother Kosten...maybe he'll teach him a thing or two...love ya, Aunt Dee

Sheila said...

Older children just want to make sure we're not missing out on anything :)

Momto3LittleFlowers said...

Im LOL because my oldest was the same way as Kostin... But, unlike you, I thought I got the MOST difficult child on earth, and not that all the babies were like her... Then, I got my middle girl who would wake up EVERY HOUR to be fed for 2 months!! My third baby is my "easy baby" mostly because she is very easy to please. If you give her what she wants, she will be fine and you wont even know she is there...