The first night home with my newborn went, um, OK. My daughter was calmer than I anticipated, actually slept, and her behavior was generally low-key. I started to wonder what I had been so stressed out about. I mean, this parenting thing was a breeze. Why worry so much when my little nugget was so content and quiet? Clearly I wasn't prepared for the second night home with baby, because in the span of 24 hours my tune would change drastically.
If you've not been through the utter confusion of the second night, let me be the first to tell you that it's a hard wake-up call. Since the first night home was a breeze, it never occurred to me the second would be any different. "What a great demeanor she has," I thought. "How lucky am I?" Then the wails began. They were ear-piercing and endless. No amount of my breastfeeding attempts, rocking, shushing, or holding would make them stop. I told myself if only I'd been aware of what actually happens to a baby on that second night home, maybe I would've been better prepared to handle her.
When I brought my second baby home I anticipated the dreaded second night. Yeah, it didn't make a difference. Hard is hard, no matter how you slice it and especially after a grueling delivery. The reality is, second night syndrome is a real thing and happens because it takes approximately 24 hours for baby to realize they're no longer in the womb. I'm sure it's a pretty traumatizing; feeling safe and cozy one minute, then feeling confused and cold the next. I can't really blame my kids for the fear and confusion they experienced. On that note, here's some things I was in no way ready for on the second night with either baby.