The 5 S Words
Overall, I think we had a fairly smooth transition into parenting. We have talked with enough parents that we know to realize that you will have to accept a "new normal" as fast as possible in order to survive with your mind intact. That's not to say that we don't forget to do things, forget what time appointments are, forget our names, etc. After all, the sleeping conditions with a baby in the room are less than ideal. Seriously, "sleeping like a baby?" what is THAT supposed to mean? That you grunt or make weird elephant noises every so often, and wake up every 3 hours? The baby, of course, is perfect. He is a big fan of having his hands up next to his head, and says, "LAAAAAA LAAAAA" when he cries - we call him our little French baby.
The best thing that we have done for ourselves so far is to practice some of "The Happiest Baby on the Block" techniques. 5 S words between you and peace & quiet. The night after we watched the video, the baby woke up at 2am and it was time for me to practice. I was reciting it to myself: Swaddle, Side, Shush, Swing, Suck. OK. So I swaddled him like it showed in the video and... he went immediately to sleep and stayed that way. Our baby only needs one S! Victory!
Of course, that didn't remain the case. Also, he outgrew all the swaddling blankets we owned in a hurry. We bought bigger ones, he outgrew those. We looked online and found a sleep sack, where you zip him in and then pull velcro flaps around him - first he got too long for it, then he got strong enough to get the velcro loose. We are now on incarnation #3 of swaddling the baby, which is a product called the Miracle Blanket. Hopefully by the time he outgrows this one, he'll be able to sleep without a swaddle! I don't want to think about how much money we've thrown at this problem, but it has ALL BEEN WORTH IT.