For about the first two weeks of an infant's life, they pretty much sleep "like a baby." They fall asleep after each feeding. They stay asleep fairly easily. And they will pretty much sleep wherever you put them.
But after about 2 weeks, something happens. I don't know what it is, but---THEY WAKE UP. And they STAY awake. However, the only time you need them to stay awake, is they time they pass out in a breastfeeding coma. The second you think they're done feeding, they wake up and want to nurse for an entire two more seconds. And after those two seconds, they are passed out again. But as soon as you think, okay this time he's definitely asleep, he wakes up AGAIN and wants to nurse for another two seconds. Then when he finally is done and full, he's WIDE AWAKE.
So you play with him and cuddle him and sing songs to him. After about an hour of this, he starts to get fussy, and after a few more minutes, he's pissed.
Now he's screaming. But why? He has a full tummy. He has a dry diaper. I just burped him. Could he be tired? He's only been awake for an hour. If he's sleepy, he would just go to sleep. Right?
This is when it pays off to be a second time mom. I was prepared this time. This time I knew that newborns can only stay awake for about an hour. This time I knew that they don't just go to sleep on their own. This time I knew they've just spent the past nine months cuddled and rocked upside down in a noisy, nice warm womb. They're not trying to sleep alone...on their back... in a flat, still, quiet and sterile bed.
And so the swaddle blanket, the swing, the paci, and the white noise were used so we all could get some much needed rest.
Now he's outgrown his blanket and swing. He wakes up in the middle of the night because his paci has fallen out of his mouth. The exhaustion is starting to set in again. He's not an infant anymore. We are moving on to the next phase.
Sleep Training. He's learning how to fall asleep in his bed and stay asleep on his own. Yes, there's crying involved. But in my opinion, a few hours worth of crying (no, not consecutive hours, but a few hours total) now is worth it to have a wonderfully independent sleeper for the many years to come.