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I have been blessed to have experienced both. We brought our daughter Sadie home from the hospital at four days old and our son Nolen home from Russia at 17 months. Which one is easier? The answer might surprise many of you who have had a newborn in your home but bringing Sadie home was much easier. The first two months with Sadie were significantly easier than the first two months with Nolen.
Sadie was born a few weeks early and weighed 5 lbs when we brought her home. The first time she slept all night long was when she was 7 weeks old. She slept with bilirubin lights on her to help with jaundice. She also was not able to suck yet due to being premie. Therefore, she had to be feed using a dropper every 1.5 hours. I also spent the first few weeks of this time recovering from a c-section. However, she was still much easier than bringing home an adopted toddler.
Welcoming a toddler into your home is so different than bringing home a baby. With a baby you are responsible for taking care of their basic needs but they don't yet know exactly what they want. Bringing home a toddler is a guessing game. You have this child that knows exactly what they want and you don't get it. It is difficult to understand what a child wants when the speak a different language and then throw in the fact that it is also baby talk. A mother who just gave birth to a child usually has the ability to console their baby when they are upset. This is not the case with a newly adopted toddler. Bedtime is very difficult at first. The child does not have a comfort item, does not recognize the bed, and is often not used to being rocked or held. Because of this calming Nolen down for the night was very difficult at first. Add a severe case of jet lag to this and I think we slept less with him than we did when Sadie was a baby. I am telling you this so you can please be patient if I seem a bit grumpy when we first arrive back home. Please remember that we are welcoming 2 new children into are home and even though they are not babies it is still very difficult.