Or more like 2 1/2 going on 3 months. Such is the life of a second born, right? I had originally intended to write a one month update, and mention how I couldn’t believe that I got around to writing an update with Soren earlier than I did with Lars, whose first Life with Lars post I wrote when he was 7 weeks old, but the joke’s on me. Here we are, over two months into life with Soren and I’m just now getting around to it.
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Or at least what I remember of it.
If you read Soren’s birth story, you know that my labor with him was much shorter and easier than it was with Lars. As a result, recovery from labor was SO much easier. I didn’t feel like I had been hit by a train which is always nice, y’know? In addition, my labor was entirely during the day which meant I wasn’t sleep deprived prior to having a newborn. Of course, that quickly changed after he was born.
Let’s just say Soren took awhile to sleep any decent chunk of time at night. Looking back at Lars’ 7 week and 2 month updates, I realized he was sleeping 3-4 hours at a time pretty early and was sleeping 5-6 hours by 6 weeks. Unfortunately, I read these updates during one of Soren’s night feedings at a time when he was getting up every TWO FLIPPING HOURS. This was around when he was 6 weeks old and I was seriously at a low point of sleep deprivation and postpartum hormones.
One thing that has been different this time around is that I haven’t been as stubborn asking for help. For some reason with Lars I never felt like I should ask for help from friends or family. This time, however, I can’t really afford to be stubborn for the sake of my sanity/mental health. Since I’m primarily at home alone during maternity break, without childcare for Lars, I didn’t really get a ‘maternity leave’. I basically got a week of Marc being home to help and then he went back to work and I was thrown into the throes of being a mom of two. I quickly learned that I would need to ask for help or I was never going to make it.
Now at 2 1/2 months, Soren is sleeping 5-6 hours at a time, and I feel like a new person.
Soren definitely sleeps better when he’s swaddled, so we continue to use the Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle, and I just bought a bigger size because he was busting out of the newborn size. I had a bigger size in the cotton, but I bought it in fleece because I feel like it stays tight better than the cotton version.
He’s also still sleeping in the Rock ‘N Play because I just haven’t felt like putting him in the crib yet. I think pretty soon I’ll start trying naps in the crib but now that nights are going so well, I hate to disrupt the flow we have! We kept Lars in the Rock ‘N Play until he was 4 months old so I don’t feel a huge rush but I know we should start trying the crib soon.
Speaking of naps, we haven’t really started Soren on too much of a schedule yet. He typically takes a couple of short naps in the morning, depending on what we are doing that day, and then a longer 2-3 hour afternoon nap which has been lining up with Lars’ nap. Lars was such a finicky napper that I felt like having him on a nap schedule early on was really helpful. Soren seems to kind of go with the flow, and I feel like that’s kind of what happens with the second kid…they adjust to the already set schedule of the family. I know as he gets older I’ll have to start being more diligent about his naps but for now we are enjoying not having him a strict schedule.
Since I breastfed Lars for 16 months, I was pretty confident going into breastfeeding with Soren. But, like they say, every baby is different. While breastfeeding is going great 2 months in, it took awhile for Soren and I to get in our groove. He latched pretty good at the beginning, but not great. Getting him to latch and keeping the latch was something I had to really concentrate on. In addition, I have a forceful letdown which he had a really difficult time with. For the first 6 weeks he would unlatch at the beginning of each feeding screaming in frustration. Even throughout the feedings he would unlatch and cry out. It made feeding him pretty stressful and I hated feeling like he wasn’t satisfied.
Eventually I saw a lactation consultant who assured me it was something we could work on. She taught me block feeding, which helps get milk supply under control, and new positions to help with the forceful letdown. After a week I noticed a huge difference and now he’s feeding great. He no longer unlatches in frustration, no longer cries during feeds, and I no longer feel like I’m going to burst with milk at any given moment.
One thing that was similar to breastfeeding Lars was getting ductal thrush. I had thrush with Lars for SIX MISERABLE WEEKS. Luckily this time around I knew what it felt like, recognized it early on, and got treatment ASAP. That was around the time he was 2 weeks old, and since then it hasn’t been an issue.
ADJUSTING TO HAVING TWO KIDS
This is something I knew was going to have its challenges, but I’m pretty sure you can never be fully prepared for something like adding a new baby to your family. While Lars has been a great big brother, there have definitely been moments of frustration. There’s nothing quite as maddening as having your newborn baby being woken up because big brother wants to count (a.k.a. poke) his eyes. Or give him “BIG KISS.” Or sit on him. I’ve learned that staying calm and reinforcing the rules of “not touching Soren when his eyes are closed” and “never sitting on your baby brother” instead of having an emotional response of “TIME OUT!” is much more effective. It became clear that Lars was doing these things mainly for the attention and yelling and making a big deal of his behaviors seemed to only encourage his behaviors.
Another adjustment with having two kids was getting comfortable with going out in public with both of them. At first I thought I would never be able to make a Target run with both kids, and figured I would save it for mornings when Lars was at preschool. But as I became more confident and comfortable, I slowly ventured out. First it was a quick run to the grocery store where I needed just a few things. Then it was going to the park with both of them by myself. Now I pretty much don’t think twice about running a few errands with them. Soren loves the ErgoBaby 360 so I can usually just put him in the baby carrier and we get along pretty well.
Before Soren was born I was really curious about what his personality would be like, compared to Lars. Would he be an outgoing baby like Lars? Would he be a super active baby like Lars?
Turns out, he’s quite a bit different. If I had to pick just one word to describe him, it would be sweet. He’s a super sweet baby. He’s usually pretty content in his baby chair (although he definitely has his fussy times) and loves observing. He has the biggest eyes that I can tell are just soaking up everything around him.
Soren loves to cuddle, which Lars was never a huge fan of, so I am soaking up all of the baby cuddles that I can.
In the past few weeks he has started cooing and smiling, and it makes me melt every time.
So far he’s been a big fan of the pacifier, which has been glorious, though he’s still learning how to keep it in his mouth. His favorite brand is the MAM, though I’m trying to get him to like the WubbaNub with the animals on them because they are so much easier to keep track of!
Other things he likes: bath time, baby massages, looking at lights, the Rockaroo baby swing, the ErgoBaby and Solly Baby Wrap, and having his back patted.
His dislikes: sometimes he hates being in his carseat, being hungry (don’t we all?), and having his nose suctioned.
I think that’s it for now! I’m sure I’m missing a ton of stuff that I wanted to share with you guys but really, the last couple of months have been a blur. I’ll be back tomorrow with a recipe!