Last week, Teddy turned one month old! It’s hard to believe he was born a whole month ago, but it feels like he’s been with us all along at the same time. I was really worried about how I would handle taking care of a two-year-old and a newborn at the same time, but so far, the transition has been really smooth. The nice thing about newborns is that they sleep most of the time. On average, Teddy sleeps about 21-22 hours a day. So he spends a lot of time laying in his pack ‘n play or in the swing or bouncy seat while I handle whatever Jake is into at the moment. So for now, it works!
I can’t figure out if Teddy is so easy to take care of because I’ve done this once already and I knew what to expect, or if he is genuinely an easier baby than Jake was. I definitely think, regardless of the cause, the transition from one child to two is much easier than the transition from having no children to one. It took me a good few months to really emotionally adjust to having little newborn Jake who needed me 24/7 (and some postpartum hormones may have made the transition even more challenging), but I feel like I settled right into being Teddy’s mom. And I would have to say that between the two year old and the newborn, the two year old is definitely the more difficult one to take care of!
It’s also possible that I just struck it lucky, because Teddy is a really good sleeper. I know that if he were keeping me awake every two hours during the night (or every hour for some people!), I would be having a really tough time. But Teddy likes to sleep for four or five hours at a time at night, so I’m really only waking up once in the night (3 or 4 in the morning) to feed him. In fact, last night he broke his record and slept for a six hour stretch!
He’s also much more independent than I remember Jake being. I remember feeling like Jake was holding me hostage because he needed to be held ALL. THE. TIME. I couldn’t even set him down for a bathroom break without him screaming and wailing for me to come back and pick him up. Teddy, whether by luck or just necessity, is pretty content to just hang out while I go and do whatever I need to do. He is not going to get held near as much as Jake did, but he seems to be okay with that. He occasionally cries just because he wants his mommy, but most of the time he only cries when he’s hungry.
Teddy is a really sweet little guy, and even though developmentally he’s not “supposed” to be doing this yet, he is already giving me genuine smiles. When I look into his eyes and talk to him and smile at him, he looks at me really closely and smiles back! I still have yet to get a really good video of this, but it is absolutely adorable and it melts my heart! Sometimes it’s just a little curl of the lips, sometimes it’s full gums, and sometimes it a giant, wide-mouthed grin.
So far, Jake has been getting along really well with his new little brother. I keep waiting for him to lash out against the baby, but he’s been sweet and very gentle with him. He seems to be just as enchanted with how adorable Teddy is as we are! His favorite thing to do is place his hand on Teddy’s scalp and say, “Baby’s head!” He points out other parts of his body, too. “Baby’s nose! Baby’s fingers! Baby’s belly!” He’s always the first to alert me when he hears the baby crying, and then when Teddy stops crying, Jake announces, “Baby’s happy now!” We haven’t been able to get Jake to call his brother by name yet, though. He just calls him “the baby.” When I ask Jake what the baby’s name is, he just says, “Wah! Wah! Wah!” (imitating the sound of baby’s crying). I have no idea where he got that from, but hopefully we’ll hear him start using the name “Teddy” pretty soon! He likes to help me bathe Teddy and watch me change his diaper, and just generally be involved with everything.
Jake has lashed out a bit against his parents, however…mostly just seeking our attention. He sees that the baby gets our attention by crying, so he’s crying a lot more now (a lot of theatrics and exaggerated crying, that is). He’s also acting out and misbehaving to get our attention. Last week, his teacher at daycare told me that he was on his worst behavior that day (bullying other kids–pushing and taking toys), and she had to put him in time out for the first time ever! But she understood that it was probably on account of the new baby brother. Jake is just wanting to get more attention however he can.
Fortunately, Jake has two doting grandparents who live close by who love to spoil him. That has made the transition easier for him. And we had a recent visit from Justin’s dad and an upcoming visit from Justin’s sister and brother-in-law (which I will blog about, of course)! So there is a lot of excitement lately to keep us all busy! 🙂
*All photos in this post are courtesy of my very talented sister, Heather Petrie. ❤