Cluster Feeding and the First Growth Spurt!!!
The start of week 2 was full of more cluster feeding. Casper had his first little growth spurt and he was feeding constantly to build up my milk supply. He also went back to not wanting to sleep in his bassinet - he much preferred to sleep on either Paul or myself. This growth spurt only lasted about 48 hours though and then he settled back down and didn’t feel the need to be attached to my nipples 24 hours a day - my nipples are very thankful for this haha.
More Family Outings
We attempted another family outing which was.. interesting. It was just to Kmart because you know, Kmart is life. Otis was an absolute terror. I had Casper in the hug a bub wrap and we grabbed a trolley for Otis. The first tantrum came when he didn’t want to be in the trolley, the next was because he didn’t want to hold either of our hands as he walked, the next one was because someone else was playing in the rocket out the front of Kmart and he wanted to play in there. They didn’t stop there. He threw a tantrum over anything. He ran off. He grabbed toys from every shelf. It was a nightmare. Paul and I are very calm parents so we didn’t lose our cool at him but it wasn't easy, we understand he’s going through a lot at the moment. After the eventful trip to Kmart we decided Otis was banned from the shops and when we need to go next time, we’d go solo haha. Sometimes the tantrums aren’t worth it - not even for Kmart.
Midwife Follow Up Appointment
I had a follow up appointment with my gorgeous midwife Renae to check out Casper’s growth. He hasn’t put on quite enough weight as they’d normally like. He wasn't too far off but it was enough to warrant having him weighed again next week. We discovered that he’s a ‘snacker’ and is taking smaller feeds as opposed to a full feed. Renae suggested I un swaddle him for all feeds to ensure he wakes up and is more alert for them. I did this as soon as I got home and he took a brilliant feed and then had a 2.5 hour nap! So I’ll definitely be doing that from now on.
Quality Time with Otis
The beautiful 2.5 hour nap freed me up to spend time with Otis. I made us a hot chocolate each and then we wrestled and played in his room. It was so much fun doing this and I could tell he really loved the Mummy attention. Having these moments to reconnect with Otis and give him my full attention without Casper hanging off my boob makes him feel special and loved which is so important to me. Otis is still asking for me as he goes to bed so I ensure that once Paul has read him his books that I go in for a little cuddle session. Despite the increase in tantrums, Otis doesn’t seem too phased by Casper. Every now and then he will come up and want to give him a cuddle and then he goes back to playing with his toys or asking to watch ‘Finding Dory’.
We did a family photoshoot with Rene from Blush and Mint. Now this was another interesting event. We had Otis who refused to be in any photos and Casper wanting to be on the boob the whole time. Rene was so patient and wonderful. We changed up ‘the plan’ a few times to work with how the boys were behaving. This meant Otis was in none of the photos in the studio, the only photos we got with Otis were the ones outside. He loves being outside so he was much happier and more willing to cooperate with us. We would have a small window to work with Casper before he wanted more boob, despite this, Rene managed to get some magical shots.
This is why you should never assume someone has all their shit together. The photos we have look absolutely amazing but you’d never know the struggle it was to get these photos if I hadn’t of shared it with you.
Parenting is messy. It’s tornado toddlers refusing to cooperate and cluster feeding newborns acting like the world is ending if they don’t have a nipple in their mouth haha but I love our new crazy life - it's the best.
First Long Stretch of Overnight Sleep!!!!
At just 10 days old, Casper did his first long stretch of overnight sleep. He gave us 6 glorious uninterrupted hours! I wasn’t expecting that kind of sleep for another few weeks so to say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement - my boobs on the other hand were rock hard and ready to explode.
The following night he did it again, it was 5 hours instead of 6 but hey I’ll take it! I was hoping this would be his new thing but he hasn’t done it again. He’s still doing a bit of cluster feeding in the evenings from 5-10pm which is fine and in fact quite common at his age. He’s also waking up at around 7am most mornings which is the same time we hear Otis start to stir - what team work! Haha.
During the day, his naps range from 20 minutes to 2 hours. I try to aim for at least 2 large naps and 2 smaller naps. This doesn’t always go to plan but most days I can get him to do this.
For all of his sleeps, unless he naps on my chest, he’s in our room in the bassinet with white noise playing and the blinds closed. He’s also swaddled nice and tight. The white noise is fantastic at blocking Otis out, the dark room reduces stimulation and encourages a long restorative nap and the swaddling ensures he doesn’t wake himself up with his hands. He loooooooves his hands so I’m very thankful for the miracle swaddle - a normal swaddle cannot keep his hands contained - I tried and it failed very quickly.
Casper is getting much more settled at sleeping in his bassinet as the days go by. We still allow contact naps - he especially loves sleeping on Paul chest - but I’m noticing he’s settling nicer in his bassinet. Sometimes I feed him to sleep and transfer him to his bassinet and other times I will feed him and pop him down a little drowsy and rock him in the bassinet. Our bassinet can sway side to side so this works perfectly at lulling him to sleep - you have to find that sweet spot though otherwise he will fight it. Paul loves to settle him on the fit ball. He swaddled his tightly and bouncing Casper to sleep, I must say it works very well!
Post Partum Bleeding and a Wedding Don't Go Together
My post partum bleed has been really mild since I left the hospital, however I got stuck in a rut at a wedding we attended Saturday night. I all of a sudden bled a bit more than usual and I realised I had no extra pads on me - massive fail! - so I had to use one of Casper's nappies. Luckily they are tiny and the outfit I had on wasn't figure hugging so it worked haha. I am sure I'm not the first mum to have had to do this and I certainly learnt my lesson. I will be packing back up pads in the baby bag from now on.
Having Casper with us at the wedding was relatively easy. Being a newborn his needs are pretty simple - boob and sleep. So once he was boobed he’d happily sleep in the pram for a bit before wanting more boob! I honestly feel a newborn is easier than having a toddler. I never realised how much work a toddler is until our relaxed Casper came along!
Comparing First and Second Borns (Don't Judge)
I know you shouldn’t compare babies however, I do find myself comparing Otis and Casper. They are very different bubba’s, but I think a lot of that is to do with Paul and I being different parents this time round. We know a heck of a lot more and we are so much more confident this time which I believe reflects onto Casper. Paul and I are relaxed with him so he in turn feels relaxed around us. Whereas with Otis, being first time parents, we had no bloody idea what we were doing. We doubted ourselves, we worried about everything and we didn’t trust our instincts. Otis was still a relatively chilled bubba but it’s funny how much more chilled Casper is.
This is why I always reiterate to parents that you need to stay calm. Breath through the moments that are stressing you out. Remove yourself from a situation if need be. Bubba’s feel what we are feeling so it’s important to stay calm around them. When you’re calm I believe you can read situations better and in turn respond in a better more constructive way.
For example, Paul was downstairs in the gym and I needed to put Casper down for a nap so I made sure Otis was occupied with some toys and a movie and went to settle Casper in the bedroom. Otis came looking for me. He was upset. He wanted me to put Casper down and pick him up. I almost had Casper asleep but I knew that Otis’s feelings and needs needed to be met. So I took a deep breath, placed Casper down and picked Otis up. I took him to the lounge room and had a quick cuddle with him. I then Explained I was going to help Casper fall asleep and then be back out here with him shortly. This was all Otis needed. He just needed my attention briefly and then he was fine.
I could have easily gotten annoyed at Otis but instead I analysed the situation and how he was feeling. Casper was fine to be placed down in his bassinet for a few minutes, I kinda hoped he would drift off to sleep on his own whilst I was gone but he didn’t - dammit haha.
Casper had a very unsettled day and night on Monday just gone. He did not want to be put down for his naps so Paul and I spent most of our day tag teaming contact naps. On the one nap Paul did get him into his bassinet, I hopped in the shower and Paul was downstairs at the gym. I kept thinking I could hear Casper crying and so I turned the shower off to have a listen. Of course he was crying whilst I was mid conditioner so I had to quickly rinse it all off, dry myself and tend to Casper - good timing buddy. He started his night off rather well and was asleep by 8pm. He woke around 10pm for a feed so I went to bed after that and then he woke again at 12:30am. I tried settling him back to sleep but he wasn’t having a bar of it. He was wide awake. Nothing I did could lull him back to sleep. Paul even tried his famous fit ball bouncing, but that wouldn’t work either. After some more tag teaming he eventually went to sleep at 3:30am. Otis then out of the blue woke up at 4am crying wanting water and a book read to him. We got him back to sleep and then Casper woke for another feed at 5:30am. He went back to sleep and we all started our day at 7am. What a night! Hopefully we don’t have another one like that for a while.
I’ve been very lucky that Paul has had two weeks off with us and has another week to go. It’s made the transition very smooth so far however as the days go by I do get a bit nervous about how I’ll cope by myself with the two boys.
For now, I am lapping up the family time because it’s been amazing spending so much time together.
Final Thoughts on Week 2
This second week has certainly been more challenging. Having a younger brother now to share Mummy and Daddy's attention has proven to be an emotional roller coaster for Otis. It makes me feel so guilty for bringing Casper into our lives but I know as time goes on Otis will start to see Casper as his best friend - for now though the Mum guilt is strong.
I keep having doubts that I'll be able to cope 5 days week with the two boys on my own but I draw strength and confidence from the many Mum's who have been on this path before and have survived. I also remind myself that I am the perfect Mum for these boys. The universe wouldn't have sent them to me if I wasn't.