Week One with Jack + Newborn Care Tips

Baby Jack has been here for O N E week, and I can’t be happier with his progress.  He’s eating like a champ, sleeping well, and I’m soaking up all the sweet newborn snuggles.  The newborn phase seems even sweeter this time around, probably because I’m more comfortable, and it all comes a little more naturally.  My recovery and breastfeeding has both kicked off a lot quicker this time.  Such a relief!

Olivia has been doing really well considering such a big change.  She’s been our little baby for two years and now she no longer seems like such a baby.  It’s truly a little heartbreaking — so bittersweet.  She’s always been fascinated with babies.  When we first introduced her to baby Jack in the hospital, it was incredibly heartwarming.  She ran right in the room yelling, “Baby Jack!” and looking all over for him.  She was busy taking him in, counting his toes, and laying his blanket around him.  Later that night, she called from my parents house to FaceTime him and blew him a kiss goodnight.  Such a sweet moment.  We were amazed that she was so aware that we were with her new brother.

Since we’ve been home, Olivia has continued to have sweet moments with some moments of frustration.  She’ll ask to see him, or help change his diaper, and then tickle his face with an added little poke.  She’s also been more sensitive so we are extra mindful in how we care for her. It’s nothing we didn’t expect and it will take time.  I’m looking forward to when I can spend one-on-one time with her but right now, it’s too difficult with a newborn so close.

Here are some things that have helped this week go smoothly…

  • Teamwork: Peter and I have worked as a team managing both the kids.  He has primarily handled Olivia, while I’ve cared for Jack.  It’s important to communicate your needs and what you’d like/need from one another.  This can be such a tiring time so clearly communicating your needs will help the flow of the week.
  • Support from Family + Friends: We are so lucky to have such supportive friends bring us food and generous gifts for both Olivia and Jack. We’ve spaced out our visitors so that we are comfortable each day.
  • Meals: Like I said, we’ve been lucky to have supportive friends bringing us meals.  But it’s also helpful to have prepared food in the freezer.  If you missed my recent post, Bringing Home Baby Recipes, check it out!  They include recipes that are freezer-friendly, easy to make, healthy, and will feed the family for multiple meals.
  • Light Laundry Loads: I can’t tell you how many times Jack has peed on himself, soaking his clothes each time we change his diaper.  Changing boys is a little different than girls!  With that said, we’ve had a lot of laundry.  It’s helpful to put in a small load of laundry each day.  Then it doesn’t seem overwhelming when it’s time to fold and put away.
  • Accepting Help or Hire Help: Being open to help from others is a great way to catch a break.  This is particularly great for the older kids.  Keeping them active and doing what they love will entertain them and give you a break.  We’ve had friends take Olivia to the park and playdates.  Jump on the opportunity!  Also, consider hiring help — mother’s helpers, babysitters, cleaning ladies…
  • Favorite Advice: Whichever phase you are in, it will pass.  If you’re completely rundown from a fussy baby, or he’s not sleeping, or all you feel like is one big feeding machine — it will pass.  Just hang on!

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