Wow – so weird that back when I started this blog, Maggie was only just over a month old (you can find my Maggie posts under “Maggie Monthly“). When Maggie turned 6 months I decided to start documenting her milestones, development and just change and growth each month. When she hit a year I started to space them out more, and now I just do them as appropriate/as things change. Now I’m going to start documenting my sons life – after documenting my whole pregnancy. It’s just crazy.
From Womb to World
Similar to his sister, James has been born into a turbulent time. The world is very much a scary place – moreso than it normally is for newborns. I am thankful that he has no idea what is going on right now with the pandemic and Russia/Ukraine, but I will certainly never forget.
James was born at the beginning of February (read my birth story here), so I have two winter babies. I love having winter babies because (in pre-pandemic times) it gives you an excuse to hibernate (which you don’t really need anymore because of the circumstances). The first 2 weeks of James’s life was spent mostly at home, with our little family unit. We saw some grandparents, but tried to keep it over all low key and of course, safe. Masking was requested, and everyone who met him was vaccinated. One thing I will say to new parents is don’t be afraid to speak up for what you think needs to be done to keep your new little bundle of joy safe. Even with Maggie, I requested everyone get the flu vaccine and (if needed) an updated Tdap. Winter babies are born at a particularly risky time for colds and flu, so of course the rule remains here that if you’re sick, no baby visits.
Being at home has been nice as this time around, we’re adjusting to not only a new baby but also having a new baby with a toddler. I will say – it has gone rather smoothly for us, with only a few hiccups on the toddler side. Maggie has had some ups and downs with her baby brother being introduced, but she never shows it when it comes to him. She loves him so much! We do have to redirect her when she gets a bit too rough or loud, but overall it has been a smooth transition. As for us (the parents) – I am struggling a bit with making sure both my kids get my time and attention, especially in these early days when James needs me so much. To keep things normal, Maggie has continue to go to daycare which I think has been good. She loves going and then I can make sure to give her my focused attention in the evening when my husband is home to trade off with me. I’m also going to make a point to have time with each of my kids alone – Maggie and I will be going to the library just the two of us on Saturday, for example, because she really needs that solo mama time every so often.
James gets mama to himself 5 days a week – it is our second week “on our own” right now and it’s been going well.
Day in the Life @ 1 Month
I am not much of a believer in having a scheduled newborn, or really much of a schedule for a baby. With Maggie, I just kind of did what worked in the newborn days and we’re doing the same. We do have to have a slight schedule in the mornings to get Maggie to daycare – so we get up at the same time, nurse and change before we go into her room and get her ready. I set James up on his play mat or leaning on my boppy breastfeeding pillow, and I help Maggie get ready for daycare.
We head downstairs, I get Maggie breakfast and we get ready to leave. We often do “breakfast on the go” because that’s just how it goes sometimes (our family likes sleep) – notably, we were doing this before James arrived. I put James right into his car seat pretty much, but I don’t tighten up the straps until we’re about to leave. I help Maggie with her jacket and boots (as needed, she can do both on her own now except the zipper) and we head out. This all seems rather smooth – but truth be told, every morning is different. I just try to roll with what comes at me.
James usually falls asleep on the car ride to daycare, but not always. When we get home, he nurses and either naps or stays awake for a bit depending on if he napped in the car. Either way he wakes up for a bit around 9:30 and usually will go down for a good nap (usually it’s about 2 hours) around 10-10:30. By “go down”, I don’t mean in a crib – though some days I do lay him down there. Some days he naps beside me as I read, or if I have things to do he might be in my Beluga Baby wrap or the Baby Bjorn carrier.
With Maggie we did this too – she never really took a crib nap till later. I did try to lay her down for one nap – whatever length – a day in her bassinet while she was still sleeping in it. Often she’d nap on the go in the car, stroller, or baby carrier.
After James’s “mega nap” he will just cycle through his other activities – eating, pooping, “playing” and sleeping again. He usually takes another longer nap in the afternoon, then the rest tend to be around 45 minutes or so (I’ve only recently started to track them). My husband and Maggie get home around 5:15 pm, and we have dinner. James may be asleep at this time – and he usually conveniently wakes up when I sit down to eat dinner. If he’s asleep, we’ll put him in the Mamaroo. If he’s awake, he comes right beside the table in the Baby Bjorn bouncer. Again – he often ends up in my arms, which is fine. I learned to eat with 1 hand with Maggie.
James comes to Maggie’s room to “help” get her ready for bed – again he gets stationed in her room while my husband and I help her. I take her to the potty and to brush her teeth, and one of us will get her diaper and PJs on for bedtime. I usually read her a book (or seven) and then my husband lays with her before she goes to sleep (this is new since we transitioned her to a toddler bed – she used to just go to sleep after we finished her book). I take James out and he usually nurses, and then it’s time to start getting him ready for bed. Sometimes that means a bath (we don’t do them too often because of the winter + dry skin), or just cuddles or play before a diaper change and swaddling. James has showed me that his bed time is best between 8:30 and 9 pm right now. He’s usually ready to fall asleep by 9.
I sometimes do a dream feed if for whatever reason, he fell asleep early or our last nursing session was earlier. Sometimes he will eat and other times he’s too tired and I just lay him back down. Lately, we get between a 4-5 hour stretch at the beginning of the night, then 2-3 hour stretches following depending on the night. Last night, we got 4 hours and then between 1-2 hours which was… fun. I will say that the exhaustion hits less heavily as a second time parent. I remember feeling like a piece of trash when I was tired with Maggie – now I feel like a more functional piece of trash. Just kidding. But really, it does feel easier to function on less sleep this time around.
And that is our week days – during the day we rotate between rooms, I do chores/read/blog/whatever I can fit in. Some days I do very little – other than cuddle, which is fine. I am more appreciative with James of how short these early days really are. I mean look, we’re already at 1 month. How?! Time flies. So if I spend some days just being a receptacle for contact naps and milk, then that’s worth it and I’ll hold onto that as long as I can.
Weekends tend to be more sporadic – but he is generally awake by 7 am still. Again – we just go with the flow, but with the whole family in tow.
Growth & Development
My baby already looks so different. He doesn’t look like a newborn anymore. Sigh.
James has been showing off his little smile the past few days and today I swear it was purposeful! He smiled for the camera!
If you follow Wonder Weeks, I am going to start talking about where James is in turns of leaps at each update. I know that Wonder Weeks isn’t 100% supported by evidence, but I still found it cool to follow along with for Maggie, and there were definitely times where some things lined up.
At this time – we’re just approaching Leap 1 (Saturday). However in my opinion, we started this leap earlier this week. James has been checking off the leap “signals” list by crying more, wanting to be with me more, being “grumpier” and having moments of poor sleep. He also has had a few days of cluster feeding on and off. He is also like, totally committed to always sucking something. We successfully introduced a pacifier this week because of that need. With Maggie I did a lot of comfort nursing, which I was happy to do again – but this guy doesn’t like waiting for the milk to slow to comfort nurse. Sometimes he does, and other times he’s like no I just want no milk and only to suck. I swear. So he happily takes a pacifier if he’s wanting to suck after he’s eaten.
In terms of “skills”, he has been staring more, pays closer attention (especially when Maggie is talking), and has more regular breathing. He is also burping less (and spitting up less), but still more than I ever remember Maggie doing either. It’s funny how different kids can be.
4 Week Check Up
James also recently had his 4 week midwife appointment (a few days early)- he weighed in at 9lbs 14oz – so basically in a month he gained a pound, which is pretty average growth! His other stats will be measured at our 6 week discharge appointment (can’t believe we’re almost there).
We will see the cardiologist in 2 weeks as well because he had a slight murmur – only 2 out of 4 midwives could hear it, and it seems to be intermittent and not consistent. I am hopeful that it is one he will grow out of, but we’ll go back to the cardiologist I saw in pregnancy to double check.
Loves & Hates
James loves mama and dada, his sister (listening to her talk), milk (and lots of it) and when his bowels are empty. He also really likes being swaddled and his high contrast book, as well as going for walks.
He does not love having to poop, the dog licking his face, or traffic/red lights that require the car to slow down or stop. He gets annoyed when he doesn’t get what he wants in a timely fashion (fair enough little dude).
Thanks for reading – another update coming next month! P.S. I will do a separate post to update on my postpartum journey this month – including more information about breastfeeding and beyond.