Baby Lily came home on Friday and our lives have been turned upside down … in a good way! She is adjusting to our family with aplomb, sleeping all day and staying up all night. We’re looking forward to that pattern switching. She seriously stays up nightly until 2:30 a.m., crying, eating … crying … eating … crying …. eating. One of these nights, I’m going to join her in at least one of those activities.
Sunny outfit for a sunny girl
Baby Lily is quite small, under six pounds so even her newborn clothes don’t fit her. She is teensy tiny but is working hard to grow, eating every one to two hours. She grew a whole five ounces in 24 hours after arriving home and is trying t0 break the world record for feedings in a 24 hour period. I spend a lot of time sitting down, feeding her, but the silver lining to that is that I’m reading a bunch of magazines that have languished for months.
Lily gives Jamisen a present
Many mothers told me that Jamisen would do much better if baby Lily gave him some presents every day that he visited her in the hospital or when she got home. We followed this advice (and it’s come in handy several times this week already). She gave him a train set (pictured above) and a 1-button remote controlled car. He was much more excited about the train set. He’s all boy – obsessed with anything that has a motor (cars, trains, boats, planes, helicopters).
Jamisen looks a little unsure
Overall, Jamisen is adjusting to baby Lily but hasn’t been perfectly princelike in his actions. We’ve seen some hitting and some acting out since the new baby came home. Overall, he’s more curious than anything. He likes to touch her head and point to her facial features and names them, “Nose, eyes, ears”.
Grandma and Grandpa are instantly smitten.
Both sets of Grandparents are beyond over the moon thrilled at the new addition. My Mom is staying with us for an undetermined time period as we adjust to two children and I try to make it back to some semblance of work in a few weeks. With a little girl who can’t sleep for longer than 90 minutes without food, that might prove more challenging than it sounds. I’m thankful for such a great family support network on both sides.
Baby’s first outing
We ventured out the day after we got home from the hospital to the park for a playdate with one of Jamisen’s friends. In the photo above, you can see Jamisen playing in the captain’s lookout. You can’t tell but I’m trying to figure out where to go sit down to feed our little teensy weensy hungry hippo of a baby girl. The entire venture was totally worth it because we ended with a trip to Menchies for frozen yogurt. I was pleasantly surprised by their Popcorn flavored yogurt (I know, it sounds disgusting but it was a nice mixture of salt and sweet).
Reading for three
Our nighttime routine has changed a little because we have one extra reader. Jamisen asks for Lily to be put beside him for reading time and has seamlessly integrated his little sister into his bedtime routine. Overall, the new addition to our family has gone about how we thought it would with the exception of her size and feeding schedule. Chris and I are really, really tired. We’re looking forward to fattening her up and continuing to find new ways to work and play together as a family of 4.
If you have any tips or tricks for helping Jamisen adjust to Lily’s arrival, I’d love to hear them. I know I’m not the first Mom to struggle with this =)
Desert Rose says
Congratulations on your new arrival! Baby Lily looks perfect. I’m sure you feel now like your Family is Complete.
I had my 2 and 3 child cosleeping at night and fed on demand, so I felt much rested then with my first child, when I had to get up and feed her in nursing chair.
As for the potty training – just take nappy off during the day time and NEVER put it back on. ( day time)The minute you put the nappy back- he gets confused. Even in the car ,just use protection for the car seat, no Pull Ups! In my oppinion,with the Potty Training , the Parent should be mentally ready, Child – physically .There will be a few puddles, but if you make potty training fun with lots of praising , it should take about 7-10 days for your boy beeing completely dry during the day. After he has been dry for more then 2-3 months during the day, you can start lifting him at night.
Tantrums is a very normal thing especially with the new baby in the house. Just “hang on” there,its a phase. My daughter wanted to swap her baby brother for a puppy, when she realised that she was not the youngest any more, even she loved him to bits.
Good luck, enjoy your little treasures!
When my daughter Emma was born my son was 3 years old. Scott instantly loved his baby sister “Elmo”. When I noticed he got a lil jealous I made up a helping game. Like a race to pick up toys, color pictures for the baby room, I even had him pick out what Emma was going to wear. ( One day he picked out her blessing dress with a pair of jeans LOL). So my advice is this, make chores fun, definitely have Mommy & Son dates and walk away off he has a tantrum.
Best of luck with your new beautiful addition!
Andrea Sayer says
Anne-Marie it has been 13 years since my youngest was a newborn and I was under some pretty extreme currimstances with my family and had to leave her at 6 days old with her grandmother, father and almost two year old brother while I took our 5 year old back to Omaha for cancer treatment. But what I remember working the most to make the transition from one child to a new baby then to a family of three children under the age of 5 and one of them terminally ill was that you needed to make each of them know that they were special and that they could help take care of each other. We would allow our children to help pick out books to read to each other while feeding a baby or snuggling in for bedtime. We also made a big deal out of preparing meal time for the family. I would ask them to pick a fruit and vegetable from the pantry and what ever they brought (as long as it was a fruit and vegetable) was what we ate. And when it was time for the baby to learn to eat they got to choose their fruit or veggie too. This made them feel so grown up plus it taught them to eat from the major food groups at their meal and the difference between fruits and vegetables. I know my life’s events were extreme, and much different from yours praise the lord, but I do feel that some of my advice could help you with your son and daughter and your family bonding time. Because believe me only seeing my daughter for two days a week for the first 6 months of her life made for some interesting bonding adjustments. Best wishes to you and your wonderful family.
I know this post is kind of old, but I thought I’d share my idea, if it helps! My mom suggested keeping some special books set aside for him, and every time you sit down to nurse the baby, make sure Jamisen can sit with you and read some of his special books that are saved just for nursing time. This worked great for us, hope it does for you too!
She’s beautiful, AM. I’m sure the transition will continue to go well and she will be sleeping through the night before you know it!
Anne-Marie, I’ve been using info from SoapQueen TV for several months now while I’ve got into the swing of soap making. When I saw this post today, I was overcome with joy for you and your family. Yes it’s hard (I have five), especially in the early years. I think I went about 10 years without a full nights sleep. Reading through the responses to your post, I can see lots of really good advice. I would suggest sift through them all and take up what you think will work for you. My babies were all quite small and would usually start off at about 90 minute feeds. As they put on weight though and started to eat more, then they would go for longer. Hang in there, it will come good eventually. Best of luck to you all.
I know I am super late! But Congratulations she is sooo beautiful! Welcome to the world baby Lily, Soap Princess! Get ready to make a lot of homemade lip gloss and eyeshadow it starts at about 3 years old! LOL. Ohh and get that big bro into Karate now cause your going to need it to fight all the guys that are going to be after her when she is 16! I wish you and your family so much love and blessings and I can’t wait to see her helping on a special edition of Soapy Queen TV!!
Bath Bomb Hugs and Soapy Kisses,
Donna Maria Coles Johnson says
Congratulations and welcome Lily! You make a beautiful family and I’m so glad her big brother is adjusting well. Lily is beautiful and healthy and that’s such a blessing. I’m so excited for you and your family!
Congrats on your Lily! (I also have a Lily!) They are lots of fun!
Odette Handley says
Congrats on baby Lilly. I have been meaning to send this for days but with snakes on the farm, new shops opening and needing stock and my husbands solar factory opening, it has all been a little hectic so I am behind on the happenings in the rest of the world. She looks perfect. Maybe in time she will settle into a better routine .. or not. I hope for your sake she does. I have no advice on this matter except to say that my brother was like this and he is a GENIUS, working for such computer companies that look like fruit. Anyway good luck.
She is beautiful.
Just one tip. If you can always remember that in the heart of every male, young or old, is the innate desire (need?) to be a hero. He’ll adjust when he knows how he has “saved the day” by helping you in little ways. Make a big deal of it when he does.
Oooooh, I love how you put that. “Be the hero.” YES! Such a good idea. That’s a beautiful way of putting that.
My Lilly was a tiny baby also and she is still tiny! So am I. Some people are just small! She was always very healthy though and had only one cold until she went to preschool at 3. Small is not necessarily bad!
I did not have her until my 37th birthday, so I was an older first time mom, and people thought I should know it all, because you know, I was older!
My stepson was almost 17 when she was born and I am pretty sure he experienced some jealousy. 🙂
On you have a Lily too?! I love that name =) Jamisen was perfectly healthy with no issues until he went to preschool. Then, it was like he had a cold every day. I do feed him kale juice almost every morning and lots of kefir so hopefully his immune system is strong.
Also, a baby at 37 … I’m 36 so I feel your tiredness. There’s something to be said for having them early from an energy standpoint! =)
Being a mom of 5 ages 13,11,8,3,&2, all I can say is trust your parenting instincs we know more about raising kids than we give ourselves credit for. Dont go crazy reading a bunch if parenting books they’ll just leave you confused,accept that somedays nothing will go according to plan, accept that there will be tantrums and fights,but above all enjoy your kids even when they drive you insane,lol (I know my kids sure drive me crazy sometimes on a daily basis). For now just allow yourself to rest and forget all responsibilities you usually have and just enjoy lily and Jamison.
Oh that is such good advice. I am so irritated about the parenting books I read pre-Jamisen. I wish I would have thrown them out the window since so many of them were NOT helpful and ended up really causing stress in the end. The book that said never to let your newborn fall asleep on you totally robbed me of precious moments with Jamisen. I let Lily fall asleep on me all the time and it’s great for us both!
After several miscarriages, we adopted a beautiful baby girl and I immediately became pregnant again. The girls were 8 months and 27 days apart. Even after 30 years I still remember those first 3 or four months. Can I simply say I had moments when I wondered why I ever wanted to be a Mother? I would have never made it without help from my Mom and Dad. It was quite the struggle at first, but when I learned to take it a day at a time, or a minute at a time if necessary, those difficult days did pass and now I remember them with a smile. For Me, not expecting too much too soon and keeping a sense of humor made it possible to face each day. I know you will do well, and I am so glad you have your Mom helping you out for a while. Jamison is such a handsome little guy and Lily is beautiful. It sounds like you are making some great choices in helping Jamison adjust to his new role as ‘big brother’. Congratulations.
Wow, you are blessed but must have been so so tired.
My Mom is helping a lot. She’s been up a lot and takes a lot of the stress off of me. She is helping so much with house care stuff and really, being Jamisen’s best friend so he doesn’t feel like he’s not getting any attention. I’m lucky to have such an amazing support system (and it sounds like you were as well).
Well I don’t have any kids but I help Mom w/ our in-home childcare. One of the kiddos became a big brother in Nov. He wasn’t too thrilled @ first (typical). He knew he was going to have a sister ever since his momma found-out, but he got really grumpy after she was born: “mommy I don’t like Rayleigh, can we take her back to the hospital?” LOL He’s 4 so it’s easier to explain being nice, helping-out, etc to him. He loves his sister now & wants to protect her from anyone & anything!
I guess it just depends on their personality… but every effort must be made. Keep encouraging him! It’ll get better. Hope this helps 🙂
PS AAAH! “Once Upon A Potty”….I remember that book! We used it (& the video) for the 1st kiddo we got when he was potty-training.
Once Upon A Potty … got that book! Hopefully, it eventually settles in as “Oh, I should do this!”
Jamisen is definitely warming to Lily. He wants to hug her and hold her hand, all the time. He’s not so gentle but it’s very sweet.
What a beautiful family! Big brother will settle in with a few weeks…make him mama’s little helper;)
As for feedings and breastfeeding, its totally normal for babies to want to feed every hour or so in the early weeks. It may just be her “style” of eating, try not to worry too much. My midwife says its ok if it takes 3 weeks to recover the newborn baby weight, so you have time yet. My baby girl had similar feeding behavior, and really struggled to gain weight — it took alot of effort to keep her awake for a full feeding “20” minutes. We worked really hard at keeping the 15-25 percentile for weight. It turned out she had an undiagnosed posterior tongue tie – missed by the pediatrician and certified lactation consultant! So, if after a few weeks you are still struggling w/ feedings, frequent nite wakings, and struggling to gain weight — just make sure a POSTERIOR tongue tie has been ruled out before you start supplementing w/ bottles:) Also, pumping some milk and having daddy take a nitetime feed was so helpful for getting a 4 hr stretch of sleep for mommy, it won’t hurt your supply (and will prolly help) since you need to rest to!
Lily has surpassed her birth weight right now. YAY! She is starting to feed at the every 2-3 hour mark except in the evenings. She really seems to want to nurse more frequently. I was reading online that it was called “cluster” feeding.
We did have a lactation consultant visit twice and she was extremely helpful; it’s just nice to hear “Hey, you’re doing it right!” =)
Cassandra Manuel Fansler says
She is beautiful and what a lovely name! Love to you all!
Thank you! She is named after her Great Grandmother (and Jamisen is a family name on his Dad’s side).
Very beutifull family. You are doing an awsome job. I think My ownly tip would be that although intergrating the family as a whole is important. I feel its also very important that your son get one on one time with his mum and dad , newborns are amazeily labor intensive but they will not be hurt by hanging with somone like grandma for 30-45 so you can spend quality time with your little man. I bet things will calm down quickly as your an amazeing mother. I can not give any inssights in to feed as my son was not a normal feeder. Good luck and God bless.
I didn’t have enough time to read all the previous comments, so sorry if I’m repeating anything! There are some really cute books out there about having a new baby in the house, I had several when my oldest was 2 1/2 and I had my second daughter. There are quite a few that are geared towards 2-3 yr. olds. They were most definitely a blessing to have, sorry I don’t remember the titles! Also, I tried to let my oldest “help” with anything I could; go get a diaper or wipes, pick out an outfit, get the binky, etc. Jaimeson is the perfect age to be “mommy’s helper.” And I’m sure it’s been mentioned, but rest when you can, and don’t feel guilty about doing so! Let your mom help, so you don’t do too much, I know you are used to doing everything, but give yourself a break!! I over did things with one of my kids,and ended up back in the hospital for excessive bleeding, almost had to have a blood transfusion, so TAKE IT EASY!! 🙂 🙂
I just ordered another book on having a sibling – I didn’t get enough of them apparently! =) The helping has been especially important. Jamisen loves to help out with his little sister – and “supervise” diaper changes now =)
Ironically, I ended up on bed rest last week for excessive bleeding. I was terrified they were going to check me into the hospital b/c they told me I would not have been able to take Lily with me so I was highly motivated to make it all work … from bed! I’m off bed rest now though =)
Jean Horn says
Adorable! I love getting to see these glimpses of your family. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for being a Soap Queen reader and community member. I love having a group of strong women to turn to with questions =)
Karen Pettinger says
Having to nurse a baby every one to two hours is NORMAL at first. I am a mother of three (all c-sections), and my first two were ravenous beasts. Ravenous beasts definitely bring your milk in, and I wouldn’t worry as long as she has started to gain. A misbehaving, two-year-old, new sibling is almost certain to be a little angry sometimes. He has been dethroned after all! You have a beautiful family, Anne Marie! Make sure you rest when you can, and you will probably find yourself snapping back even faster than you did after your first. You know what to expect this time, and you know that the initial upset won’t last forever. Enjoy being a mom!
Two c-sections here too. It’s a difficult to recover with a little toddler in the house, isn’t it? =)
I can’t wait until I can rest longer than 3 hours again. Supposedly when she hits around 10 pounds …
Ruth Esteves says
Congratulations, Anne-Marie! My son was about the same size when he was born but soon got those little pudgy baby thighs. Just keep feeding, take ALL the help you can get, and soon all this will be a wonderful memory. (Sorry, having only one means I have no advice about siblings.) 🙂
She’s just starting to develop a little double chin. No thigh rolls yet but I can see them coming on =)
Awww,the kiddos are so darn cute! Lily looks so much like Jamisen’s baby pics.
I don’t really have much sibling rivalry advice. My guess is that time will make it better-it’s all so new.
My two are 8.5 years apart,and I can say that there was an advantage to such distance-my son was so excited to have a baby sister and was a huge help. I can also say that they have always pretty much gotten along, and today they are good friends.
Get some sleep and give the new siblings some time to grow in love.
Oh, wow, you are lucky in some ways. It’s so great that your kids are so far apart because then you really did have a big time helper! =) Jamisen wants to help (like today, he wanted to hold the baby when the baby was crying) but he’s not even quite big enough to hold her yet. He’ll get there though. I definitely could use more sleep! =)
My oldest really liked the book I’m a Big Brother (http://www.amazon.com/Im-Big-Brother-Joanna-Cole/dp/0688145078/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1369749299&sr=8-3&keywords=i%27m+a+big+brother). Other than that, lots of time with just Mommy and Big Bro doing fun stuff (even if that’s just grocery shopping) should help.
Buying it right now … and a few potty training books. Thanks for the suggestion!
congrats! this will be a huge adjustment and you guys will get thru it too as we did!
a few things that helped me tremendously, as we had a baby who did not go 45 minutes EVER without feeding,was my wrap. our second, Emily, was rarely held, she was worn. I could nurse her in it, play soccer, shop, clean, sleep, everything. The nice thing is about newborn babes is they seem need more of your body and warm physical contact than they do of your actual attention. Meanwhile, the eldest needs A LOT of both. Olivia was 2 3/4 when her sister came around and we took a different approach. Emily never slept and cried a lot so playing up the ‘wow, its so great to be a big sister’ thing just didn’t fly, because truthfully, it just wasn’t at first. Her life was upside down and there was no use pretending it wasn’t. The baby wearing and nursing allowed me to give her as much of my attention as possible, which is what she really needed, not the big sister routine. Of course, trying to include her in all things we did as a family, including baby things (getting the diapers and what not) kept her involved but that wore thin soon too. Whenever possible, I owuld spend time with her alone with a craft or game or something. We didn’t push and let Olivia develop her relationship with Emily at her own pace, she didn’t even want to hold her for a while (she didn’t dislike her or anything, I think she may have been a bit scared).
Anyways, it was rough at first but it just got better and better. Our daughters are each others best friends now, they hate being separated and are truly great for each other!!! Their own relationship developed into one of love and understanding and comfort (and yes they fight).
It’s so hard, but it gets better, hang in there! Thinking of you guys!
That’s good feedback. So far, Lily isn’t crying much so that’s good but every second she’s NOT crying or eating, she’s sleeping and I’m trying to get caught up on house cleaning, dishes, laundry, or working. The emails haven’t stopped =) I think it’s just a balancing act that I need to be okay with instead of expecting it all to fall into place. I’m heartened that you say it gets better =) I would like it to get better faster than it probably will so patience will have to be my theme for the next few months.
Congratulations! Bad news: there are no rules and I doubt you’ll have the energy to test every tip you will receive. Good news: you, as a family, will find your balance soon. You did it once, you will as many times as it is needed. What I can say for sure is the fact of she being attached to the breast all the time doesnt mean she is hungry all the time. Maybe she has the cramps and the babies’s natural ‘confort’ thing is to suck. They end up sucking too much and regurgitating almost everything. Then the cycle starts again… Ask your doctor about remedies that can be used. There are many available, some natural. All the best for you and your beautiful family. Greetings from Brazil!
Good news, she isn’t really spitting up. So that’s good. She has gained 18 oz. in 13 days so this little girl is definitely growing. YAY! I’ve lost 18 pounds in those same 13 days. She is an eating machine =) I did order some pacifiers for tiny babies just in case that would help prolong her sleep! =) I could use that extra sleeping time.
Congrats on the safe arrival of such a precious wee blessing.It has been a wee while since I had my own babies, but all I can do is suggest what I did with my children and suggested to my daughter in law when my part possum, nocturnal grandson arrived 9 months ago and that is let people help with making meals, cooking, cleaning everything really. Take 90 minute cat naps with Lily when possible.
I stayed with my son and DIL for as long as I could when our wee grandson was born. I picked up the slack and let the new family bond, sleep and feed the baby and when he cried all night I walked the floor with him when he wasn’t feeding. Let your Mum do as much as she can while she is there. You are just a few days post partum, your body is still healing, it is working hard to make enough milk for Lily, it is adjusting to all the hormones, so don’t expect to much of yourself or Lily.
Rest, delegate and bond with your beautiful girl.
I am soooooo taking advantage of my Mom! And it is great to have her here. I feel bad taking her from my Dad though. He is rather lost without her =)
I napped sooooo much the first week. Now that she is feeding slightly less at night, I’ve been able to do some work during the day – in between feedings. But it is sure great to have Grandma here.
My youngest son Dustin is 20 now. I gave birth to him at 30 and thought that since his older brother and sisters had been such easy babies and I was such a pro that things would be a piece of cake. Was I ever in for an education.
Dustin, like all his siblings, was born CSection 2 weeks prior to my due date. He tipped the scale at 9.3 and 21 inches long. His brother was 10pm and 24 inches.
Dustin nursed every 2 hours, threw up (not spit up) 2/3 of every feeding and slept about an hour until his grumbly tummy woke him up again. Then the feed-barf-sleep cycle would repeat. His nervous system was very immature and if something startled him awake he would scream at the top of his lungs until he wore himself out.
He could not tolerate cold so I bought a lambskin for him to sleep on. When the lambskin was not enough I warmed it with the blow drier before I laid him down.
He also refused a pacifier.
I was soon a walking zombie. I had 3 other kids in school, no help from anyone and was suffering from severe post op bleeding that the doctors could not explain. My husband worked in law enforcement and due to various hours was zero help.
At his pediatrician’s suggestion I started diving him rice cereal at 2 months in the hopes of the heavier food settling into his stomach better. It worked. He was soon only throwing up 1/2 of each feeding! I was still nursing him every 2 hours.
At 4 months I introduced strained bananas and veggies out of desperation. I was now nursing every 3 hours. I would prop him up in a high chair, hand him a spoon and stick a bowl to the tray. By 6 months he could feed himself with a spoon!
At 8 months he decided one Wednesday to never nurse again and refused anything but a cup or bottle. I could not put my arms down to my sides; I was that engorged.
Dustin still woke up 3-4 times a night screaming his head off.
At about 1.5 years I was very sick from anemia and exhaustion. He was still not sleeping through the night. His health was perfect, he walked alone at 9 months and met all his milestones early.
I decided to get his crib mattress and put it next to our bed on the floor since he had been in a toddler bed since he learned to climb out of his crib at 12 months. My husband objected but after I told him he would be getting up from that point on, he revoked his disapproval!
I finally started getting some sleep! Dusty’s night terrors slowed way down. He would reach his little hand up to me and drift off immediately.
Of course, when we moved and he got his big-boy bed at 2 I had to lay with him until he was 4.
Today, Dustin is the most mellow, funny, intelligent young man any mother could ask for. All the men want him to be their son, and all the women want him for their daughters! The first thing he still does when visiting is to open the fridge.
In retrospect, I’m so glad I ignored all the busybodies who told me I was spoiling him. As his mother, I realized he was a very unique child and quite different than the typical baby, three of which I had already had. I met his needs without anger, resentment or any negative feelings and it payed off for both of us.
For you see…when I met Dustin’s dad I had 3 children from a very early previous marriage. I also had undergone tubal ligation. My husband married me knowing he would never have a child of his own. He loved me and my children so much that it was enough for him. He was 21 when he decided to raise another man’s children and never have his own.
But I told him not to worry. I told him that someone had made themselves known to me and that he would be called Dustin James. Nobody believed me. Not even Jim my husband.
Dustin James was born 8 years later after a successful reversal of the tubal ligation!
Regarding Jamison, make sure that he knows how important his role as Big Brother is. Let him help as much as you can. Buying him toys from Lily probably won’t really help IMO because he already has so many and Lily is not yet a person in his little mind. However, letting him feel important by fetching diapers, binkies, clothing and other things might go farther to “personalize” his baby sister in his mind. . Ask his advice: Should we dress Lily in Pink or Green today? Is it cold out? Should Lily wear a jacket? By involving him in the caregiving role hopefully he will soon come to see Lily as someone he must take care of and help Mommy with.
Pump some milk and let someone else feed the baby once in a while so you can sleep. Despite the dire warnings of the lactation consultants, once Lily has firmly established her latch a bottle or two won’t ruin it but not getting any rest might ruin you! Sounds like you have so much help. That is a wonderful thing!
If he has hitting impulses, tell him he might hurt Lily
Wow, that is a powerful story! I can’t believe that you had a successful tubal ligation reversal and then a healthy baby! And with so many years in between. You are a saint, my dear, a saint. I love having kids but given how much easier it gets day by day, I don’t know that I would be able to start over at the newborn stage after my other kids were past the very hands on toddler and baby stage. =)
I so agree with you that Mother’s Intuition is incredibly important when raising a little one. With Jamisen, he was colicky beyond all get out. Spitting up all the time and generally feeding all the time because he couldn’t keep anything down. Lily keeps it all down (thank God!) but is just so ridiculously small that she needs to eat a lot and often. We have our first pediatrician visit next week so I’ll talk to her about it.
Love your advice about asking Jamisen’s opinion about all things Lily. We haven’t done that. But he does LOVE giving her the pacifier. So far, she’s shown absolutely no propensity to want it but it is also quite large for her teensy mouth. I like the idea of having him help pick out her outfits and stuff. That is super smart. I’m getting so much great advice from this blog post. Thank you for sharing your story and your thoughts =)
You are most welcome. Sounds like you have everything covered.
My tubal ligation reversal WAS actually pretty miraculous because when I had the surgery to tie the tubes, they not only cut a huge chunk of tube away but burned the ends of the tubes. I had a very low chance of pregnancy but a very high chance of ectopic pregnancy afterwards because the tubes were much shorter than normal.
Interestingly enough, I was pregnant in 3 months. Hahaha. Some things are simply meant to be!
Enjoy your little blossom. We lost our oldest daughter Nicole 3 years ago at only 26. Her little boy was Jamison’s age. But life is truly a circle. Nicole’s younger sister will give birth to our 3rd granddaughter this month, Nola Nicole! This puts our grandchild tally at 8 amazing children; 5 boys and 3 girls. The time goes so fast!
Hello Ann Marie and congratulations on the safe arrival of your future soap queen, she is just beautiful! I thought I would pass on some little tips regarding settling baby Lily. I used this method with my last 3 babies, ( I have 5… yes yes I know…) I nursed them all for an average of 14 months with the exception of the last one( who is literally ‘the last one!’) who is almost 2, I’ve managed to wean her down to just 1 good night feed. The only reason I nursed for so long was that I used this method to settle them, they slept longer and longer and so did I!
Express a little breastmilk on a clean cotton/muslin square or even better, replace a breast pad with 1 of these little squares for s ouple of minutes. When you finish the feed, swaddle her tightly, envelope style, and tuck in the cotton square at the front, where she can get the scent of your milk and then most importantly, put her down in her crib or wherever she is sleeping. It’s vey important if possible that babies learn to settle to sleep by themselves, it makes for very secure and confident little babies, they learn mama’s not far away, they are safe and of course mama knows a hungry cry from a windy or bored cry so you will know by instinct whether she needs to be picked up.
Swaddling tightly doesn’t hurt and babies like that tucked-in-tight feeling, reminds them of the womb and they feel safe and secure. Also try not to let Lily sleep on the breast, I know it’s easy to say, harder to do! However I learned the hard way, took me baby number 3 to figure it out! What happens is they feed so vigorously, get tired and don’t stay awake long enough to get the hind-milk which is the richer milk that keeps them fuller longer! Then you try and break the latch, cycle starts again, they hold on for dear life, feed like mad things for a couple minutes and off to sleep again! So try to make sure she is not too hot when feeding, loosen the blankets, a little tickle on the palm or a gentle blow should do the trick! The more alert she is the better the feed, the more sleep you get!
Another trick I used with mine was to give the older siblings very important responsibilities like throwing diapers in the trash or fetching wipes, blankets etc., they love to be involved in all that, Jamisen will take a little time but he’ll be fine, he is surrounded by a lot of love!
Wishing you and your beautiful family all the best and good luck!
I am SO bad about letting her fall asleep at the breast. She just conks out no matter how mean I am (cold water, tickling toes, rubbing her face, lights on, talking).
I did a white noise maker last night and that worked great! She had longer periods of sleep than she’s had thus far. I need to find fabric for your idea with breast milk; it sounds like a positively inspired idea. =) Thank you for sharing your experiences. I really appreciate it.
You have such a lovely and beautiful family and Lily is ADORABLE!
Thank you! I love looking at her =)
I have a 9 mo old named Lily. Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone, but it’s helped me survive full time work and two little kids, especially nursing. We spent a lot of time telling my 4 yo how important she was going to be to Lily and what great friends they would be and how Julianna needs to set a great example because Lily will want to be just like her. Yesterday I heard her telling Lily how she would always be with her and would always take care of her. Parenting win!
I love the name Julianna!
Great feedback on how you’re helping your little ones be friends. That’s great advice. I just read it aloud to my Mom and my husband and both of them thought it was inspired too.
You have Beautiful children Anne Marie! Best parent advice on this subject that I can give (and I am still learning!) is to encourage your children to be friends from the start! Everything else will fall into place if that one is established. My 16 year old son and my 12 year old daughter are best friends. They rarely fight and they love talking together and hanging out. The trick is to focus on the idea of unity and friendship from the start as opposed to being individual units competing for mom and Dad’s attention. And if mom and dad are a united front then the children will naturally turn to each other :-).
Best wishes to you and your family! Love Brambleberry- best soap supplier ever!!!
By the way… I realize in retrospect my advice may seem a little abstract and that it doesn’t pertain to the immediate issues at hand, but I have always parented keeping in mind the long term. If you focus on Jamisen and Lily as a team starting now it will help him to adjust to his new sister’s arrival. Just thought I’d better clarify 🙂
Very good advice Annie! 🙂 I agree that you need to start-them-off right. Most parents say “they’re siblings, it’s natural to argue/fight a lot.”, but not so. God didn’t create us to have babies just to let them fight all the time! Yeah, arguments/fights/disagreements happen…, but start them off right (by being more like best friends than sibs) & it’ll go a lot better.
There’s a book written by 3(or 4) siblings that talks about how they became best friends & overcame those sibling-rivalry times. I can’t remember what it’s called….I’ll put it in a comment when I find it 😉 lol
I would love to know what book that is if you find it. I’m a huge book reader and love to take advice from people who have been there, done that and yes, written the book =)
Not abstract at all. I love it. I wonder what sort of phrases I can use to encourage this sort of attitude? Right now, Chris and I are sort of ‘dividing and conquering’ – I have Lily pretty constantly (because I’m the food source) and he has Jamisen (since he can pick him up; c-section means I can’t hold him for at least 4 more weeks). We are SO lucky to have Grandma here for a couple weeks at least. She is a Godsend. If she wasn’t here, life wold be vastly different right now.
You have my sympathies on the c- section- I’ve had 2 myself and it was no fun. As far as things you can say to Jamisen, I would just spend a lot of time referring to Lily as his new friend. Much of your efforts will be in setting the stage, however. My husband and I were (and are) very big on doing things as a family from the start. We reinforced this everyday and the kids readily embraced family and their friendship as a result. Hope this helps clarify 🙂
“New Friend” … I’ve already started trying to put things into practice from this thread so I’ll alternate between ‘new friend’ and ‘little sister.’ After all, ‘little sisters’ can be pests. =)
Betty Miller says
Hi, Anne-Marie! 🙂
No baby advice here… I just want to congratulate you on your beautiful new addition! This is so exciting! Love the photos! <3
Thank you, Betty! We are so excited and my husband says we are definitely stopping at 2. I love being a Mom so much though that I could easily picture 3 in our lives. =)
Jennifer Pickens says
When daughter #2 was born my first daughter wasn’t too happy. I had a very fussy baby who didn’t sleep. I had my older daughter help me by bringing me things or checking on things for me – anything I could make up just to keep her feeling busy and important. And sometimes nothing works and it’s ok to cry.
I haven’t cried yet but I can see that many more nights of this and I’ll be right there =) I wonder if post partum depression is partially about just being exhausted and less about straight up depression? Jamisen was our very fussy baby that never slept. Lily is more just our constant eater – I feed for 30 minutes, she sleeps for 60 and then we do the whole thing over again…
Congratulations! She’s beautiful!!
We are rather biased but have to say, we agree! =) Thank you!
I had a set of ID twins almost 9mos ago. I had my son bring me books while I nursed them and I read him books, that helped us with jealousy a lot!
I’ve started doing that too. Jamisen mostly likes that but if Lily decides to take a leisurely time (seriously, that girl can draw out a feeding!), he does get bored but so far, we’ve been doing that the last few days and it’s working pretty well.
Lilly sounds a lot like my Mary. She was 4.5 pounds and was permanently attached to the breast….and the crying/ no sleep made for a huge struggle. Good news is that we all survived! 😉 She will be 11 soon, and she still has a very strong personality.
Hopefully, Lilly is just getting settled and falls into a good pattern. If not Dr Sears has a good book, the fussy baby book, that helped me a bit. There is also quite a bit of other info about high needs babies out there.
I have that book. Of course, we just moved so I have no idea where it is but I read it with Jamisen since he was very fussy and colicky. Lily was 6 pounds, 2 oz when born but left the hospital at 5 pounds, 8 oz. Both Chris and I are smaller people so the Dr’s weren’t surprised (and I measured small the whole pregnancy) but it’s definitely been an adjustment! =) You’re right though; we will survive this!
Susan Foti says
Thanks for sharing the adorable photos! You all look great!
Thanks; the under-eye black circles are starting to kick in now =) Not sure the photos would look so good today =)
The only way I have any sanity (we have a 2.5 yr old and a 3 month old) is cosleeping. I know it isn’t for everyone, but I just can’t get up every 2 hours to nurse a baby unless it is in the room with me. This may not work for you, but at least try to sleep close to the baby so waking up to feed her is easier. Both of my kids have been huge and ate around the clock the first month or so, I think you have just blocked that from your memory, lol! I doubt her size has much to do with it, I think all babies are little oinkers. It is a good thing that she has an appetite and is growing though! And just when you think you can’t go another day, she will sleep an extra hour or so for you to get more rest, and before you know it she will be sleeping through the night. She is only a few days old, and you are doing a wonderful job from the looks of things! Try to take it easy, and hire someone to help you once your Mom leaves if necessary. As far as getting her brother on board, we had a difficult time transitioning, and things have gotten better by telling our daughter that she is going to help teach her little brother how to do things. This gives her something to do, and feel important (like he is doing with sharing story time). At first though she literally yelled at the baby to “give me my Mommy back!” Yeah, the anger lasted all of about a week and then she started kissing him constantly and telling him “I love you!” so just give it time. Things will improve. Congrats on a beautiful baby, and you have a beautiful family as well! Take care of yourself and get some rest 🙂
I haven’t tried full-on co-sleeping yet because I’m so worried about rolling over on her (!). I bought a co-sleeper for beside the bed but since I ended up with a c-section, I can’t lean over as much as I will be able to in a few weeks. Right now, Lily is sleeping in a little bed, on our bed, and Chris has been relegated to the floor on an air mattress. This will change, I’m sure. As you know with newborns, everything changes daily! =)
I love the idea of telling Jamisen that he will have the job of teaching Lily how to do things as she grows. That’s genius….
With her in your room, that counts as cosleeping! We have the arm’s reach cosleeper, so there is no fear of rolling over. Its more like a bassinet. Once they get large enough to pull up we side car the crib to the bed. However, we still haven’t managed to get the older one transitioned to her bed, so there are downsides, that is for sure! But in those first few months that (and coffee) are the only way I maintained my sanity. Take it easy and get some rest! Several of my friends have had c sections and based on watching them, you will recover so much faster if you just rest the first few weeks. Oh, and my husband sleeps upstairs a good bit, not on an air mattress, but if it is late he doesn’t want to wake the sleeping baby. There is a huge adjustment period, that is for sure, and you FORGET about it or else you would never want to have another, he he he!
Smellicious Soaps says
When we had our third baby (a girl), we had a 5 year old boy and a 16 month old girl. My son was thrilled to have a new baby, even if she was a girl and not a boy like he had hoped. When we first brought her home he liked to supervise diaper changes and he loved to talk to his baby sister while I nursed her. He’d make up stories and tell them to her and pet her head. One thing that seemed to really get him to connect was making up a soothing song for all of us to sing to her when she got fussy. It worked wonders and even now at the age of 10 1/2 he’s still very proud to have composed her Moosha Monny Monny song.
Oh, I like that idea – give him a task like supervising diaper changes or a song. He is just starting to talk in sentences so that might work now. Also, love the name Moosha Monny Monny. I’m sure that was a musical masterpiece.
Autumn Burgess says
I’m sure you’ve figured out already that your little guy will always need you the most just as you sit down to feed the baby. Thats always the way it works. I guess my recommendation would be to keep his schedule as close to the same as it was before. Easier said than done, I know. I hope Miss Lily will adjust her sleeping schedule so mama can get some rest. Your children are truly the most gorgeous babies. I love that J. still has a passy as my almost 2 year old son still does too. 🙂 Good luck with all, A.M.!
Miss Lily literally feeds every 90 minutes. I swear, I got out of bed for 2 hours this morning and then spent most of the rest of the day feeding and napping until it was time to prep for dinner. =) And yes, he does need me a lot at feeding time. Go figure …
We were going to take away his pacifier when he turned 2 but then his pediatrician said he would just take his sister’s! So we give it to him at night and at nap time. We’ll have to break the cycle one of these days though.
Just make a big deal about him being a big helper and big brother. Whenever two or more kids come together to my store, I make a fuss over each one, but especially the oldest – “You must be your mom’s BEST helper! Are you an awesome big sister?! Do you help your little sister all the time?!” You can see them beam with pride.
Also, having their own time one on one with mom is a help.
Ah, that’s a good one. ‘Best Helper’ is a good phrase to use. We’ve really talked about the ‘big brother’ portion of it but not the helper portion. Good tip. Thanks.