You know, in a lot of ways, having a second baby is easier than it was the first time around, especially with a four-year age gap. For example, when John cries, I already know what to do. Is he hungry? Dirty diaper? Hot? Cold? Overly tired? Need to be in a different position? Does he just need to be held while he let’s off steam? With Nathan, it was incredibly anxiety-provoking when he cried because we didn’t know what to do.
And it didn’t help that I nursed Nathan on a schedule (as the hospital told me) rather than on-demand. This time around, however, I’m nursing when John wants to nurse. I think that’s helping keep John a little happier and it should keep my supply up as well.
Another plus is the age difference. Nathan is old enough to help with little things… bringing me my cup, throwing away a diaper, picking stuff up for me, etc. It’s nice to have an eager helper!
He loves being a Big Brother, and he’s very attentive to baby John. Whenever the baby cries, Nathan bounds over and asks John what’s wrong, if he wants more of Mommy’s milk, if he has to go potty, etc. He’ll pat and kiss John’s head and tell him not to cry because everything will be just fine. Nathan is very careful arond the baby. When he touches or pats John, he does it so tenderly.
Nathan gave us a scare yesterday though. We were sitting down eating dinner and we had John in the kitchen with us. Towards the end of our meal, the baby started fussing. Nathan got up from the table and checked on John (who was right beside me). I smiled and turned my head to eat another bite of food, and to my shock, when I turned back around to look at my boys, Nathan had picked John up and was holding him out to me! I don’t think a spoon has ever flown out of my mouth so fast. My heart rose into my throat and before my flying spoon had time to clatter to the floor, I had gently scooped the baby out of Nathan’s caring embrace.
I told Nathan that he’s such an awesome big brother for being concerned about the baby, but since the baby isn’t big and strong like Nathan, he can’t pick him up unless he asks first and we help him. Then I gave my sweet boy a hug. I don’t ever want him to feel like he’s not “allowed” to touch or help the baby- but at the same time, he doesn’t understand how fragile a newborn is so he has to dote on him with supervision for now.
My goodness, how I love that sweet boy.
In other ways, it’s harder adding a second kid to the mix. I still have one to take care of. I can’t sleep whenever I want or need, even if the baby is up all night and I’m dead tired. That’s the biggest part so far is not being able to rest like I could when I only had one child. But that’s just fine. I keep reminding myself that this stage doesn’t last long at all. It’ll be gone in the blink of an eye, and I don’t want to wish it away.
I sure do love my babies and want to enjoy this time with them.