The 7 week survival……..

Søren is now 7 weeks old!  Wow, that has gone fast, I’m sure I was still  pregnant last week 🙂 Why is it that you feel like you are pregnant forever (especially the last couple of weeks) but the newborn phase seems to fly past, despite being awake 20 hours of every day!

Anyone who has had a baby knows that the first 6 or so weeks can be a bit of exercise in survival. Well we survived! Of course I was going to write this post a week ago, when Søren hit 6 weeks but it’s taken me all week to get to it………. so it’s the 7 week survival!

Overall second time around has been much, much easier.  It’s far less of a culture shock when you’ve done it all before.  First time around, no matter how prepared you think you are, having a newborn seems to be the hardest thing in the world.  Second time around we are either too tired to notice it being as hard or we knew what we were in for! It still sucks when you have to rouse yourself at 2am for yet another feed, when you are sure you just closed your eyes from the last one, and you haven’t slept for more than a couple of hours at a time in forever.

While the sleep deprivation still sucks, it hasn’t been as hard to deal with this time.  Night feeds and feeding around the clock is hard work but I remember feeling much more tired last time, even though I seem to get even less sleep these days.  It also doesn’t feel quite as ‘ground hog day’ this time.  Maybe because I’m too busy with Astrid as well too be bogged down in the constant feeding and settling cycle. Of course it has been helped by Søren being a very good baby.  He rarely cries and only really wants feeding and playing with.  He settles easily (when not overtired) and is happy to be carted around to any and all activities.  He also seems very tolerant of his big sister and all the cuddles she gives him.

All in all the first 7 weeks has been pretty good. Aside from everyone being a bit tired we have survived pretty well and having a new person in the house hasn’t caused too much disruption.  It’s pretty much business as usual, with less time and hands than we had become used to.

We came home from hospital the day Søren was born and he was out and about the next day. He was quite the shopping companion, with lots of trips to the shops in his first few days and was coming along to Astrid’s activities like swimming and giggle and wiggle  from the week he was born. The poor child gets lugged around wherever we go but he has happily gone out to dinner several times, a wedding, alpaca walking most days and several birthday parties.  He isn’t too bad at going to sleep in the ergo or sling but does like his hammock bed so I try to be home at least some of the day so he can have a sleep in his bed. He had day and night figured out pretty much instantly and likes to have long sleeps at night. If he wasn’t so slow at putting on weight, necessitating us waking him for feeds he might have been sleeping through the night for awhile already. Sadly, there are still many night feeds in our future but I am hoping once he gets a bit fatter he will let us all get a good nights rest. He also adores his baths and loves to grin at us as he floats around in the warm water.  A bath solves all your problems when you are 7 weeks old!

Anyway, here are a few things that we have learnt over the past 7 weeks………

  • Sleep deprivation (still) sucks!  That feeling of not having slept for more than a few hours at a time for weeks/months is not pleasant but eventually we will get a good nights sleep again, right?
  • There is not enough caffeine or chocolate in the world to sustain you through the newborn period……….. 
  • No matter how well you think you have planned it, the toddler and the baby will not sleep at the same time! Maybe once a week they might give me a half hour rest (if I’m lucky)
  • Your (mostly) well-behaved toddler who sleeps all night, every night will wait til a new baby arrives to hit the terrible twos and start getting out of her bed and sleepwalking……
  • Newborns go through a lot of nappies!  I didn’t miss the few months off nappy washing between toilet training Astrid and Søren’s arrival
  • Boys have spouts…… and they get pee everywhere!  After 2 odd years of changing a girl I still having got used to dealing with a baby that can spray pee half way across the room or helicopter it all over the place at 11pm! 
  • A toddler plus a newborn seem to create a lot of washing.  Astrid’s love of playing in water and getting filthy plus a baby that likes to pee and puke result in many loads a day.
  • Having a newborn in Spring is much easier than a Winter baby!
  • Spending a minimum of 8 hours a day sitting on the couch feeding a baby is tiring.  Lots of tv gets watched but this time around it’s Bananas in Pyjamas and Peppa Pig, not stuff I actually want to watch! 
  • Second babies don’t always get picked up immediately when they squawk as you are too busy with the toddler……. as a happy coincidence he quite often puts himself back to sleep before I get to him!
  • I spend half the day with my top undone and have repeatedly answered the door with most of my buttons undone and have forgotten to reclip my bra between feeds and have been walking around the shops or somewhere else in public in that state. The fact that I don’t care at all says something for my level of tiredness.
  • I haven’t lost the ability to mult-task and do things one handed. It is possible to take a 2 year old to the toilet while breastfeeding or make dinner and unload the dishwasher while holding a newborn. It is also possible to feed anywhere and everywhere and do 1-handed toddler craft projects while feeding. 
  • It’s not ideal when the children out-number the adults!
  • Getting 2 of them in and out of the car seems to take 4 times as long…….. As does getting 2 of them to bed at night.  
  • Eating dinner before 8pm is a novelty (it has happened a few times).
  • Nothing gets done around the house or garden. Ever.
  • The baby and the toddler will tag-team all sleeps all day making it hard to get anything done or go anywhere.  One of them will inevitably wake for the day when the clock starts with a 5….. you just never know which one it will be!  Usually the other will sleep in to a reasonable hour making you slap your head in frustration.
  • All meals need to be eaten one handed and I usually get around to eating about 2 hours after I’m ravenously hungry
  • Astrid always needs something right after I’ve sat down to feed…… or I’ve promised to do something with her right when her brother wakes up and wants feeding
  • TV makes an excellent babysitter!  Astrid has figured out that she gets away with more TV watching since her brother arrived.
  • The toddler seems to be older, wiser, taller and heavier from the moment you bring the new baby home. It’s impossible to remember her ever being that small and new.
  • Babies are very cute……. just when you are so tired you think you might die, they give you a big grin and sucker you in.
  • You never get tired of seeing your two year old hug and kiss her brother!  
Now, here are a few photos of Søren at 7 weeks!

Leave a Reply