Julius is one month old now – a month that passed in a flurry of activity and has just now settled down. I don’t really have that “where did the time go?” feeling because it seems like an eternity ago that he was born.
And man, this kid is growing fast. I’ve already put away all of the newborn and some 0-3 clothes (giving away to a friend), all of the newborn prefolds, and the small prefolds are even getting a bit snug if I use them Snappi-style. When I compare his baby photos to Miles’s at the same age, it’s crazy to see Miles swimming in clothes that Julius has already outgrown. Julius is definitely way more filled out in the face and getting a little meat on the thighs too… it actually kind of makes me feel bad looking back on how much I struggled to nurse Miles, which is kind of silly because he was perfectly healthy in the big picture. But this kid is just packing it on!
Also, now that Julius is here, *I* at least can really see how much Miles looks like me – because Julius looks so much like Mike. Everyone has always said Miles was the spitting image of Mike, but I see a lot of myself and my brothers in him, except for the round face (we are an egg-headed clan). We only have one baby picture of Mike but I can just tell that Julius is his mini-me.
It’s easy to get a smile out of this little guy. He responds to my face and voice with big grins that light up his whole face. My mom even swears that she heard him laugh in his sleep last week.
I wouldn’t, however, exactly call him an easy baby. He is usually content as long as he’s being held all the time. He will tolerate a little bit of floor time and can nap in the bouncy chair if he falls asleep in arms first. I do wear him around the house every day and have finally figured out how to nurse him in the wrap, but it’s SUPER awkward and not hands-free because I have to hold his head in place.
He nurses A LOT (hence the rapid growth!). He will go back and forth from breast to breast until finally he’s popping off so much that I decide he’s not actually hungry, just fussy, and try to find another way to soothe him (usually stick him in the wrap). I haven’t had much luck with with pacifiers after trying several brands and shapes. He just wants the boob, all boob, all the time. I think he would actually be a pretty easy baby to care for if I didn’t have another child and a work-at-home business to take care of as well, because he’s not “fussy” per se, just needs a lot of attention.
He does have a fussy time of day, and alas, it’s right around the time when Miles is going to bed, or fighting going to bed in some cases. I have to admit sometimes after dinner I get a little discouraged as I stare down the barrel of these evening hours. Just like when you have your first baby, I’m battling that internal resistance against completely losing my downtime in the evenings. After I get Miles down I have to soothe Julius for the next couple of hours and all I want to do is get in bed, or at least sit down, but can do neither as he wants to be carried around and sometimes nursed down too.
I also lose my ability to read in bed most nights since transferring him to bed will wake him up and he wants to be nursed down in bed again, snuggled next to me. If I luck out and he’s solidly asleep when I go upstairs, I can put him in the bassinet and get not only time to read, but a few solid hours of sleep before he wakes up to eat again.
Julius came down with a cold last week and that made nights really difficult as he was getting all snuffly and congested, waking up a lot and also just keeping me up with his heavy breathing. He’s mostly better but the congestion is hanging on and still causing night wakings for both of us when it gets bad.
On the plus side of the sleep equation, I’ve been getting lucky with nap timing and usually end up with both boys napping for at least some portion of the afternoon, during which time I can get some drawing work done. Mornings, when Mike takes Miles for me if he’s here, are a little more touch-and-go if Julius wants to just eat all morning long.
Despite all the challenges, I do enjoy the newborn stage. In some ways it’s easy, because although he’s very needy, his needs are so simple to fulfill: feed him, change him, hold him. I love that nursing is so effortless this time (and weird quirk: this baby does NOT spit up ever – I’ve never even used a burp cloth). I like the nights when he sleeps in his bassinet, but I admit I also love the feel of his warm little body near me in bed at night. And though they are a bit tricky to catch on camera so far, those huge smiles he gives me are thrilling.