FAMILY OF FIVE
It is officially ONE WEEK of being a family of five!! I seriously can't believe it. How did this happen?! (Don't answer that). Dave had been home for a little under a week before Duncan arrived, so its been a precious week and a half for us as a family.
The boys were obsessed with Duncan right away. Connor I sort of expected to be super excited and sweet because he actually understood what has been going on this whole time. And he's just a sweet guy in general. He "reads" books to Duncan and laughs at his funny baby faces and just generally can't get enough of him.
Braden however, has totally surprised me!! He absolutely adores Duncan. Asks for him first thing every morning. Gives him (rather forceful) hugs and kisses, and just loves to sit right next to him all the time. Connor was generally ambivalent towards Braden until he was about 6 months old (which is pretty normal) so I was expecting that. I also was really afraid he would be sad about losing "baby" status in the family. But so far he's too busy loving his new brother to care.
Obviously it's been an adjustment for everyone. Much less sleep for Dave and I, and slightly less devoted attention for the big boys. We've seen more tantrums from Braden and more meal-time/nap-time power struggles from Connor. I think my favorite meltdown so far is Braden begging to watch the LEGO Batman movie by singing the Batman theme song while crying. Pretty funny.
This time around we did a few things differently and I think it has helped our family transition go much smoother:
TAKE TIME OFF
Dave taking vacation days about half a week before due date to help us transition instead of waiting to take paternity leave the day I go into labor. This let us clean the whole house and check off all the last minute items on our to-do list. It also gave the big boys a couple days of really special daddy time and made for great quality time for Dave and I!
Giving the boys a sibling gift from Duncan. Both to help them feel positive about baby and to help keep them occupied with Dave having to take on the bulk of the parenting roles while I recovered and focused on Duncan. I don't know if the first part worked or we just got lucky, but it has been a welcome distraction!
Having realistic expectations about sleep and the big boys behaviour. Aka: we will probably not sleep and the boys will probably be extra tantrum-y so just go with it.
GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE
Blackout shades, loud sound machine, swaddling, and an inclined crib. I swear by these things for bedtime. Duncan still wakes up all night long, but he goes right back to sleep once he's done nursing. Which is honestly half the battle.
TEACHING DAY FROM NIGHT
None of the above during the day until a naptime routine starts to establish itself. Teaching newborns to sleep at night and be awake during the day is rough. All three of our boys have had inverted schedules for the first month or so of their lives, but this makes a big difference. Hopefully the two wrestling, yelling toddlers will also help teach him quickly...
That's my two cents! It's worked for us, maybe it'll work for you too!