Sleeping: So far Lark has been a pretty amazing sleeper. Most nights she does one long stretch of at least 5 hours and generally sticks to a minimum of 3 hours between feedings after that. I don’t know how long this will last, so I’m just enjoying the sleep while I’ve got it. (And the upside to the two month vaccines was Lark sleeping 9:30pm to 7am that night — life-changing!)
How we’re adjusting: We’re all enjoying being a family of four. Lark has proven herself to be a true Dutch baby, as she loves going for rides in the bakfiets. She could be screaming bloody murder when we strap her into the carseat, but as soon as KC snaps her into the base on the bakfiets and starts pedaling, she’ll calm down immediately and either fall asleep or just sit quietly for the entire ride.
Lifesavers: It’s been interesting to see how Lark differs from Prim, as I think it’s pretty easy to approach second (and third…) babies with the same tricks that worked on your first kid. Lark does not nurse to sleep, except in the middle of the night (which is both a blessing and a curse), and still cannot stand to be swaddled. She’s also completely apathetic about her pacifier, but loves white noise (perhaps because she spent nine months in my belly listening to a very loud toddler??) The Sound Sleeper app has been a lifesaver with both kids, but especially with Lark. When I know she’s tired but fighting sleep, the only thing that will make her stop flailing and finally calm down is the vacuum sound from the app. (Prim was a fan of the hair dryer sound when she was about Lark’s age. It was a godsend when she was wailing in the carseat while we were stuck in that awesome Bay Area traffic!)
New sibling: Prim still loves her sister (photo evidence above, which is Prim telling Lark stories in her own little language) and her acting out for attention has actually been pretty minimal; which is sort of surprising, given that she’s just weeks away from her second birthday and the “terrible twos.” This is not to say that the adjustment hasn’t been challenging at times. Prim definitely has her moments where she is “very two.” So far my approach to her acting out has been to talk to Prim a lot about the transition (which is basically what I do with everything for Prim… ha!) I make sure to praise her good behavior and work hard to give her one-on-one attention each day. When she starts acting up I try to name how she’s feeling (“It seems like you want some attention from Mama. I know it can be hard when Lark needs so much of my time, but [screaming/banging/whatever] is not ok.”) and give her some attention after a small break (since I don’t want her to think acting out = positive attention). When I sit with her at night before she goes to bed I make it a point to tell her how proud we are of her, what a good sister she is, and how much we love her.
Sweetest things: Lark has started smiling recently and is on the verge of laughing. It’s amazing to see how much she’s changed in just a few short weeks, going from a sleepy newborn to being more and more aware of her surroundings each day. It’s especially adorable when Lark sees Prim’s face and breaks out into a huge, gummy grin and immediately starts cooing at her. It’s as if she already knows that she’s got a best friend and partner in crime for life (these girls are so lucky!)
Favorite thing about this age: Lark’s days and nights are getting a little more predictable, but she still isn’t on a hard and fast schedule. I love feeling a little more confident managing her days while still having the flexibility to go out with her anytime of day, since she can still sleep anytime, anywhere (babies — they’re so portable at this age!)