It has been slightly less than eight weeks since little Miss Margaux has entered the world and it dawned on me I have yet to share her favorite products thus far. With Eloise, I did monthly updates of our favorites – obviously with Margaux I am already behind… which brings me to this post – life with two under two. I have had several readers reach out and ask how it is going, what is our schedule, how’s big sis doing, is Margaux just like Eloise, etc so I thought I would write a post to answer some of your questions and offer some advice after eight weeks on the job. Can you sense the sarcasm when I say advice?!? advice = survival skills. This afternoon I’ll be sharing my favorite products with Margaux thus far.
Most common question, is Margaux the same as Eloise when she was baby?
The short answer is no! Eloise was a good baby. Margaux is a good baby. But they are completely different babies. Here’s a high level comparison/”about” each of my babes…
Eloise ate every two hours, went immediately back to sleep, flat on her back, with a Wubbanub in her mouth and we were on repeat. She literally never moved in her sleep and hated to be swaddled. She liked being held but was just as happy snoozing in the co-sleeper or kicking around on the changing pad. Breastfeeding was tough (huge understatement, really tough) for me with Eloise. Early on we had to supplement with a bottle/formula due to my low supply and severely infected nipple that required prescription cream. Due to the struggles we had breastfeeding, Eloise had a bottle at about two week and took to the first bottle we introduced with no issue. At six weeks we moved to exclusively pumping/bottle feeding due to a more severe breast infection and quite honestly mental exhaustion trying to make nursing work for us. Bottle feeding was going so well, Eloise was growing beautifully it just made sense for us. Eloise loved bottles and never missed nursing or had the desire to nurse once we stopped. Eloise did have her fussy times although they were usually short lived. She had the typical witching hour but again, short lived and totally bearable.
Margaux on the other hand, would eat all day if she could (and sometimes does). Breastfeeding has been infinitely easier this time around. Margaux latches great, I have had little to no pain and an abundant milk supply from day one. Margaux, unlike Eloise is a big comfort nurser and especially was in the early days. Since day 2 in the hospital we have been trying to introduce a pacifier. We literally have a jar full of different types and brands of pacifiers we have tried. Margaux’s favorite is the first one we introduced, MAM. She still doesn’t love it like Eloise loves Wubbanubs but it is growing on her. Her not so great feeling about pacifiers is pretty much how she feels about bottles. We haven’t had to supplement but I am trying to pump from time to time so Margaux can have at least one bottle a day. I would say this actually happens every other day or so. We’ve tried lots of bottles, so far Comotomo’s seem to be her preferred bottle but it’s still not her preferred way to eat. I am pretty sure Margaux would sleep all night if I held her. She loves snuggling and be cozy in Tyler or my arms. She has slept as long as 6+ hours behind held. At 2 weeks she had 4+ hour stretches of sleep which would sometimes be followed by up every hour. At nearly eight weeks we do get consistently longer stretches but she does still wake up to eat every hour from time to time. Basically, more inconsistent than Eloise but sometimes longer/better. Margaux is pretty chill – fusses around when she is hungry, not being held or a least cozy in the rockaRoo or Graco Little Lounger but otherwise she is incredibly peaceful.
In retrospect it was silly to think that Margaux would be the same as Eloise but as parents of one – one is all you know. To say I feel blessed to have such happy babies is an understatement but it did take a couple weeks to figure out what worked for Margaux. The number one similarity besides their sweet demeanor? Fighting the swaddle from day five-ish.
How did big sister Eloise handle the new addition?
I know I am her mom but I pretty much think Eloise hung the moon. The girl rocks my world. She is the sweetest, silliest gal around. Before Margaux, everyday it was the two of us against the world. So learning to share me has been a process and certainly caused a few meltdowns . Let’s not forget to address that she’s approaching 20 months old and me choosing the wrong sippy cup is cause for a meltdown. All of her frustration has been with me and she has always been very sweet with Margaux. She is constantly giving her kisses, bringing her a sticker, bracelet or hat and just recently she has started trying to put her pacifier in if she starts fussing. At this point it seems we are out of the woods with major meltdowns but there are still plenty moments of frustration.
How have we helped make the transition easier for Eloise?
When Margaux is sleeping I put her down and spend QT with Eloise leaving the housework, laundry (and blogging) for another time. I try to maximize any opportunity to have one on one time with her. I have also kept up with all her activities and outings. We still go meet friends at museums, go to her play spaces and even the grocery store and lunch dates. The polar vortex has tried to derail our outings and on the -22 days it has won but for most part we try to have one outing a day. This is actually a great time for one on one time as Margaux usually sleeps the whole time. Lastly, when I am nursing I always try to lure Eloise to sit next to me with a book, a toy or her favorite show on tv so she doesn’t feel left out. As Margaux’s awake time has increased we have “group” activities like tummy time and tea parties. It hasn’t been perfect but we’ve settled into our new normal with it being the three of us against the world while Dad is away!
How is life with two under two?
Busy! It really isn’t double the work but maybe triple or quadruple?!? But the extra work is worth every minute. It took me a couple weeks to figure out to keep both girls happy when it was just the three of us. I learned I can set myself up for success before meltdowns occur. For example, I keep a couple books within in arms reach of my typical nursing positions. I can easily invite Eloise up for some QT while feeding Margaux and she is entertained. Pieces of gear like the Graco Little Lounger and 4moms rockaRoo are key for putting Margaux down when big sis is climbing up the couch or it is mealtime for us. Getting out of the house takes us awhile – from loading up the diaper bag to bundling us all up it is a process but we do it. It is funny how you find ways to make things work and as we approach week 8 I feel pretty confident both at home and out and about but am definitely still figuring things out. I still need to find a way to accomplish all I want to in a day – including being the best mama and wife I can be. It is tough trying to split your time with two little ones. I want to be everything for each of them and sometimes I feel like I jus t don’t have enough hands or hours in the day. I know over time this feeling will be less and less but for now it is a struggle. With all the mama duties I still struggling to find time to be the best wife I can be too. Tyler is understanding, helpful and the greatest partner in crime there is. I know I am not letting him down but it does cross my mind daily. I accept all these struggles as adjustments and at the end of the day look around my messy house and realize it is because I am blessed. That being said, any tips and tricks from you experienced mamas would be so appreciated!
How am I?
Blessed, thankful and great! Maybe a little tired and slightly overwhelmed at times but at the end of the day I count my blessings. The recovery for me physically was about 100x better this time around. I had pretty quick and easy vaginal deliveries with both girls and my recovery with Eloise wasn’t bad per say but just easier, quicker and less pain this time around. I have had to adjust my expectations for myself. I simply cannot accomplish all of the personal things I used to in a day. From blogging to showering I am repriortizing and leaning on Tyler more. The toughest thing for me has been going to sleep with outstanding things on my to do list. I have had to remind myself to take it easy and that the important thing is that the girls are going to sleep, happy and healthy – writing thank you notes can wait another day. And you know what? Everyday wasn’t meant to be perfect (not that they ever were before) but I think I have am starting to let go and be okay with not having the tidiest, least cluttered house and email inbox around. All in all I couldn’t be happier with our family of four.
So there it is, a little glimpse into life with two under two. Wise mamas, what advice and tips can you offer up? Believe me I need ’em!
Photos by our talented friend, Maggie Russo Photo – if you are in the Chicago area – check her out!