Ella will be two in a few weeks time. As such, for around 6 weeks, we get to experience the joy of having two kids under two.
The first couple of weeks weren’t too bad at all. Ella adores her baby sister. And the newborn state meant Sienna was pretty much permanently asleep.
Sienna is now three weeks old, and I’ll admit, it’s starting to get a bit harder!
Ella hasn’t been 100%, which I’m guessing is due to her getting yet more teeth. It means she’s been waking in the night. In fact, last night she was awake for two hours in the night. And she struggled to settle to sleep when she went to bed. With night feeds thrown in, it means we’re pretty exhausted!
Ella is also an early riser. She did go through a phase of 5am being get up time. If Sienna had her second night feed at 4am, this meant I was only getting about twenty minutes sleep before we were up for the day. Luckily, this has now been pushed back to about 6am starts. That extra hour means everything!!
Sienna’s fussy time comes in the evening. Ella has been going to bed at 7pm since around 2 months old. So, we’re used to having the evenings to ourselves. I was looking forward to us spending these evenings snuggling a content newborn! But instead they’re spent soothing an upset baby. This involves a combination of me feeding her, her having a dummy, walking round, jiggling, pushing in the pram, and whatever else we can do to help soothe her. I know this is just one of those phases, but it does feel hard at the time, and you wonder where you are going wrong when she is crying nonstop.
The fussiness seems to end around 9.30pm each night, when Sienna finally settles to sleep. She’s then great at night! At worse feeds are every three hours, at best Sienna has managed to sleep 5.5 hours before waking for a feed. And, since we started swaddling her, she settles straight back to sleep after feeding. Im glad the fussiness is in the evening rather than at night, but I’m definitely hoping it will pass soon!
I’m learning all the time how best to manage a demanding toddler and a newborn on my own during the day. I usually feed Sienna in our swivel chair, as it allows me to get in a comfy position and also have my back to the window so I’m not flashing passers by! But I’ve realised this won’t work with Ella around. Ella has started demanding attention while I’m feeding, sitting on me, wanting cuddling or to read a book. It’s much easier to do this on the sofa where there’s room for her to sit beside me and snuggle in!
I’m also trying to fit in making dinner between feeds, knowing that the evening fussiness means I won’t be able to make it then. And I had Sienna in the sling asleep the other day while I made Ella’s and then our dinner. It meant Sienna stayed settled for longer and that Ella couldn’t get to her while I was busy!
Ella, like me, really suffers from cabin fever. She’s far more content if we’re out of the house, so I’ve been going out regularly with the two of them on my own. We walk the dog or wander round the shops, or whatever we can find to do that day. I love that we have a double buggy and a pram. For shorter walks, Ella will walk. For longer ones, they’re in the double, and for the shops I put Ella in the pram in toddler mode and Sienna in the sling!
Things are definitely different this time round, compared to when Ella was this age and there was only one to focus on. Having said that, the leap from one child to two is not as much of a change as going from none to one!
It is lovely having two girls, and I’m so glad of the small gap that I know will benefit us in the future when the girls play together. And we are very lucky to have two beautiful girls!