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Friday, December 6, 2013

Alexander the Great

In true second-child fashion, Alex has not gotten the plethora of focused, individual attention that his sister had at this age. This is normal (I'm told) and it is exacerbated by the fact that he is an amazingly calm, happy and patient little baby. I am not exaggerating when I say that there are times when we momentarily forget that he's in the room.

Now that we have had 2.5 months to get to know our little boy, we are more in love than ever. He makes it pretty easy to fawn over him, parade him around to our friends and brag about his good-naturedness. For those that dislike parents bragging about how great their babies are - stop reading here, this post will make you angry.

Our little escape artist
Right around 3 weeks, Alex started sleeping through the night. For us, this meant that he slept between 6-7 hours at a stretch, then woke up and ate, and went back to sleep for a few more hours. I attribute much of this to his good naturedness, but we also give him a bottle of pumped milk each night before bed (the last feeding of the day, somewhere in the 8:30 - 9:30pm range). We started this on day two home from the hospital. The theory is that by giving him a bottle, Jon can participate in feedings, I could go to sleep early and get additional uninterrupted sleep, Alex learns to take a bottle (in the chance that I am unable to feed him for whatever reason), and we know how much he is eating before bed. Eating more = Sleeping more, and sleep in our house is pretty precious stuff. So, he's a great sleeper, and has since extended his nighttime snooze to a solid 8 - 10 hours. We also strongly endorse the Miracle Blanket, which we used way beyond it's recommended age range with Gretchen and have had additional success with Alex. Jon is the posterman for this product, proudly wrapping our children in what we call the "torture blanket" each night before their big snooze. Alex happens to be a bit stronger than Gretchen was at his age, so he generally wakes in the morning with at least one limb out of the blanket.

He is a content and happy baby, and around 6 weeks he began rewarding us with big, genuine smiles like these:

What a happy guy! 
The admiration begins...
Most parents of more than one child talk about how the younger one looks up to their sibling at an incredibly young age. I've noticed this happening already, if you can believe it. Alex perks up when he hears his sister's voice, stares at her when she's in the room and reacts when she is active in his presence. I am so excited to see how this relationship develops, because now that we seem to be passed the "what-on-earth-are-you-doing-with-another-child" phase with Gretchen, I think they will be fast friends.

This path goes both ways, Gretchen has started asking things like, "where is my brother??" or "what is my brother doing?". She certainly pays more attention now as to what Alex is up to, which is a relief for us as parents.

Alex has been an ideal 2nd child, adaptable, content and ready for anything during the day. In the morning when I'm getting his sister ready for school, it's not unusual for him to just fall asleep while waiting patiently for his turn to eat.

I don't know if it's due to his personality or due to the fact that he was born 3.5 weeks after Gretchen, but he has not had any issues with day/night confusion or needing to be rocked to sleep. Facts that both of his parents are thrilled about.

Lovin on my little guy
We have really enjoyed our first few weeks as parents of two, the transition has been easier than we anticipated. Obviously, we have less down time and there are moments when we are juggling the needs of two little ones, but these moments have been few and far between. These two are keepers!

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