Sunday, July 1, 2012

Like Brother And Sister: Sibling Transition

We had a request for some comparison pictures of Zoe and Leo as newborns - and it was a lot of fun to go through the old pictures and see how similar they look at this stage.  What's interesting though, is that everyone seems to agree that Leo looked a lot more like jb's side of the family and that Zoe looks a lot more like my side of the family.  What do you think?

Right after each birth

Sleeping Angels

Same outfit: It barely snaps on Zoe and looks like shorts

Showing off their eyes

At a week and change into our adventure as a family of four we are doing pretty well.  Leo is having some bumps adjusting to being a big brother.  The good thing is, he loves Zoe and is clearly very happy that she has joined our family.  He wants to help take care of her, always asks where she is if she's not in my arms, and is always exclaiming "Zoe is a genius!" (which I have no idea where he got - I don't think jb or I have said it to him).  The only time there seems to be any direct jealousy is when his needs are especially high (he is hurt or extremely tired - like first thing in the morning) and it usually manifests as nursing jealousy.  So we do have the occasional "No Zoe nurse!" or "Put Zoe down!" but 97% of the time we hear a lot more "Zoe want to nurse?" or "I can pet Zoe?"

Family Nap: That's my spot in the middle

The other - more pronounced - symptoms of his struggle with the transition have been seemingly unrelated.  He had a couple days of a hunger strike (would only drink cow's milk and a bite or two of meals offered).  He's been having meltdowns about the color of his cup or the shirt he wants to wear.  There has been a lot of shouting "now!" and "mine!" - which is new in our house, and I'm NOT a fan.  He is also pretending to not hear us when we speak to him or even pretending to be asleep if we ask him to do something he doesn't want to do.  The thing is - I know this also pretty developmentally normal for a two year old.  

Practicing sharing toys
The introduction of a new and needy human into our family is the obvious stressor, but he's got some other stuff going on.  First of all, being two.  Secondly, I think he's working on his 2nd year molars.  And Thirdly, he was generally overwhelmed with things other than (but related to) Zoe's arrival.  The steady stream of visitors, receiving gifts, going on exciting and fun outings with Aunts and Uncles - all good things that also helped him through the transition - but still overwhelming.  

Happy to share nursing when he's well rested
The other thing that has been tricky for me is drawing the line between making sure Leo feels like he can touch and play with Zoe and encouraging him to be gentle and aware of his body (particularly his feet) in relation to her.  I'm not someone who believes that newborns are on the verge of breaking in a gentle breeze - but I do find myself biting my tongue so that every word out of my mouth isn't "careful!" or "gentle!"  He's never aggressive - he just wants to love her like a toddler.  

Making Pops proud in Cowboys gear
It is already getting better each day.  Still, it's hard to see him having such intense feelings.  It's also hard that we are each dealing with our own transition feelings and exhaustion and still trying to remember that we are all still on the same team and to be patient with each other.  Luckily, we are a pretty great team - and like I mentioned in the last post, Zoe is being super easy going and allowing us a lot of space to navigate the transition.    

Sibling Cuddle
And I'll leave you with a clip of Leo reading to Zoe.  Clearly there is already a lot of love there.


  1. Loooooove these updates!! xo

  2. Are you kidding me with this? omg. I could listen to that kid talk all day long, I swear it.

  3. Wrench507/02/2012

  4. Wrench507/02/2012

  5. Next in Line7/13/2012

    I love these pictures! Congrats on your newest member. I am in awe that you are nursing both. Feeding one tires me out :)