Lol, my kids stay in the 5th trimester until 12ish months at least! And you know, I'm not too worried about it this time around. I'm really not. I am stressed by all the demands on my life now but not worried. DS1 will be THREE years old this summer and I am so very glad I've cuddled and nursed and loved him so much. I don't remember all the moments we've spent together but they've helped form this kid that is the sweetest ball of never ending energy you've ever seen. And also, DS1 SLEEPS now. As in, sleeps 11-12 hours at night, waking once to crawl in our bed early morning and sleep more. My mom says he's too attached to me and maybe (to her) he is. But I seriously doubt I'll ever look back and say, "Dang, if only I'd distanced him a little more. All that lovin' did him no good!". Yeah right. This kid who is secure and independent enough to happily be babysat by family members, greet strangers, wave to anyone, and um, run away without a backward glance in the museum is not too attached.
So I've got that. I've got an older kid to give me confidence but when he was tiny, oh how I worried. And he was such a needy baby! I worried I was making him that way and not teaching him to sleep/play/live independently. My word! Having a second baby is awesome simply because I can say: Hey, my kids are who they are. And their father and I are here to support who they are and guide them along the way.
We lucked out with Everett since he's such a laid back baby. From his very first day he was. When he was in the NICU, I remember marveling that we could lay him on his back and he'd SLEEP. Wowee, DS1 never did that. Well, now that E isn't a tiny, "sleeping 23 hours a day" baby his sleep is tougher but still, he's such a joy. He will lay on his playmat, bouncer, or pak and play for 20-30 minutes quite happily before getting bored. Then we move him or talk to him or hold him and he'll keep going for another hour or two. It's who HE is. DS1 wasn't that kind of kid!
Everett is 18 pounds and yep, the back carry for the Ergo is awesome. Also, I nurse him in it or force him to take the pacifier in it () and he naps on me for 95% of his naps. I simply cannot keep DS1 quiet enough or get him to stop kissing his little bro for Everett to fall asleep anywhere else. And while it isn't ideal, it's the best I can do now with an almost 4 mo and a no-napping 2.5 yo. And I'm accepting that on a daily basis. It certainly isn't easy but hey, I know it will only last a few more months.
Having a toddler shows me how they truly do not want and need you ever this much again. DS1 doesn't have much time for cuddling and being held so I get my fix from the Tiny Boy. Everett WILL sleep better in a few months. I have full confidence in this. DS1 was the world's worst sleeper and improved all the time. And though E is such a laid back baby, he is still a BABY. He still wants Mama for anything and everything. No one else can put him to sleep most of the time, not even DH. Everett will scream bloody murder. And even if E doesn't naturally sleep better by 6 months or even one year, he will be able to LEARN to sleep better. In my book, 3-4 months is too young for learning how to sleep like society/life demands. Perhaps we'll gently try to change E's sleeping around 6-9 months. Maybe we can get him to sleep on a flat surface then, lol! And by then we'll have all adapted to one another and won't be getting to know each other while pushing sleep and independence on a baby at the same time.
DS1 also became much happier after learning big physical milestones such as sitting, crawling, and walking. I loved having a mobile baby. Though it was another giant challenge, DS1 was thrilled with it and very much occupied by destroying the house, lol. And you know, everyone will freak you out about the next "horrible" stage in your kid's life. Everyone will insist you aren't doing it the "right" way. Does no one relish the neediness of babies? Note to self, say that when E wakes at 4 AM to eat again. Anyway, have you read The Wonder Weeks book? Or the blog Ask Moxie? I love Moxie, she has such a "You know your kid best, TRUST yourself" philosophy that really inspires me.
Seriously, try very hard not to stress about it. You child has been alive for FOUR FREAKING MONTHS. And of course I tell you this after e-mailing a friend, begging her to remind me it does get better and no, I won't die from lack of sleep. Love your kid, take millions of pictures, stare at her in the dark, hold her every minute. You don't have to love all those moments, you can downright HATE them sometimes but do it, because one day you'll wish you had. And you can tell yourself you loved your kid every chance you got. You wore her and held her every time she needed you. You may not have gotten to her as fast as SHE wanted you to, you may not have made her stop crying every time but you did it. One day your kid will scream at you and hit you and you will scream back and lock him in his room so you don't spank him. But you'll know everything will be better soon. And one day your kid will hopefully look at you and say "Thanks!".
Obviously, from the craziness of my post I'm writing this for you here and me. NONE of you have considered spanking your older LO's at this stressful time in your life I'm sure, lol. Anyway, hold on, keep going. The 5th and 6th trimesters will end one day :)