Michael Phelps: ‘The first couple of days when Beckett first came home were rough’

Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcomed their second child, son Beckett, just over two months ago. So naturally, everything is rosy in the Phelps-Johnson household. And by rosy, I mean red-eyed as nobody is getting any sleep. Michael recently admitted that it was “rough” when they brought Beckett home from the hospital, but said that they’ve since fallen into a rhythm that has restored order – for now.

Michael Phelps retired from swimming in 2016. But as the father of sons Boomer, 23 months, and Beckett nine weeks, the 32-year-old isn’t done with early wake-up calls. “The first couple of days when Beckett first came home were rough, just with the sleeping,” the most decorated Olympian of all time told Us Weekly earlier this month. On the bright side, Phelps and his wife, Nicole Johnson, haven’t had to deal with any sibling rivalry.

“They are doing really well. Booms is a great big brother and wants to help with whatever Nicole and I are doing with Beckett,” the athlete told Us. But to avoid any jealousy issues, Phelps makes sure to carve out alone time with his first-born, who will celebrate his second birthday in May. “Boomer and I will get early in the morning and I will make his breakfast,” Phelps shared. “We start our day together.”

[From Us]

I don’t remember the second child creating more sleep deprivation than the first. If anything, I knew what to expect and, more importantly, that it would end. Perhaps Michael is just more involved in Beckett’s infancy. When Boomer was born, Michael was training for Rio and not just to set records but to kill all the demons that had plagued him since London. I imagine Nicole did most of the work and let Michael focus on training. Remember, he didn’t even change a diaper until Boomer was two-weeks old. This time he’s there both physically and emotionally so it’s probably all new to him. I imagine between Nicole, his coach Bob and his mother Deb, Michael has led a pretty sheltered life.

Speaking of sheltered, Michael was interviewed by The Daily Beast recently as well. The bulk of the interview is about Colgate’s Save Water campaign for which he is the spokesperson. He also addressed the need to discuss mental illness openly and,“to be able to make sure that everyone can get the help they want or desire.” I love that Michael has become an advocate for mental illness. I don’t love the last part of the interview where Michael gives slightly tone-deaf answers about politics, though. Because I like him so much, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he’s trying to give safe answers. But his ‘safe’ answers end up being problematic because he talks about wanting to go, “back to the way it was,” and that even though it’s frustrating, he “can’t go down to the White House, knock on the president’s door and say, ‘You’ve got to change this.’ It’s not going to happen.” We all need to knock on the White House door and we need to keep knocking. And I know he means “go back” as in restore our faith in the government but I don’t think we, as a country, should ever go “back to the way it was.”

Happiness …#canyoufindbecks?

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11 Responses to “Michael Phelps: ‘The first couple of days when Beckett first came home were rough’”

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  1. Kitty says:

    I have a lot of friends who had second babies that don’t sleep much, plus they have two year olds that are being potty trained and some sleep regression going on too. I really feel for them, my daughter is five and she’s so independent, she even let’s my SO and I sleep in on the weekends. We tried to have a second but it didn’t work our and we’ve decided not to try anymore, not regretting it either. I like the sleep and not having to deal with diapers anymore

    • Lee1 says:

      Yep, this is my life right now. My 4 month old is an okay sleeper, especially compared to how his sister was at this age. But my 2.5 yr old started waking in the night again just before #2 was born. It’s like you said, so many changes at age 2 – with new cognitive and linguistic abilities, new toddler bed, potty training, new sibling, cold and flu season, etc. it was bound to happen. But man, is it ever a bummer when she’s up as often as the baby. The different between 2-3 night wakings and 4-5+ is huge. I think things are starting to settle a bit with both of them, which is a huge relief. But it’s been a beautifully rough 4 months!

      I am glad you are getting some rest and are happy with how things worked out for your family.

  2. Patricia says:

    Second baby coming home is intense. My son was just about to turn 3 when our daughter was born 10 months ago. He’s a very good boy and naturally has a calm and sweet temperament so I am lucky with that. But it is exhausting. So much need! Things are getting easier by the day now, but at first all I did was breastfeed and attend to their needs, 24/7, it was insane.

  3. grabbyhands says:

    I am irrationally annoyed by this trend of how people describe infant/toddler ages. Anything up to a year, I get but 23 months? Just say he’s two because he practically is.

    I have no idea why this bothers me so much.

    • Slowsnow says:

      I dunno. My oldest is now 18 years old and I remember it being like this already.
      It’s really about the rapid development of toddlers: 14 months is a huge difference from 18 for example, of 4 months to 6.
      However, I do see that “almost 2 years old” sounds a little less self-involved than 23 months!!

    • HelloSunshine says:

      It’s because babies and toddlers change so much developmentally and need to have certain milestones by certain months. For example, your child should be saying two to three words by 12-13 months and walking by 15. It would be way too vague to say a year because so much changes within that year.

  4. Brooke says:

    Boomer could have also just been an easier child to deal with. Every child is different.

    My first was an absolute dream. She was so sweet, rarely cried and was sleeping through the night by a month old. My son is now six months old and is still waking up every few hours. He screams bloody murder if he is even the slightest bit uncomfortable. We have tried everything and had tests done just to make sure there is nothing physically wrong with him. Our doctor thinks this is his personality and he is just “high strung.”

    I am exhausted in ways I never was with my daughter. I love my son. I love him just as much as his sister but if he would have been my first there would have never been a second.

    Please don’t judge me!

    • megs283 says:

      Hugs. My toddler is the high strung one and my newborn is currently sleeping like a dream (it is VERY strange and i keep second guessing my luck). My toddler finally started sleeping well around 18-20 months. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!!

      On the flip side – things with the newborn are going well, but I feel like I’m failing my high-strung toddler. (Rationally I know I’m not…)

      I hope you start to get sleep soon!!

    • Plantpal says:

      Oh Honey, my first was like that. Colicky, had an anal fissure, so every time he pooped was awful. Trouble nursing, breast issues. Hemmoraged and had to go back into the hospital for a D&C….it was hard, really, really hard. There never was a second…
      Hang in there, Love, it does get better

    • Deens says:

      My second baby woke up and and cried in the night every hour and a half for the first year of his life. It was brutal. I can only describe this level of sleep deprivation as torture. We talked to specialists, paid a fortune to a sleep trainer, did gentle cry-it-out, everything. Nothing worked. He only started sleeping through at around 18 months old and even now he and his older sister (they’re 2.5 and 4.5) have regressions all the time. I never know who I will wake up next to these days! 😴😴😴

  5. HelloSunshine says:

    I so worry about this. My son was such an awful sleeper and still kinda is (he can handles changes to anything but sleep. If his routine gets a little off, we’re screwed lol). I think I would fall apart if the next one sleeps like he did. He didn’t start sleeping through the night until 15 months and I’m so worried that the second kid that we’re currently trying to have will destroy his schedule lol