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DC2 due any minute, DD is 18mo - how much help...?

(10 Posts)
Hadeda Wed 24-Jun-09 10:05:25

Probably just last minute nerves, but I am having a bit of a panic about whether I've arranged enough help for next few weeks.

DC2 is due on Monday. My DD is 18 months old so is a fair bit of work on her own.
DH will take 2 weeks paternity leave so that covers the first bit. But once he goes back to work it's me flying solo. We have no family in the UK and DH's job involves long hours (out by 7/7:30 and not back until between 8 and 9pm).

How have people felt week 3 after birth? DD was a straightforward delivery, so assuming that happens again, do you think you can just get on with it by then?

I could get my mom to come over if needed - she has said she's always available to help if I need her. But I know she's not keen to leave my dad as he's 77 and, although in good health, is likely to do dumb stuff (like last time she was here when he decided to fix a light in the bathroom, involving climbing a ladder, clambering around in the roof, fiddling with electricity and then falling off the ladder on the way back down so she arrived home to find him with a massively bruised hip...... hmm)

cazzzz Wed 24-Jun-09 10:19:50

I suggest trying to organise more care an a little by little basis for a prolonged period.

If your DD could be looked after by Granny for 2-3 hours a few times a week, that would be really helpful.

Or, could she go into nursery / a child minder on a similar basis (I know she is still very little).

Could your husband take his second week of paternity leave as 5 individual days over 5 weeks?

Could your mum or MIL come for 2 days every 2 weeks?

This sort of prolonged bit-by-bit care will ease your load, and give you something to look forward to when things are tough.

Don't book yourself into any social engagements for the first 6 weeks - getting 2 tiny people out of the house can be a challenge - just drop down a gear.

Hhope it all goes well.

juuule Wed 24-Jun-09 10:33:05

I think you are having last minute nerves

Try not to worry it will all fall into place. Especially if your dh is going to be there for the first 2 weeks.

My dh had a week off at the most. I had a 16m gap between dc2 and dc3 and then a 15m gap before dc4. Had to do the school run with dc1. We were fine.

With your eldest not at school etc you can plan your days how you want.
Enjoy your last weeks before baby born and try not to worry - it will all work out.

januarysnowdrop Wed 24-Jun-09 10:47:08

Good luck!!! I now have a (just) 2 year old dd1`and a 5 month old dd2 and it's really fun most of the time, but we have had a few sticky bits, particularly during the first 3 months.

Bedtime in the early months was the trickiest bit - if there's any chance of getting dh home a bit early for a while, or getting a friend/babysitter/anyone to come and help out between about 5.30-7.30 (or whenever bedtime happens in your house), you will probably find that invaluable! To be honest, I would have found it more helpful if dh had taken his paternity leave about 3 weeks in, because dd2 slept almost all the time for the first couple of weeks so it wasn't too difficult - I just ignored her and concentrated all my attention on making sure dd1 didn't think we were trading her in for a younger model! Then it got trickier as dd2 was awake more of the time and colicky in the evenings, but it's been getting much easier over the last couple of months as dd2 can cope with tiredness for more than about 2 minutes before going into complete meltdown. Don't suppose your dh could renegotiate his paternity leave and go home early for 4 weeks or something like that, instead of having 2 weeks off completely? That might be the most helpful thing for you....

We had a few awful bedtimes, but to be honest, if I ever did have to leave dd2 to scream, it never lasted for very long - I remember one evening when I ended up swaddling dd2 and putting her in a darkened room in her cradle with the hairdryer on (white noise!) and just leaving her while I dealt with dd1. She shrieked for about a minute and then went straight to sleep.

I found it useful to use a sling a lot in the early stages - dd2 slept in it for her daytime naps so I was free to play with dd1. And we made sure that all of dd1's toys and books were in places where she could access them independently. If I think of any other top tips, I'll let you know. It's so gorgeous now - dd1 tries to play with dd2, and dd2 is completely fascinated by her older sister. They share a room now, which is sweet, and they don't disturb each other at all, even though dd2 is still having at least one night feed. It will be hard at times, but it's so well worth it - it's absolutely lovely having two!

Hadeda Wed 24-Jun-09 15:50:49

Thanks for all the reassurance! I'm really hoping it is just last minute nerves...

I have got a sling (moby wrap) as I thought it might make things easier, especially if I can feed the LO and play with DD.
I have chatted with DH about his hours and he is trying to make plans to be able to get home earlier for the next few months. But I know it's not going to be easy for him, sometimes he has meetings set for 6pm so he has to be there.

And cazzz - I think your suggestion of not organising anything for the next 6 weeks is a very good one, give us a chance to ease into everything. I was definitely guilty of trying to do to much when DD was born (a bad case of "see, nothing has changed; I can still do it all") and ended up exhausting myself.

Juuule - in awe of your age gaps with 4 DCs!!! At the moment, I think I'd like another one but DH is adamant that 2 DCs is it. An argument for another day..... I will think of you when I'm struggling to deal with just 2!!

herecomesthesun Wed 24-Jun-09 16:47:11

I have a 20 mo and a 7 mo, my husband went straight back to work long hours after two weeks plus I don't have any outside help either and I'm sure you will be absolutely fine. To go from one baby to two is less hard than going from childless to having a baby so if you bear that in mind - nothing will be as hard as it seemed last time.

As long as your husband comes home ready to help you out emotionally as much as anything else, because you will be tired from looking after the children.

The things that helped me the most were:

Not being to too bothered about eldest baby's bedtime and often waiting until husband was home to help before bathing / putting them to bed.

Internet supermarket shopping, easier to get it delivered than trying to get there between feeds.

Long walks, to clear my head and to send the little ones to sleep when they were tired and crying.

A full freezer in advance and take away menus, if nothing else there is always frozen food or take away for tea - this eased the pressure of having to worry about what was for tea.

Peppa Pig DVD - to occupy eldest for half an hour when needing to bath baby/make up bottles etc.

Don't worry - you will be absolutely fine and as every week goes by you get stronger and more confident and you will wonder why on earth you were worried. Congratulations and good luck x

smallblessings Wed 24-Jun-09 17:01:32

Sorry if this has been suggested. What about a Doula. I found mine a massive help. smile

laura3ap Wed 24-Jun-09 19:37:12

Just wishing you the best of luck...loads of great advice here...I think the most important thing is to be easy on yourself. When the oldest is so little you don't have to be anywhere by any particular time, so if you are all still cosy and happy in pjs at lunchtime the world will not end...I wish someone had told me that! I have an 18 month age gap, they are 4.5 and 6 now and the very best of friends...however tiring the first couple of months the payback is HUGE! Thinking of you.

Breizhette Wed 24-Jun-09 20:06:34

DS is 11m nd DD is 2.4 so same age gap. TBH it has been tough but it does get better.
I second the DVD idea (DD doesn't get to watch much TV but I keep it for strategic moments). Frozen meals is also a good idea. When my mum came over I got her to cook meals for DD that I could freeze.
Congratultions BTW, I am a little bit jealous as these first months go so fast!

Hadeda Thu 25-Jun-09 09:34:40

Thanks all for all your advice. I'm really glad to hear the general view is that it will all be fine smile!!
I had thought of a doula - but TBH if we're going to spend money, then I'd rather fly my mom over. I am a bit sad that she won't be able to meet this LO until she/he is about 9 months old.

DD decided to wake up at 5am this morning, and taking her into our bed didn't work as she just tried to bat my nose, pull my hair, scratch the duvet because it sounds nice etc etc etc..... Now counting down until she goes for her nap so I can have one too! I'm sure not being pregnant will help, I'm so big and uncomfortable right now.

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