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Making BF work with 2 under 2 and DH away.

(15 Posts)
freudianslips Sun 16-Aug-09 17:17:28

Okay, this isn't going to be an issue until next year but I'm thinking about it now and would appreciate any been-there-done-that ideas or just any advice.

DD will be 18 months when my second baby is due. I'm giving DD breastmilk up until a year of age (she turns 1 in September) via expressing. We tried bfing but her reflux and small size made it very hard - however I'm really proud of having managed to express all her milk for her for the last year.

The problem is, I'm desperate to have BF work with the next baby but my husband is away with work during the week and also will be deploying to Afganistan. I can't imagine how I'll cope with both babies on my own, let alone find the time to make BF work (i'm thinking about those marathon evening feeding sessions whilst trying to get DD1 bathed, in bed etc.) I guess I could try wearing baby 2 in a sling? I don't want to short change my second child but I do want to keep my sanity when parenting 2 babies on my own ...

Help!!! Do you think I can do it or am I stupid to think it's worth trying?

SoupDragon Sun 16-Aug-09 17:22:00

A sling can be a godsend.
Bath both together - baby can lie wrapped snugly in a towel on the floor whilst you deal with DD.
I found reading a book to the older child whilst feeding the baby worked - especially if they can fetch another book when necessary. Others recommend a basket of special BF-ing toys which only appear when you are feeding the baby.
Do not underestimate the value of CBeebies or a DVD

LadyOfWaffle Sun 16-Aug-09 17:22:11

DS was 2.5 when DS2 was born - the main thing is just don't worry about the things you don't need to worry about (if that makes sense). Bath no.1 when no.2 is napping, rather than at a set time - even if it's before dinner/in the morning etc. During the long feeding sessions I sat on the floor (once I healed) alot and played with DS1, or he could quite easily play cars on the sofa next to me etc. Eventually it all slots together Get as much prepared when baby is sleeping - like laying out the towels and night clothes, toothbrushes etc. so if baby is hungry at the 'wrong time' she/he can be set down for a minimum amount of time. Feed sitting on the loo even when no.1 is in the bath, on the end of the bed when doing a bedtime story... it all comes together Good luck, it'll be fine x

StayFrostyDMisaVileRag Sun 16-Aug-09 17:29:38

You've got nothing to lose by trying. My 2nd is due in a few weeks and my dd is 2.6, I have got a Calin Bleu sling and hope to manage to feed in that somehow- my dh is around but works shifts so he will be missing for a lot of the marathon feeding sessions.

Try not to worry. your dd will change a lot between now and next year, and will seem like a lot less of a 'baby' iyswim. Actually 18 mo is a really lovely age imo, they are wanting to be more independent but they haven't got the full blown toddler defiance. You might find she adapts really well.

TheProvincialLady Sun 16-Aug-09 17:38:51

Your experience of BF has been coloured by your previous experience (I had a similar experience with DS1). If anything, BF would make your life easier because you will have one hand free and no bottles to make up etc. I have a slightly larger gap - 2.3 years - but BF has been a breeze this time. And I got much more slee in the early days by co sleeping lying down, and that made the biggest difference to DS1 and me.

moondog Sun 16-Aug-09 17:42:42

It's going to be hard whatever you do frankly.

FWIW, my dh was away when my second child was born and the oldest was 3. I also had to move house alone when new baby 3 weeks old. It was bloody tough but bottle feeding never occured to me as being a solution.

I took each day as it came, lived in chaos for a while and said a quiet prayer after getting through each day.

I had a Phil & Ted double buggy and it was summer so we had a lot of meals on the hoof-quick things bought in delis and eaten on park benches.

Didn't co-sleep but had the baby in a Moses basket right by the bed. Took showers with the oldest child.

claireybee Sun 16-Aug-09 17:49:46

I had the same age gap, though my dh wasn't away.

When ds was really little I used to bath him first then top up the bath a bit for dd. Once he could sit I put them in together. I'd get him dressed in the bathroom and then feed him sat on the loo seat while dd bathed. DS was a very high needs baby and unfortunately screamed all a lot of the time so it was difficult to do stories with dd but I sometimes managed by either feeding him some more while reading to dd or by putting him in the sling and jigging around while we looked at a picture book together.

I think a good sling is a must with two so close (and it means you can get away without a double buggy a lot of the time)-I couldn't put ds down without him screaming the house down so it was a godsend to be able to put him in the sling and have my hands free to dress/undress dd, play with her, cook for her etc. I had wrap slings and found them really comfortable and easy.

DD did watch a lot of cbeebies after ds was born though blush

DD adapted brilliantly, she was really proud to have a little brother from day one and accepted him like he'd always been there. She was a bit of a mother hen tbh and if I ever let ds cry a bit while I did something she'd come straight and tell me off.

TheProvincialLady Mon 17-Aug-09 09:47:37

I meant to say I co slept and fed lying down, dur!

Also, I remembered that whilst I was pregnant I froze lots of DS1 sized portions of healthy dinners he likes, so that when I was pressed for time I knew he would always have something proper to eat.

freudianslips Mon 17-Aug-09 12:15:14

Thanks for the tips - you're making me feel like I can actually manage this. I intend to call in as many favours as I can in the early weeks and possibly pay for some extra childcare for DD. So a good sling and a Phil and Ted buggy would be great ideas then? They were already on my shopping list but good to hear they came in useful.
I really really hope that breastfeeding goes better this time - I think that TheProvincialLady is right that I've been negatively influenced by the last time. I had a truly hellish postnatal stay, with midwives pushing formula on my very low birth weight daughter. I'll never forget the first night when the midwife took her from me and, without asking, fed her 4 ounces of formula. Of course, she vomited everywhere spectacularly - what newborn is even capable of drinking 4 ounces, let alone a tiny one? My colostrum would have been enough - but then, I think this is the same midwife who threw away my pumped colostrum because 'it doesn't look like real milk, it's yellow'. Grr. These of course were also the same professions who scoffed at the idea that DD had reflux - one even went as far as accusing me of wanting something to be wrong with DD in order to get more attention. Curiously the doctors started listening after her weight fell from 5lb1oz to 4lb7oz, but the midwives never did.

Sorry, that was a bit of an off-topic rant wasn't it? But every time I think of DD's first night in this world - one that she should have spent snuggled in my arms, in my bed with me, on my breast - and I think of that horrible woman pouring formula down her throat, I want to cry.

freudianslips Mon 17-Aug-09 12:16:18

Erm, I meant professionals not professions. Oops.

moondog Mon 17-Aug-09 12:52:37

Bloody hell Freudian, she threw away the colostrum and fed your baby formula without permission?

That is beyond comprehension and definitely a formal complaint. shock

freudianslips Mon 17-Aug-09 15:45:43

I completely agree moondog - I regret to this day that I did not do so. Now, a year on, I have a letter to the trust on my computer that I have never sent about my experiences. After the birth I was just so shell shocked and depressed that I did not think I deserved to complain - when things began to feel better, the window for complaint seemed to have passed. But I still might send the letter to the trust on DD's first birthday, more for reasons of catharsis than anything else.

If this current pregnancy goes to term, I will be delivering at the same hospital as last time. I intend to have both a birth plan and a postnatal plan i.e. NO formula unless on advice of paediatrician who has to clear it with me first, exclusive breast feeding and co-sleeping so do not place baby in cot, access to breast pump from beginning, earliest discharge possible ... and above all, leave me ALONE to feed my baby! I don't want or need your advice unless you feel her life is in danger! That sounds so bloody ungrateful, doesn't it? But putting such a plan in place in my head helps push back the waves of panic that emerge when I remember that time in my life and DD's life.

Do you think the trust would pay attention to a complaint that came a year late? All I'd really want would be their acknowledgement that they would take on board my feedback...

I've gone a bit off topic here, haven't I? Sorry!!

moondog Mon 17-Aug-09 16:06:41

It's not too late Freudian. Tiktok (do you know her? She posts on here a lot and is v v knowledgeable) always states that nothing will change unless we speak out to stop other women being treated so badly.

First birthday sending would indeed be good and cathartic. They should be able to track her down and garrotte have a word with her.

Best of luck.

TheProvincialLady Mon 17-Aug-09 16:26:53

Oh gosh definitely send the letter. That loon midwife will continue doing the same thing to other women unless she is retrained.

oneopinionatedmother Mon 17-Aug-09 16:34:16

don't worry - i'm suprised how easily it went...there were days they both yelled at once, but i just decided to deal with one at at a time and it went ok (though with one of them watching cbebbies alot! )

send that letter..midwife obviously doesn't know anything! colostrum is bloody yellow....

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