About to have baby no 2 - advice please!(18 Posts)
My dd will be 2 years and 4 months when my new baby will be born in a couple of months time.
My little girl is lovely and really well behaved. We usually spend our days together going out and about which we both love.
When this new little baby comes - what on earth am I going to do? My dd was an awful sleeper and woke up 1/2 hourly for about the first 4 months of life. I was so sleep deprived. I reme,ber thinking - 'how on earth do people who have other children cope with a newborn'. Alas, I think I am about to find out.
My main question to more experienced mums are -
How on earth do you keep a toddler entertained when your knackered and too tired to leave the house and the new baby is screaming/continuously BF???
Any tips at all would be greatly appreciated about any aspect of having a second baby.
ahem you use the telly more/read books to them while you're feeding.
You also tend, after a short while, to fit the babies feeds in around what you're doing and feed them anywhere and everywhere I think.
My second child was much easier and laidback than the first btw so dont worry about whether they will be an awful sleeper or not - they will be completely different.
You also use all the support and friends you have - when people offer to look after the toddler or drop off some frozen meals or whatever you bite their hand off rather than soldiering on without any help.
I agree - no. 2 has to fit in with the routine you have established with no. 1. I know when I had DS it was a major effort just to leave the house. When DD arrived (DS was 2.8) she came to all the toddler groups, singing sessions, shopping etc from just a few days old. If she wanted feeding there was always another Mum to look after DS if necessary. Most of the time she slept or was quite happy just watching the other children at their actvities. Oh yes - she often went out in a sleep suit - something I would never have done with DS!
I agree with GiantKateStacks
Say Yes alot more!
to friends, to family and to your daughter.
In the first week or so newborns really do tend to feed and sleep so in the quieter times you will be able to get some lovely 1-1 time with your DD.
Also if your DP is having paternity leave he will be around whilst you are finding your feet.
You are probably already there but really do stock up with freezer meals that are delicious and easy for you and your daughter.
What are your plans for where your DD will be when DC2 comes? can you plan to have a little pressie for her from DC2 when she comes to meet the little one for the first time?
Good luck and ENJOY!
I could have written your post when ds was about to be born. I was worried so much about how I was going to cope. Truth was that I shouldn't have worried because ds was completely different to dd and in a sense I still only had her to worry about.
You'll find that you worry less about having a baby second time round and once the worry's gone it's not as hard to cope.
Even though dd wouldn't have been the best sleeper she still never woke when ds cried in the night.
bfing is easier than bottle feeding when you have an older sibling because you still have an arm free to read a story and give a hug to your older child. You can also give half a feed, change an older child's nappy and put them to bed and then finish the feed.
Stock up your freezer with dinners that you can microwave
make sure you take help that's offered.
Buy small toys in the pound shop that you can produce in an emergency (ie when someone comes round with a present for the baby)
IME (have had 4 children) the second or subsequent babies never scream as much as your first one did. You are a much more experienced and confident and therefore calmer mother than you were when you had your first baby, and this will transmit itself to the new baby and make him/her calmer too. (DG desperately hopes no-one comes along to contradict this with their own experience!)
But yes, there is going to be some give and take required from your toddler. Try to keep her involved in the baby (help out at nappy changing for example) so she feels "grown up" and does not feel she has been pushed out.
Oh and if your toddler still naps, try to co-ordinate her naptimes with the baby's (or vice versa) and make sure you sleep then too!
I can't pretend that the first few weeks aren't ummm.. awful. Well they were for me anyway. DD was 22 months when DS came along and he fed all the time (as you'd expect) and I was horribly sleep deprived for the first 3 months. DD was jealous and upset a lot of the time. BUT it was for a short time only. CBeebies and DVDs are your friend as are your DD's fave snacks. And I agree with what others have said. You cope much better with the baby aspect of having a 2nd one. Now, DD probably doesn't remember a time before DS and she's just accepted him. Not particularly interested in him but I can leave them together in the same room for a moment or two now. And there are now beginning to be lovely moments when DD shows DS something and they smile at each other too! Its damn hard but its worth it is what I'm saying. Another top tip I got from here was to have a bag of things you needed whilst bf stashed on the sofa - remotes, water, snacks for DD, 'slow release' toys to pass to DD when she gets bored etc. Now when I feed DS, DD sits down with her baby and 'feeds her'! You'll be fine but don't have much ambition for how your days will go at first. Just try and survive those first few weeks. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. And remember things will get better and quite quickly too. Good luck!
HI Reesie, I felt just like you before I had DS, who was born when DD was 18 months old. We are now 3 months down the line and I can honestly say that whilst it is hard, we are all enjoying it all so much. I'm sure others will have lots of suggestions but a few things have helped me. I try to include DD in everything that I need to do for DS, she loves helping me change his nappy, undress him etc. I try to read her stories when BF and we bought her some new books to enjoy and a special cushion to sit on next to us so that she can feel part of it. We have still tried to get out and about as much as possible (using a Phil and Teds double buggy), not that easy in this weather, but it helps DS sleep in the daytime and keeps me and DD sane. Providing the baby is well fed I try to sort out DD's needs first so that she doesn't feel resentful and as a result of this DS learnt to settle himself to sleep really quickly as I was forced to leave him to cry a bit, something I could never do with DD. So the sleeping might be better than you think. Plus you are more experienced so you'll probably be much more relaxed about everything. DD does act a bit "babyish" at times wanting the attention that DS gets eg lying on his playgym, wanting to be picked up and rocked etc and we've been happy to go along with this. I guess the other things that are really helpful are Grandparents and CBeebies! The obvious pleasure that DD gets from her baby brother makes it all so worthwhile. Best of luck!
all of the above, especially calling on help from friends, family, grandparents etc if they're around and willing to help out.
ds2 "gave" his big brother a present and I took ds1 out to choose something to buy to give to his new baby brother just before he was due to keep him involved in the whole thing.
You'll find that your ds will appreciate having some extra attention from all these people when baby arrives so you can spend time bonding with your baby without feeling ds is getting left out. My dh took ds1 out for some special treats on and off but we also did a lot of things together so that ds got used to the fact that ds2 was part of the family too now.Make a big thing of her being big sister and how much the new baby loves her and include her in things (my 3yr old ds loved to pass me the nappies for his baby brother's changetime)then she won't feel she HAS to feel a certain way about the baby because hopefully she'll be so proud to be a big sister that issues won't arise. When you get chance away from feeding etc, try and spend as much time as you can with your ds one-to-one and to be honest, you'll all be fine! You soon get into a routine and as long as you're not always sitting ds in front of telly or off with other people ALL the time, your family can function quite nicely albeit rather hectic!
oh, (sorry this is long) also watch out for visitors when the baby comes home becuse I found so many people seemed to frget ds1 and spent time coo-ing over ds2 and raving about him when ds1 was in the same room! So I made sure that we made as much mention of ds1's abilities and lovely nature, how he'd been doing this or that as much as we talked about how lovely the new baby was.
There's a gap of 20 months between DD and DS.
Best advice is when people ask what they can do to help, absolutely let them!
Also, there are some really great DVDs for toddlers, and don't be afraid to use them when you need to feed baby.
One thing that did help was asking DD to help with the baby. She doesn't get jealous as she thinks of DS as someone who needs her help. At the moment at least -- give it a few years and this may have well changed!
vibrating bouncy chair helped a treat with ds2...i could get a good chunk of time with ds1 when i needed to
wideratthehips - thats a good tip, we borrowed a motorised swing that did the same job.
yes, the bouncy chair is a great tip - I'd forgotten that we got one for ds2 and it kept him happy while I played games and did jugaws or read etc with ds1.
also great if you have a dishwasher you can plonk chair next to
will be watching with interest, due in 6 weeks and DS will also be 2.4...
Ask for help, especially in the first few weeks. You need help around the house and if possible someone to feed/look after you and dd while you recover from birth and start to adjust to sleepless nights and a toddler! I've got 3...and I've survived, you will too just don't try and be "Supermum".
Thank you for all your lovely replies
My lovely mum has offered to come up for 2 days every week to help - which I have accepted. Dh only works 3 days a week - so that means - I'll only be one day on my own with 2 children!!!!
I am starting to look forward to the new baby - I'm really excited!! I think that my standards are going to drop a bit ie.the housework etc ( although they weren;t very high to start with!!!)
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