So you’re due with number two. You’re exhausted, you’re feeling huge (even though it’s only month 3, thank you to the earlier ‘pop’), your nausea feels like it’s lasting three times as long this time, and you feel like you’re ruining your toddler’s life.
It’s not so, mama. Don’t fret. Millions of families have brought home a second child and managed to not ruin baby #1’s life.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Us moms of 2+ have all been right there with you. So here are some happy and easy ways to ease those woes.
“I’m too tired and nauseous to play with my toddler!”
Your toddler probably won’t even notice if you stop doting on his every move and repeating every cute word he says for a few weeks.
- Curl up on the floor with a pillow & blanket while he plays blocks on the floor (even better in front of a fireplace).
- Put on his favourite show and close your eyes for 30 minutes.
- Pass her your iPhone or iPad and let her go to town with the latest Toca Boca app so you can watch your favourite morning show while sipping your tea.
“How will I possibly love Baby #2 as much as I love Baby #1?”
This is one of the most common things I hear from moms expecting number 2. Your heart will grow bigger and more full on the day of your second child’s birth. You will love him or her just as much as your first child. Trust me.
“How will I pay enough attention to my toddler when Baby arrives?”
You will manage. It’s hard, I won’t lie. I have three daughters, and adding Baby #2 was more difficult than adding Baby #3, for me. Some things I did to care for my two-year old when the newborn came home:
- Breastfeed/feed the baby while sitting on the floor so you can still engage your toddler.
- Put the baby down as soon as he falls asleep so you can spend some one-on-one time with your toddler.
- Lie down with your toddler (from time-to-time) at naptime.
- Sit at the table with your toddler for as many meal and snack times as you can.
“Will my toddler by totally traumatized when I bring home the Baby?”
No, she won’t. If you help to prepare her. Your toddler may go through periods of jealousy and act out, but for the most part, older siblings enjoy being a part of the loving fun of bringing home a new brother or sister.
- Buy a ‘Big Brother/Sister’ book and read it to her regularly starting in month five or six (too soon and she’ll start to wonder if this baby is ever going to appear).
- Involve him in prepping the nursery.
- Show her images of your ultrasound and explain that little being is inside your tummy.
- Listen to the heartbeat together, while also listening to yours and the toddler’s (you can rent/buy a doppler to use at home).
- Let your toddler help you create a list of possible names.
“Am I really ready?”
There is never a ‘perfect’ time. Preparing your child, prepping the household and following doctor’s orders will get you to the end goal, and since you’ve been through the newborn stuff before, you’ll get through it just fine the second time around. My most important tips for bringing home baby #2:
- Accept help, but ban useless visitors in the first two weeks.
- Prepare the first few weeks of meals ahead of time (with help/friends/family, freezer meals, take-out menus).
- Stock up on household needs so you don’t have to run out for diapers or toilet paper.
- Get out when you’re ready. Find friends in your neighborhood who are in the same boat, perhaps call the moms you connected with when you had your first child.
- Plan a few playdates for your oldest. Close friends who can have her dropped off without you for a couple of hours.
So there you have it. Don’t worry, be happy … and enjoy your second pregnancy! (What are you thinking that we didn’t cover?)
Photo Credit: Philippe Put