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Everything You Need to Know When You're Expecting #2
This week, I realized Ingrid (my youngest) is as old as Adair (my oldest) was when Ingrid was born. My girls are close together – just 16 months apart. As I reflect back on that time, I am full of all sorts of emotions. Parenting two children that close together has been no easy feat. It is every bit as challenging as it is wonderful. Some days I feel like a seasoned mother, then my girls throw me a curveball and all of that confidence sneaks back under the covers. From one mama to another, here is some advice if you are expecting your second child…
A (second) bun in the oven!
Click through to hear one mom’s advice on parenting two children…
Even though you may feel worried or anxious about being the mom of two, don’t fret. A baby is a blessing and so you should celebrate! Congrats to you, mama!
Confidence is key
The best thing about expecting a second baby is knowing you’ve done it before. You’ve delivered a baby. You’ve mothered a child. Be proud of your experience and hold onto that when your confidence wanes.
Prepping baby #1
It goes without saying that you should get your first child used to the idea that there will soon be a new baby in the house. The more they know and can expect, the easier the transition will be.
What you really need
The first time around, you probably stocked up on every single baby item. With your second, you’ll realize that all of it isn’t necessary. Our must-have items were a baby carrier, a swing, and a co-sleeper.
When your children meet
You’ll hear different things from different moms, but I think it would have been better for my oldest daughter if I had NOT been holding the new baby when they met. Also, a gift from the new baby to the big sibling can be an inviting gesture!
It's special, just different
With your first baby, everything is magical. With the second, it’s just different. There aren’t as many photos, but that doesn’t mean it’s not as special. It just means that life is busier and you are now a mama of 2!
No two are alike
One thing that came the hard way was realizing my girls were not the same. In fact, their newborn personalities could not have been more different. It’s hard not to compare stats. Just remember that no two are alike, even if they are related!
One difficult part of having 2 kids is getting in enough one-on-one time with them both. Do remember that this is important, even if it happens only once or twice a week. A date with your oldest or a snuggle session with your newborn are MUSTS!
Count on your partner
I am so thankful for my husband and all he did those first few weeks as a family of 4. He ran the errands, took my oldest out so I could nurse the new baby, made sure I got to shower, and more.
Enlist the help of others
It is perfectly fine to ask for help. If you need dinner cooked or your lawn mowed or your laundry done, speak up. Your friends and family will be more than willing to help.
Include the big sibling
Make sure to include the big sibling in taking care of the new baby. Ask them to bring you a burp cloth. Have them help you dispose of a diaper. Help them read the new baby a book. The more involved they are, the better.
Get out of the house
When you have a second baby, you’ll realize just how “easy” newborns can be. Don’t be afraid to get out of the house with the whole family. The new baby will most likely sleep the outing away, and everyone else will feel like things are normal.
The hardest part
The hardest part for us was surprisingly not our newborn daughter. Instead, it was helping our oldest get used to life as a sister. She had a really hard time and it was difficult for everyone.
This too, shall pass
When things get really hard and you feel like you are at your wit’s end (everyone has been there!) remember that it won’t be like this forever. Because someday you will have a moment where everything is perfect and you couldn’t imagine life without them both.
There is no limit on love
My greatest worry was that I would not have enough love to give. But I can tell you that just as my second daughter came into this world, so did a brand new love. There is no limit on that good stuff, even when the days are hard.