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  • Cleo Marchese, IBCLC, RLC

Second baby? So you feel you are ready?


Adding a second baby to your family

Every woman has thought about adding a second baby to their family. For multiple reasons, you desire to give your first born a sibling. Planning is the key to family harmony. Many women assumed having adding another child will be a piece of cake. After all, you made it through the first one and are still alive. You feel hip and confident. You don’t even understand why some women with multiple children seem so harassed all the time. It must be that they don’t under how effective, structured parenting can make life easier. Wrong, having a second baby can sometimes be more daunting than having the first. Let’s go over a few basic do’s and don’ts for the second time mom. So everyone can be happy and not start the first few days of after this child is born with a bad case of buyer’s remorse.

The end permanent of the single years

The biggest change is your alone time. When you have one child, it is easy to preserve a sense of self. Couples find they can still have lots of alone time with one child, that finding a baby-sister to go out is easy. Even family vacations are still fun and manageable. After your little one is asleep, you can still find time for intimacy. Having that second baby puts you firmly in the mom and dad zone. Most psychologists agree, the second baby is the most difficult because women feel like the hard one private time they have carved out for themselves after the first baby is now gone. They often feel overwhelmed trying to divide their time and attention between three people. This loss of self can be difficult and cause hard feeling between you and your spouse.

Changing family dynamics

Adding a second baby changes all family dynamics. How you interact with your spouse and how you interact with your oldest child. How you manage daily routines. You may also feel overwhelmed with the extra work load of having another baby. Try to remember, your spouse is not a mind reader and if you are a really organized person. You may give him and everyone around you the impression you don’t need help. Ask and be specific about what you needs are. Along the same lines, he may feel stress out because it seems like you are always doing something for the kids and have absolutely no time for him. It is important to remember instead of feeling resentful, everyone wants to be loved and feel important. Assure him both of you are finding your way into these new murkier waters of parenting and things will smooth out.

A great way to ease the transition for older children is to find ways to include them in helping with the new baby. Even a two year old can hand you a diaper. Older children can take a more active role with bigger chores like laundry, clothes sorting, or bringing you drinks and snacks. Young children love to please and help, so put them to use even if it is a simple task. Don’t banish them to the television and Netflix to keep them out of your way. Try reading to your oldest child when you are nursing the new baby instead of sending them out of the room. If they are old enough to read, ask them to read to the new baby when you are nursing or holding the baby. Going to the park or on walks is an easy way to have together time with both children and help the oldest burn off excess energy.

The benefits of experienced motherhood

You are no longer a new mom and feel confident in your mothering. All the problems you had with your oldest child seem trivial. You don’t stress about feedings, how your child is growing or are you doing a good job. You are the expert and no one questions you. The second time around, you will feel empowered as a mother. You don’t feel the need to ask questions because you have all the answers. As your children grow, you can watch all the beautiful interactions between siblings. All the funny and heartwarming moments they will have as they spend time together. You no longer have to feel guilty about not having time to play with your oldest child. They now have a sibling.

Here are some tips to smooth the transition for one child to two:

  • Make time to spend with just you and your newborn, it is really important to get to know the new baby. Every child is different, it is important to learn the temperament of your new child.

  • Ask for help from friends and family. You just had another baby, you need down time. Your body is just as tired this time as it was the first time.

  • Get organized, that fly by the seat of your pants behavior leftover from your parentless years is not going to work. Dedicate time for laundry, bills, cleaning, grocery shopping and other important daily or weekly chores. Make a schedule to stay on task.

  • Make time every day for a shower and getting dressed. Even if you are just wearing workout clothes. Taking a daily shower and getting dressed will go a long way in making you feel more like yourself.

  • Plan ahead for important family events, especially the first year. It is easy to forget a birthday or school event because you are busy.

  • Keep a daily schedule for your kids actives, meals and snack time. The sooner everyone is one a similar nap and eating schedule, the happier you will be. Changing your schedule occasionally will give young children something to look forward to.

  • Make time for you and your partner to spend together, whether it is a weekly date or private time once both the kids are asleep. Don’t use the all the time your children are sleeping to catch up on Facebook or a book you were reading. This sends an unconscious message to your partner they are a low priority for you.

Most important is to remember mistakes will happen. You will forget important events or occasionally be late to work or an important engagement because one of children is having a meltdown. You are only human. Focus on the positives daily. What you accomplished, not what wasn’t done. Overflowing laundry baskets and dirty dishes in the kitchen sink have never hurt anyone. A loving and attentive mother is worth her weight in gold.

#partner #partnerinvolvement #baby #infants

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