How to prepare for baby number two

 

So, you’re pregnant with your second child. First of all, congratulations! This is exciting news! We know this could feel overwhelming and slightly daunting, especially if your first child is under the age of two. 

There are a lot of emotions at play: excitement about the pregnancy and seeing your little one become an older sibling, but also a bit of anxiety, about the change in the family dynamic, and handling a newborn and a toddler. 

We want to encourage you to step into this journey of parenthood: the second time around with these tips.

 

Top tips for second-time parents

Prepare for the pregnancy journey as much as possible -

Even if you had a fairly easy pregnancy the first time around, being pregnant with another child is a whole different ball game. You may experience symptoms you didn’t experience with your first baby, which will be harder to manage with a toddler dependent on you. Whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, it is best to get extra help to care for your older baby.

Whether that’s family, friends, or hired help, this will allow you to really take time to enjoy this pregnancy and motherhood, regardless of the fact that you’ve done it before. With some added support, you can revel in the excitement and the different changes your body is going through, while letting some of the tension go.

Keep your toddler in the loop -

With all that comes with having a newborn, it's easy to forget that your toddler is still a baby who requires your attention. They may not fully understand what’s happening while you’re pregnant, or even during the first few weeks after the new baby is home. 

If they seem extra clingy, just remember they are also getting used to the idea that they are no longer the baby of the family. During this time of change, be particularly kind and patient with them, and involve them as much as possible.

Allowing them to choose a new toy for the baby or even assisting with tiny duties will help them feel included and connected.

Celebrate your toddler -

It’s easy for your toddler to feel left out with all the attention the new baby is receiving. Naturally, you may tend to your newborn first in most instances, with nursing/feedings, diaper changes, etc. 

Take time to celebrate your older child, even in the smallest things. And when you have company over to visit the baby, encourage them to spend time playing with your toddler, too, so they don’t feel left out or forgotten. 

If they seem extra clingy, just remember they are also getting used to the idea that they are no longer the baby of the family. During this time of change, be particularly kind and patient with them, and involve them as much as possible.

Allowing them to choose a new toy for the baby or even assisting with tiny duties will help them feel included and connected.

Manage your expectations -

Let’s be honest, this is a really big change for the entire family. Your family dynamics will significantly change when you become a mother of two, have two children living in your home, and your infant gains a sibling. This shift will come with challenges, requiring you to be more flexible in your expectations. 

Potty training, for example, may be delayed with the newborn. Though you may really want to get your toddler to this and other milestones, it could be overwhelming for everyone involved. Focus on the urgent things, and take time to enjoy every moment with both your kids. 

Ask for help -

Possibly one of the most important tips is not to be afraid to ask for help. As women, we enjoy the Chacka Khan/Whitney Houston song "I'm Every Woman," but we forget that we are only human at the end of the day.

Postpartum is no joke, and you’re going to need all the help you can get, especially during those first few months after the baby is born. You’ll get exhausted, there may be times when you may feel overwhelmed or anxious. Receiving help and support from friends and family during this time is absolutely necessary. 

 

Throughout the entire journey, remember to enjoy it. Though it may not seem like it, kids are only small for a short period, and their milestones go by quickly. Capture what you can, revel in it, and remember to take it easy. 

MOST IMPORTANTLY

If you're having a hospital birth, you'll be excited for your toddler to meet the new baby. But your toddler is coming to the hospital to see you. Spend time with your toddler before introducing the new baby.



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