Life has been a whirlwind with two. I thought the last months getting ready for her birth was chaotic but 5+ months later I’m still finding myself winded and not fully recovered.
I had my second baby girl last June. It has taken me this long to catch up and find the time/headspace for blog writing.
To save us time and you from my rambling here are my tips for preparing your home and family for your second child.
Plan ahead and get your space ready
This was probably the most important thing we didn’t do. I thought we could just go with the flow and I regret it.
We lived in a two bedroom condo when our second baby came. I was convinced I could share a bedroom with her and it would be easier. And yes this works for some families but not for us. During the day when the baby napped I could never go into my bedroom – it didn’t help that my office computer was in the bedroom so it prevented me from getting any work done (I’ll post another day about having no maternity leave as a self-employed business owner). And during the evening/morning when my husband and I typically go to bed and wake at separate times the baby would end up waking as well. So she was a very unrested/cranky baby.
We ended up moving our whole family to more space and I can tell you now that the process of moving with an infant and toddler is something I will never recommend. So the most important thing is to sit down and really think about what your family will need in terms of space.
Talk to your first child about their coming sibling
Maya was old enough to understand that she was getting a baby sister. We read books about siblings and watched shows with siblings. She actually had friends her age with siblings and that made her want a baby sister to play with. But she didn’t fully comprehend what that meant until we brought home this crying, attention needy bundle of joy.
Making sure your first child still gets attention with baby around is really important. Sometimes you just need to let the baby cry a little bit longer so your eldest child can see that you haven’t forgotten about them.
Divide and conquer
For the first few months I found myself exhausted – and I mean dead tired – having to deal with a newborn and a toddler. It takes a while to find footing after giving birth and that footing might feel like you’ve lost it forever when you also have a toddler to deal with.
Make sure you discuss what you need with your partner ahead of time. I made sure to ask for specific things from my husband (ie. to put my toddler to sleep, to take care of meals for the first few weeks, etc). And even in the following months there were things I still asked for because I just felt like I was hit by a truck and couldn’t seem to get myself back together.
Sometimes our partners don’t understand (because they’ll never physiologically be in the same position) and sometimes they might wait for outbursts of emotion or worse, they may sweep your outbursts as hormonal. This is why it’s best to ask for what you need prior.
As women/moms we like to think we have it all under control – but it’s 100% normal to ask for help.
Ask and accept support
Prepare your village. Whether it’s getting your parents/in-laws into a calendar schedule to take your toddler for weekend morning breakfast or asking cousins or close friends to come watch your newborn while you nap. Ask for all of it because you do not want to get to the end of your rope!
While I’m sure there is so much more you can do to prepare for your second child these were the most important that I could come up with.
Do you have others? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment or reach out to me on my Instagram 🙂