I don’t mean to put you off track, but if you think the juggle will be over as soon as having the second child with a toddler baby is out… You are wrong, on so many levels!
Sorry for bursting your bubble far too instantly, but I just had to get this out of my system.
The one thing that I hear every now and then is that ‘it will get better with time’.
NOT AT ALL!
Umm… it’s been 2 years and the struggle still feels real!!
Things do get better, but not settle completely…. That’s for sure!
Had I known about how things ‘actually’ changed instead of the constant lies that everyone around had fed me for good 9 months and 4 days, I definitely would have been better prepared. For sure!
Without further ado (read: Ranting) let’s move towards advices for moms having a second child with a toddler:
There are three things you need to keep track of:
- What ACTUALLY changes after having a second child.
- How it affects YOU.
- How it affects your FIRSTBORN.
Once you have figured these 3 triggering challenges, and know how to handle each situation, you are set! In fact, you will be surprised how amazing it is to have an addition. Trust me!
What will Change ?
You will have a completely different pregnancy tale to tell
Unlike your previous experience, this is going to be too hectic and tiresome. Because both, taking care of a toddler and having a baby, require loads of energy on their own.
So don’t be surprised if you feel WAY more lethargic or even the smallest of tasks such as reading your toddler to sleep drains out your energy levels.
You might not be as organized, with baby number two around
Remember how you had everything set before your first born had arrived? His nappies were pre-washed, ironed and placed in his closet, even before he peeked into the world. Remember?
Yeah, don’t be surprised if you carelessly ditch the ‘pre-washing’ ritual this time. Or if the nursery isn’t as prepared or decorated, like it was when you had your first-born.
Trust me, your newborn won’t even notice!
This time around, you will be taking care of not one, but three people at a time!
Unlike the last time where you were bent over taking care of the newborn, the times would be different now, for sure! This time you will have to give time to both, the newborn as well as his older sibling who, chances are, might be going through an emotional phase.
You must be thinking, who’s the third person, I’m referring to. Your partner? Nope. I’m talking about YOU. Amidst all the hassle, don’t forget to keep your needs in check.
Coz if you neglect yourself, all your efforts will go down the drain!
Don’t shy away from asking for help. Your partner or close friends and relatives will be happy to help. (In case, they aren’t – you can always hire professional help)
Taking care of the newborn will be relatively easy, THIS TIME
Despite the crazy tantrums from your elder one and your little one’s feeding needs, one thing that will out-shine everything, your baby-keeping skills.
Don’t be startled to see how you take care of your little ones needs. From diaper changing, fixing a bottle to handling his illness, you will become more proficient at it, then before.
How Having a Second Child with a toddler Affects You
It’ going to be nothing less than an emotional roller-coaster ride
Welcoming an additional baby to the family is exciting, yet taking care of the two together can be over-whelming sometimes. You may get bound between the two and not manage to take time out for yourself. Not for the first couple of months, at least.
Don’t be afraid if you have meltdowns sometimes, or you take a break from the ongoing chaos, every once in a while.
NOTE: If the meltdowns turn into anxiety attacks and you find yourself way more depressed and unusual, don’t ignore your feelings. Talk to your doctor, immediately!
It’s going to be hard; emotionally as well as physically
As much as taking care of two ‘tods’ is emotionally draining, it can strip you off physically, as well. Remember how you could effortlessly nap when your newborn fell asleep during the day, first time around?
Yeah, that isn’t possible this time! Because, meanwhile the second baby sleeps during day, you will be occupied with the first one. And for obvious reasons, he too would require one-on-one attention and there is no better time of doing that, than when your little one is busy taking a nap.
So yeah, be prepared to welcome sleepless nights as well as days, this time!
Major shift in career
With two babies to take care of, one thing that gets affected the most is your work. The first thing you will need to figure out is what you are going to do about it. Whether you choose to continue working, think to take a break or give it all up for good, make sure to think it through.
It is better you plan this before the baby pops out and make adjustments accordingly.
Loving the second baby is not as hard as you had imagined
The only reason I was nervous about having a second child was because I thought I won’t be able to love him enough. Or, as much as I love my first born!
Oh boy, was I proven ridiculously, WRONG.
The instant I had heard the little bud’s heart thump, during the first scan, I was head over heels in love with my second born!
You will rarely get to spend ANY alone time with your partner
In the beginning, you will be lucky, to get even half an hour of alone time with your partner. This too, without being disturbed by your elder one’s struggle for attention or your little one’s cries for being held.
Rather than sulking over how little or no time you get, try to make the most out of WHATEVER little time you get.
Don’t feel guilty to leave your children with a babysitter and have an occasional date night, either. You and your partner very much deserve it!
Having a Second Child will Affect your Toddler
Like you, having a second child is going to make the toddler overly-emotional
For the toddler, having a younger sibling can bring all sorts of emotions out in the open. He may feel excited, sad, jealous or even resented. All at the same time!
Which is obviously natural...... Because having a younger sibling means being stripped off the usual attention and care.
Heck, even I would mind if all of a sudden, all the attention that has been showering on me for the past three years is suddenly shifted to a new being.
In this case, it is your duty to make sure:
- The baby is mentally prepared of the arrival of a younger sibling, beforehand.
- He is given equal, one-on-one attention by both parents, after the baby’s arrival.
- Indulge him in taking care of the baby. Such as helping during diaper changes or play-time.
- Re-inforce his position in the family, from being the youngest, to being the eldest sibling.
- Enforce baby and toddler sharing routine. Such as a toy or activity that both can indulge in. Synced nap times are a good way to put them both to sleep together and create bonding.
- Last, but not the least, try to explain how the baby works. Tell him beforehand about the baby’s needs and common habits so he doesn’t get startled by them.
All in all, having a second baby will be an entirely new and exciting experience for your family. Whether you choose to wreck it or enjoy it, completely depends on how you handle the situations.
Sure there will be days when all you want to do is cry your lungs out or stay in bed, but trust me when I say, a smile on either of your children’s face is going to lighten you up.
Staying positive will help you remain focused and above all, happy!
So are you ready for a second baby?