Mom Talk: And Then There Were Two
Having a second child can stir a lot of emotion.
For me, some unexpected thoughts looked a little like this:
- I wondered how I could ever love the new baby with the same overwhelming love I felt for my first born.
- I thought about logistics, like how will I feed our newborn and keep our 3-year-old entertained?
- How will we handle daycare drop off and pick up?
- When will I ever have time to shower?
You know, the important things came to mind.
Transitioning to two kids can be a bit overwhelming, but after nine months with our two boys, we’ve learned a bit about what works best for our family. Finding out simple ways that all family members can adjust to the new addition is the key.
There are a few things we’ve learned through the sleepless nights and caffeine-filled days.
Sleep Schedule Adjustments
I’ll admit we weren’t super-strict with a sleep schedule for our eldest. We decided to transition our newborn to his crib as soon as possible, and we purchased an Owlet (a pulse oximeter) that monitors the baby’s oxygen levels and heart rate. This gave us some reassurance that he was safely sleeping and he could start to sleep alone.
Sleep schedules are HARD, but necessary to build a routine. These tips helped:
- Try putting baby down when drowsy. This way, babies can start learning to comfort themselves.
- Attempt to start bedtime at the same time each night so they get in the pattern of sleep time.
- Decide on who is taking first shift or second shift with the baby before going to bed. That way, you can prepare for your turn.
- Establish a good bedtime routine with big brother/sister. Ours is bath, PJs, vitamins, snack/drink, book, prayer, count sheep and then sleep.
Quality Time Scheduling
In a world full of screens and distractions, quality time seems hard to come by. It’s one area we have committed to with our 3 year old.
We make time for our older child because we realize his world was turned upside-down when baby No. 2 arrived. Older children are used to having all of the attention and all the one-on-one time, so it’s important to continue keeping it important for you and them. One of us will take him to a park by himself, out for ice cream, to a movie or other fun stuff like that.
Baby Proof Your Marriage
While date night is easy to put on the back burner, take some intentional time with your partner. Maybe it’s a simple walk to talk about your week. Some people can find it hard to leave the baby when he is really little, but even a small amount of time can do wonders for a relationship. Try putting a date night on both of your calendars to make sure it happens.
Find Your Village (And Remember Laundry)
Who are your people? Make a short list of those who have offered to help and take them up on it. Maybe Grandma could come over and rock baby while you nap. Maybe Grandpa could come over and mow while you nap.
Do you see a trend here? Call your best friend and talk. Your neighbor would love to bring you dinner. Accepting help can be hard to do but when people offer, take them up on it.
Laundry may seem like an odd item with its own category, but I feel like it’s necessary. Babies create an astonishing amount of dirty clothes, and here’s a pro tip: Do a load of laundry every night. Fold the clothes right away.
That way, you’re not folding 10 loads of laundry on Sunday night while catching up on Grey’s Anatomy (I may be speaking from experience). Another pro tip: You may want to consider a van.
While a new baby and all that goes with it can make parents feel a bit overwhelmed, we need to have some grace with ourselves.
Know that we all must just take life one day at a time. One day at a time with one more sweet little baby to love.