Ask the Mamas: Welcoming Baby #2

Each week we will ask our mamas a question from our readers that pertains to babies, toddlers or parenting. Make sure to check back each Tuesday to see their responses!

Do you have a question you’d like to ask the mamas? If so, send us an email with your question to askthemamas@mamasaywhat.com.

 

MSW reader Melissa S. asks:

“What do you wish you had known about welcoming babies number two or more into the household? Would you have done anything differently?”

  • Good question! I guess the number one thing I wish I had done was actually have more meals prepared. I was so exhausted from having a newborn and nursing that when it came to feeding my older daughter and myself, I had a hard time. She was very needy (which was frustrating for me because she was four and a half) and I know now that was insecurity and jealousy. I think that it’s a one-step-at-a-time process for the new parents and the siblings, but soon after Lilah arrived, we were able to get into a routine, and now my girls love each other so much. They are always together. ~Miriam R.

  • That’s a great question! I am right there with you. We haven’t quite yet welcomed our second (he’s due in September) but I know we have done a lot of work trying to prepare ourselves, our home and L (our 14-month-old) for his arrival. For myself, I have been preparing mentally knowing that I will have even LESS time to myself (which I did not know was possible). I have also been getting back into the mindset of severe sleep deprivation. My husband and I have been trying to keep track of our current time-management and determine what will need to change with a newborn. The good thing about the second (or more) is that you have some idea of what the time commitment in the very beginning and thereafter is like. For the home, I have been working on stream-lining my cleaning schedule into a few quick chores each night so I don’t need to spend quite so much time at once. I also have started preparing recipes to stock the freezer (I will probably start preparing meals a month before Ry, our second, is due). I am planning on getting in one good deep clean before he makes his appearance as well. And, of course, I have a few things on the honey-do list. For L, we haven’t been able to do much as far as preparation because he is so young. Surely it will depend on how old your others are on how much you can do in this area. We have, however, talked to L about his little brother and how soon he will be a big brother. A good number of the things L has outgrown live in his closet (i.e., his swing and infant car seat) and when L goes in there to look at those things I try to talk to him about how he will share his things with his little brother. We try to take time every day to let him feel connected to his little brother even though I recognize he doesn’t really have a concept of what that means. Sometimes your little ones will surprise you with how much they know! It will definitely be an adjustment. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that everything works out as smoothly as possible! ~Corey P.

Image by Cari Hollis Photography

  • I wish I hadn’t worried about welcoming the new baby so much. I was totally freaked that I would neglect one or the other. I didn’t go with the flow at all. I spent so much time worrying and not enough time loving. Stress sucks the life out of me and it was stress that I was putting on myself. I also wish I had realized how difficult it is to get my older child to activities when you have a one-month-old. Next time, anything that doesn’t HAVE to be done will be postponed until the baby is about three months old. ~Bonnie N.

Image by Cari Hollis Photography

  • Allow extra time in getting out the door. Two kids seemed like FOUR times as much work as one, so allow lots of time to “get it all together!” More importantly, I wish I would have not jumped every time the baby cried at night, fearful she would wake the older child. I spent years trying to undo the habits I created for my younger child in not being able to self-soothe herself to sleep. Thinking back on it now, I realize the older child might have been awakened a few times, but it would have worked far better than the method I chose. ~Betty M.

 

The advice given here is solely based on our individual experiences and in no way is it going to be perfect for every mama, every baby, and every situation. None of us are medical doctors. If you have a question regarding a medical topic we can give our opinions, but please consult with your doctor. We are not liable or responsible for the results of following any specific advice in any given situation.

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