When you find out you’re expecting baby number 2 emotions can range from ‘oh yayy another little bundle of joy to love’ to ‘omg another baby, how will i cope with 2!’ pretty quickly. After the initial excitement of finding out you’re pregnant again the feelings of anxiety can move in and you may start to remember the sleepless nights, the constant feeding and the crazy amount of nappies you go through each day. But this time you have a toddler to contend with too.
First time around you really are in this pregnancy baby bubble. You don’t really know whats ahead of you (as much as people want to tell you) but you’re excited for the road ahead. Second time around, you’re a seasoned pro. You’ve dealt with the birth, feeding, teething, crawling and all the stages in between. You love your little toddler, they are your world and you love seeing them learn and marvel at the simplest of things. You have that confidence as you know you’ve done it once before but this time you have to deal another and adjust to life as a parent of 2!
One thing that you can’t quite imagine is how you could possibly love another as much as you love your firstborn? You worry how your toddler will take to the new baby and whether or not they fully understand the word ‘gentle’ How you are going to juggle all of lifes needs with another in tow. You may feel like you just got into a good routine and now it’s all about to change. I felt all of this and more.
Now that Gracie has hit 5 months old i honestly can’t imagine life without her. The newborn days have come and gone in the blink of an eye. All those worries i felt initially and throughout the pregnancy all melted away as soon as i saw both my girls together. The love you feel really does just double and theres nothing quite like seeing siblings connect. Rosie has really took on the big sister role and is besotted with Gracie. There’s obviously times that are harder than others, especially when both of them want my attention but mostly when i look at them i just feel so much love and wonder why i ever worried about how Rosie would handle it.
I do however think we prepared her pretty well so here are some tips that really helped us adapt to life with a newborn and a toddler:
- Talk to your toddler about the baby BEFORE they arrive. Make them feel included in the journey, get them to feel your growing bump and explain to them that they are going to be getting a sibling.
- Get some books that talk about a new baby in the family and big brother/sister books so they can start to understand a little more about what that means.
- Give you toddler a baby doll to play with if they don’t already have one. Start using terms such ‘softly, gently’ etc so this way they’ll be familiar when baby does arrive.
- Get your toddler a present from the baby. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. Just something to ease the transition. We bought Rosie this beautiful soft fairy doll and she opened it in the hospital.
- Let them help! Give them jobs such as getting the nappy or baby wipes, getting a rattle, choosing an outfit for baby. Rosie is obsessed with helping during change time and bath time.
- Make sure you dedicate some one on one time with just your toddler. They’ll love having that time with just you and your full attention. I take Rosie for a weekly park play and we get ice cream together.
These tips really worked for our family and have made our transition to two very smooth. We’ve dealt with minimal jealousy from Rosie and she loves sharing her toys with Gracie (for now anyway!)
Here are some of my cherished photos of that sisterly love between Rosie and Gracie.
I’d love to hear any tips you may have that I’ve not included above that have worked for you so please let me know.
There’s always going to be worries that we as parents face when expecting another bub but just know that our toddlers are so adaptable and in short you’re giving them the most magical gift. The gift of a sibling and a best friend for life.
Now that really is special.