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-   -   Preparing 2.5 yo DS (and myself) for his baby sister- Scared of doing it all with TWO... (http://www.mothering.com/forum/31-life-toddler/1372222-preparing-2-5-yo-ds-myself-his-baby-sister-scared-doing-all-two.html)

expat-mama 01-14-2013 06:41 AM

I'm due at the end of April with my 2nd- DS will be around 2.75 by the time she arrives.

 

I'm starting to get really terrified of how my days will look and how I'll manage and what the heck I'm going to do with DS (who has a few issues and is definitely "high-needs" at times) at home with a newborn.

There are a bunch of things I'm worried about:

Naps: DS is an early riser and really needs a nap even though he fights it. We've managed to get him to the point where he will go to sleep when I lay with him (instead of rocking, singing, bouncing etc.) but this can sometimes take an extremely long time! We were hoping to be at the point where he could lay down, stay in his bed and fall asleep without me or at least with just me "checking" on him every few minutes, but that looks like it just isn't going to happen by April even though DS has made big strides.

I just don't know how I'm going to do naptime (especially if DD is on the boob 24/7 like DS was and always needing to be held, which I just kind of expect). Anyone dealt with this situation at naptime? How did you handle it?

I am slightly concerned about bedtime for this reason too, but DH can handle DS's bedtime if I am busy with the baby. 

Daytime outings and energy: We were looking into putting DS into preschool for a few mornings a week, but he just isn't ready and we haven't found one that is a good fit for him at the stage he is at and that we are comfortable with right now for him. I don't have a reliable care-giver or babysitter either or any prospects for one. He is very active during the day- right now I take him to gymnastics twice a week and he is starting a rhythm and dance class another 2 days a week and we we are at the park and playgrounds all the time. It's exhausting. When I was in my first trimester I really cut down on his outdoor time because I was so sick and tired and he was miserable (thus I was also miserable). 

How do people keep up with the demands of an active toddler while also meeting the needs of a nursing and napping newborn? My only thought now is popping the baby in the ergo and doing the best I can...? Nursing a newborn all night and running around with DS all day sounds impossible though.

Giving attention to a newborn and an attached toddler: How will there ever be enough of me to go around? I already feel worn quite thin by just DS alot of the time. He is not yet able to WAIT for anything without freaking out.

DS also has a mild SPD and some autistic tendencies and I spend a lot of time doing involved play/speech therapy-type things with him that make a huge difference for him. I'm afraid of not being able to give him all he needs in this respect too. I'm starting to think that either the baby or DS will be partially neglected (that's a really strong word, but I can't think of another at the moment) and that's not at all what I want. 

 

And then there are just the other small things that I know I'll learn to just deal with- getting two in and out of the car, juggling all the little things with DH...

 

I know people do this ALL the time. I just don't know HOW they do it, lol. 

Most of the people I know here who have 2 or more little ones either have a nanny (don't want one) or send one or more to daycare (not happening yet for us). We will have a regular house cleaner come in a couple times a week and I feel so fortunate and grateful for that, because I know it will help immensely especially at first. We recently moved to a new city and we live abroad, so we don't have any family or even close friends here. We're all on our own.

 

Anyway- ANY tips or insight or just a "chill, woman" om.gif is welcome here. Whenever I have a bad day with DS I get really freaked out thinking about how I'll ever do it with 2. Along with   frequent peeing, backaches and incessant kicking, it's starting to keep me up at night.

bigeyes.gif


rtjunker 01-14-2013 08:08 AM

I only have one, but it will work out. You'll learn to juggle two like you learned to handle one, one day at a time, with a lot of trial and error. Good luck!

sageowl 01-14-2013 08:34 AM

Right there with ya!  (I'm due in April with #2 as well, and definitely feeling anxious about what's ahead).  It doesn't help that DS is kind of in a "yucky phase" right now and is getting harder to deal with at a time when just getting through a day is about all I can manage.  Just thinking about how hard it will be to manage both the toddler AND an infant basically by myself makes me break out in hives.  (I'm particularly wondering what dragging an infant along to all of DS's speech therapy sessions is gonna look like...)  It's not easy knowing what's coming (a really long phase of having no time to myself at all, and a year or more of sleep deprivation).

 

But, that being said, I'm kinda looking forward to holding another baby, I miss it!  I know the logistics are going to suck with 2 kids, and I don't know how I'll manage either, but I guess I'll make it up as I go--just like I did with #1.


northwoods 01-14-2013 04:49 PM

I'm also expecting #2 in April. DD nurses to sleep for naps and bedtime, and I have no idea how that will work with a newborn. I'll be checking this thread for the sage advice of other mamas!

greenemami 01-14-2013 05:38 PM

My son was born when my daughter was a month shy of 3.  She also needed lots of mommy-attention to go to sleep, was very attached to me, etc.  It turned out fine :) I learned to nurse the baby while laying with dd, and eventually she did wean away from having to have me actualy lying down with her.  We all slept together for a long time because it was easiest for me to deal with her night wakings and ds's (she only wanted mom of course!) without having to run between rooms. 

 

As for outings, ds was in the sling and at stortime time dd and I at about 2 weeks old :) I was careful to keep him in the sling as much as possible to avoid germs, but otherwise he was out and about almost immediately.  Dp couldn't take much time off work and I didn't want dd to be stuck at home and going crazy.  I think it made the transition much easier to keep her normal routine going. 

 

I was really really nervous before he was born-dd would freak out when I held my neice or friend's babies.  She had just stopped nursing a few months prior to his being born and I was worried about jealousy etc., but she really did great-maybe a month or so of a little bit of upset and then it pretty much tapered off.  I was very careful not to "hand her off" to others though, even well-meaning dad, grandma, aunts, etc.-she wasn't used to other people taking care of her so I tried to use any help I got to help with the baby or cleaning or whatever and gave the attention to dd instead of gettnig a break from her.  It was hard, but you'll manage the best you can-we did watch a LOT more TV for a while there because it kept her quiet and happy when I needed to rest or lay down with ds, which I didn't love but also wasn't the worst thing in the world.  Read stories while you nurse, we did puzzles or card games while i nursed, you learn to do everything with one hand!  Good luck! 


katelove 01-14-2013 06:02 PM

My second baby was born two days before my first was 2.5. It is hard but not impossible. Is your DH going to be able to take any time off work when the baby is born? If so, then I suggest that he be in charge of daily outings for your DS. If not then maybe you could start looking at some indoor active play ideas for the first couple of weeks. We have one of those little plastic slides which cost $10 at K-mart and you can get pop-up tunnels and tents and things as well, to create a sort of playground inside.

This is what I do when I'm on my own. We all sleep in the family bed and we take a sort of 4th trimester approach so the baby is always on one of us.

Sleeps - if Babe will tolerate it, we all lie down together. DD1 watches a couple of short programs on the iPhone then it's time to sleep. Sometimes I sing to her or scratch her tummy. If DD2 is asleep I can breastfeed her. If DD2 won't tolerate lying down then I put her in the carrier and move around the bedroom until DD1iz asleep. I can still sing to her if she likes. Bedtime takes longer now but it's not an unmitigated disaster.

Car trips - this is actually remarkably easy. I follow the advice I read on MDC ages go - mobile child is first in, last out. So, when we walk out to the car the baby is in the carrier and the bag/s are in my hand or over my shoulder. I put them on the front seat. DD1's car seat is on the passenger side so we're not standing in traffic if I'm parked on the street. She climbs in herself and I buckle her in. Then I put DD2 in her seat and put the carrier in the footwell in front of her. When we get to our destination I get DD2 out and put her in the carrier. Then I unstrap DD1 and she climbs out herself.

Baths - I sit on the floor of the bathroom (or stand, depending on DD2's mood). To wash DD1's hair I fold a towel and lay DD2 on the floor or in the sink.

Playing - I sit on the floor in the playroom or on a chair in the lounge
with DD2 and get DD1 to come to me.

I feel better postnatally than I do when I'm pregnant so I'm actually finding this easier than the third trimester when I only had one child on the outside.

skycheattraffic 01-16-2013 06:49 AM

I'll be there soon enough too! Kiddo #2 due in July and DD will be 28 months old.

First off, anyone still nursing older kiddo should check out "adventures in tandem nursing". It's a LLL publication but I was able to borrow it from the midwife practice that's following me. It covers everything from tandem nursing to weaning during pregnancy, how nursing changes during the pregnancy, how to remain sensitive to older kiddo's needs, etc. I highly recommend it!

Nap and bedtime DD nurses to sleep and we don't cosleep in our bed (it's just too high and DH has medical issues). So baby has a room ready with a crib and DD just got her own big girl bed: a double that's very low to the ground. I plan on getting a Moses basket for baby so I can stay in DD's room when needed and baby will have a safe spot to be nearby. Each kiddo is different and I do recognize that I may have a Velcro baby this time around whereas DD was ALWAYS big on having her own space. I'll adjust things as needed. The tandem nursing book is also great for finding positions for nursing/cosleeping with two kiddos and has many stories from moms explaining how the sleeping arrangements worked out for them. For outings, I'm getting a good quality ring sling for baby so hopefully my hands will be free to manage the toddler. I plan to be out and about just as much with baby so that DD can run and play and burn off energy. DD was very easygoing as a baby and I'm hoping that baby sib won't be much different.

The truth is that having two kids will be a big adjustment but I think it was a bigger change to go from zero to one. There will inevitably be compromises but there will also be more love and laughter. Some things that DD is used to will have to change and that's ok. She will still be loved and taken care of. I'm a fairly confident mama and a lot better at rolling with the punches than I was when she was born. I honestly think there's no substitute for experience and I'm a lot more comfortable winging it. I think it will be hard at first but we will all be fine. We (including the kiddos) will adjust and invent new approaches. Let's all take a deep breath and conserve our energy for chasing toddlers!

expat-mama 01-16-2013 08:17 AM

Thanks, especially to Greenemami and Katelove for the great tips and suggestions! Seriously very helpful for me (literally taking notes notes2.gif here)- I am an (over-)planner and this is helping me get a mental picture of exactly how things might work. I feel like if I don't have some tricks up my sleeve or some kind of game plan things will turn into a big cluster-f**k very quickly so your experiences are really helpful to hear. I know in the *end* things will be alright, it's in the the thick of things that I will fall apart, so I like to at least try to be prepared.

Yes, DH gets a week off and might have a bit more of a flexible schedule though he tends to be a worker bee type. My mom will also be visiting for a short while around when DD is born so that is good. 

 

This practical advice and examples of how stuff works with a newborn and a needy toddler at home is really awesome- I hope more mamas will chime in with their secrets to success!!!



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