What can be expected after your baby is born when you also have a toddler? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 09-29-2008, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
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What are some realistic expectations for after baby is born when you also have a toddler in the house? What advice would you give to moms (and dads) for right after the baby is born when there is also a toddler in the house? What may mom's recovery and ability be like afterward since then there is 2 to care for instead of just 1?

Please share your experiences of life with your baby along with a toddler and please share your advice and what realistic expectations would be. Thanks!

Been thinking a lot about this as we continue to wait for our new baby. (I'm 40wks 4days)
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#2 of 13 Old 09-29-2008, 02:55 AM
 
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Wow - congrats!

I know my Mom has always said that when she was nursing my brother is when I would choose to act out. I would look right at her & do things I knew specifically I wasn't allowed. She fixed it by making nursing time special for me too by reading to me at the same time. She said she never had the problem after that.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#3 of 13 Old 09-29-2008, 03:13 AM
 
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Well, it's anybody's guess how your son will react, but something that happened in our house that I wasn't entirely expecting was that my dd became very bonded to her dad, almost to the point of giving up on me. For a very long time she wanted nothing to do with me and even still, she chooses daddy over me when she has a choice. I was quite devestated, yet at the same time happy that she had found a way to get her needs met. It makes sense - why be second with mommy when you can be first with daddy?

And you will be doing laundry EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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#4 of 13 Old 09-29-2008, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess I mean more like what should I expect right afterward with recovery and caring for 2. What should my husband expect? What sort of help should we need to line up? He remembers me being up and talking a mile a minute after DS was born so he thinks I'll be fine. I don't think I should be expected to be back to normal after 2 days. I also reminded him I was really dizzy for several days and had to be wheel chaired to the NICU to visit my son. He says thats b/c I lost a lot of blood which may not happen this time. Regardless, the initial energy was leftover adrenaline, not me being super woman.

So I think he has a skewed view of what the first couple of weeks will be like and what recovery should be like for me. He thinks I have a skewed view and am too nervous or too negative.
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#5 of 13 Old 09-29-2008, 09:39 AM
 
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My DS was 19 months ehen DD was born and it was really hard at the beginning. Although I felt better after her birth than after DS's, I really needed the help I got from both DH, MIL and my mom. The biggest issue was that I couldn't lift DS alot and he wasn't at an age when he could easily climb things.
Also he is very attached to me and whenever DD would need me, he started acting up. That changed though, when after a while he figured out Grandma can attend to him better at the moment. (I felt slight jealousy when she was the first to be called, but also much relief).

Mom of DS (07/2006) and DD (01/2008)
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#6 of 13 Old 09-29-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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I decided I would stay around the house for a couple weeks postpartum. That was really good for me, as I didn't do that the first time around. I felt great, but at night I needed tons of help getting water/food if hungry, etc. With the second I've heard and now experienced that the afterpains are rough. So make sure to have some arnica tablets handy and a heating pad/rice sock for your belly/back if you find that soothing. We all cosleep, but didn't at first. Dh spent the first couple nights between our bedroom with ds1 and out on our couches with me helping me with the baby/rice sock/water, etc. After a couple nights where I didn't need all that we went back to our bedroom and started using a nightlight so I could see what I was doing with nursing.

We definitely needed help with food, even though dh makes breakfast every morning. So we had lots of easy things on hand like hummus, veggies, etc. We had friends make food for us and had stuff made right before ds2 was born. We're still having stuff made for us and it has been 6 weeks.

Both our families live out of state and we are not into people being in our space so we didn't have much help other than the food and friends dropping by. Ds and dh went out a couple times everyday, after making sure I was taken care of. I guess I would recommend that-someone to take your dc out during the day, and maybe some new books and little toys to be excited about. Good luck!

Mary, Mama to 3 boys! 9/05 & 8/08 & 7/12
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#7 of 13 Old 09-29-2008, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I do have some new toys and new books for him. DH will take a lighter load at work but he teaches 2 spanish classes in the morning tha the doesn't have anyone to cover for him, so after the first couple of days he's going to have to get back to those classes. Then he can try to work from home some but I'm not sure how much b/c he also assistant coaches football at the end of the day. He won't have like an official paternity leave or anything. So hopfully between him and my MIL I'll have enough help with DS.
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#8 of 13 Old 09-29-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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My huge, crucial, unbeatable piece of advice...GET YOURSELF A MEI TAI!! (or another carrier of some sort). I wore dd constantly in the first couple weeks, and was able to keep ds's life fairly stable as a result--we still went to the park, the library, grocery shopping, all the usual stuff. Newborns are so incredible portable, esp if (WHEN) you learn to breastfeed on the go.

Honestly, I find newborns so easy. Things get more difficult later, IMO! ds wasn't even really jealous until she was a few months old and more of a presence, but fortunately by then he was older and better able (relatively speaking) to deal with things.

They also sleep a lot (usually), so I took advantage of those times to play one-on-one with ds, give him my full attention, do fun things like make cupcakes for visitors, and so on.

I had a really easy recovery the second time, thanks to my amazing and easy HB, so I was back to my normal routine really fast. I also had my mom staying with us, which was a godsend (but if your parents are a source of stress, rather than making things easier, don't have them there! Minimize as much stress as possible.) But you really can't predict how your birth or recovery will go, so it probably makes more sense to plan for the "worst" and line up as much help as possible.

Bedtime was the only tricky part for us--ds was cosleeping, and only wanted me to lay down with him at bedtime. After a few nights of struggle, I just took the baby in there with me and nursed her while I read him a story/lay and held hands, and it was fine.

read.gifSarah ~ wild.gifds X 12/05 ~ flower.gifdd E 3/08 h20homebirth.gif  ~  stork-suprise.gif 7/12 dizzy.gif

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#9 of 13 Old 09-29-2008, 07:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XanaduMama View Post
My huge, crucial, unbeatable piece of advice...GET YOURSELF A MEI TAI!! (or another carrier of some sort). I wore dd constantly in the first couple weeks, and was able to keep ds's life fairly stable as a result--we still went to the park, the library, grocery shopping, all the usual stuff. Newborns are so incredible portable, esp if (WHEN) you learn to breastfeed on the go.
I totally agree with this. I still use a baby carrier for my youngest, its like reducing the number of children to chase.

Also, my son would act out when I was nursing too. I think he was jealous. We did read books during nursing sessions.

As far as recovery - for the first few weeks after DH has to go back to work to teach those few classes - don't be afraid to use the tools around you. Like strollers to go for a easy walk to entertain your toddler, or DVDs to pop in a movie if toddler needs to calm down and baby needs to nurse.

Let the housework go. Seriously - it can wait. Babymoon as best you can. Tell DH in advance he's responsible for xyz.

Keep in mind - that it *will* get easier. The first few months after DD was born were hard - but well worth in the end because my toddler and newborn have turned into amazing preschooler and toddlers - KWIM?

Vanessa... Happily married to a paramedic - celebrating 10 years of marriage!  Mama to one crazy 6 year old transformer and one chatterbox 4 year old princess.  Daycare provider to many jumping beans  I'm expecting my third in late November. 

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#10 of 13 Old 10-01-2008, 05:22 AM
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almost 6 months in to life w/ 2 kids...2.5 yrs and 6 months. It ain't easy, but just learn to surrender to it. Give your toddler snacks while nursing (keep them by the bed), read while nursing and you may find that then nap at the same time at first b/c the baby sleeps so much.

freeze food, fine some cheap healthy options to order take out from, shop when your partner is home and just take it easy. let your toddler be special and try to run out w/ them when you can, leave baby at home for some bonding time. be fluid, and know it will never be the perfect day!

I cook dinner in stages...prep in the morning, saute the base at naptime and by dinner there is something to eat!

and yes, the moby wrap or any other is great! I should be wearing mine more. best wishes and you will soon see them smiling at eachother....our toddler is starting to tell our daughter about things..."see baby, this is a frog, etc" makes your heart melt!
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#11 of 13 Old 10-01-2008, 06:41 PM
 
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You will go insane.
No, really, congrats. BTDT. It's hard. Take it one day at a time. It will be years before you'll properly clean your house or get a daily shower again.

milk donation : mother to Ryan (6), AJ (5), Nate (2), Maia (1) all born at home, I have a kid-friendly food & bento blog, : :
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#12 of 13 Old 10-01-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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I almost passed out after DS1's birth after standing up to go to the bathroom. After DS2, I did pass out walking back to the bedroom. So the mw didn't want me going anywhere in the house by myself for the first 3 days-it was a big pain. So maybe be prepared for that given your history?

DH went back to work after a week but it wasn't as bad of an adjustment as I thought. We had 2+ weeks worth of dinners in the freezer and that was a huge help! Right about 4pm everything would sort of fall apart. DS1, who was just starting not to take naps, was cranky, babe needed to sleep and I needed to get dinner going. Being able to just throw something in the oven was great.

My parents also would take DS1 for me. Just to get him out of the house. That was a big help-got some of his energy out and made him feel special. They also would come over and help clean the house.

Ditto everyone else on the baby carrier-our moby made life so much easier!

Lisa, mama to A (3/05) and R (11/07) and L (8/10)
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#13 of 13 Old 10-06-2008, 11:41 AM
 
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Subbing.

Mama to 2 year old and :: June 14th!
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