Tips for transition from 1 to 2 - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 01-09-2017, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tips for transition from 1 to 2

Hey there mamas, I'm wondering if any of you have tips for transitioning from 1 child to 2. LO will have just turned 2 when the baby arrives. He's been home with me up until now but is about to start day care part time. I'm feeling a little anxious about how the new baby will effect us all! Any wisdom, wise mamas?

Also, is it completely insane to consider a beach vacation when baby is 6 weeks old? I can barely remember what that time was like. We've been trying to get a solid week at the beach for years but scheduling has always been a problem.
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#2 of 17 Old 01-10-2017, 10:15 AM
 
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I'm in the same boat and I really don't know what to expect or how to manage 2. My LO is going to be 3 when the baby is born, so at least she will be old enough to understand and help with certain things. I keep telling myself that plenty of parents have more than one kid and they do just fine, and I'm at least just as average as those parents so there is no reason to think I won't be able to adjust and be a good mother to 2.

I would love to hear some advice/wisdom from more experienced mothers too!

Mother to DD born August 2014!

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#3 of 17 Old 01-10-2017, 10:45 AM
 
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Great question, @lerlisha I'm definitely hoping we get some replies from mamas with 2+ kiddos...

One piece of advice that I've gotten so far that I like is one of our La Leche League leaders talks about keeping things as "normal" as possible for #1 . So trying not to say to #1 : "We can't do X because of the baby," but rather finding a way to help them do as much as they want to, and let the baby be part of that. She says that she would basically wear the newborn in a sling, and go do whatever her firstborn wanted/needed to do. One factor with this though is recovery -- my recovery from DS's birth was probably about average, but I was NOT ready to hop out of bed and chase around a toddler right after he was born...

I've also read a few Montessori-themed blogs that talk a lot about finding ways to include #1 in the "practical life" of caring for the new baby. Keeping the baby's diapers and other things at a level that #1 can reach, giving them a newborn "foot care kit" and having them be in charge of the baby's feet while you are nursing (I cant remember what exactly they would do (not nail clipping!!) maybe a soft brush or cotton balls or something? Helps to keep the newborn awake for nursing, too). Another thing I've read is to have special toys/books/etc. that are ONLY available during nursing times, so #1 looks forward to when mama will nurse the baby, because he/she can play with/read special/new things.

All of these are just ideas of course, not tested by me yet

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#4 of 17 Old 01-10-2017, 10:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lerlisha View Post
Also, is it completely insane to consider a beach vacation when baby is 6 weeks old? I can barely remember what that time was like. We've been trying to get a solid week at the beach for years but scheduling has always been a problem.
Also -- I don't think a beach vacation at that time would be completely insane! Would you have extra help (family/friends who could entertain your older LO?) For me, and this is an unpredictable factor, the biggest question would just be how well I was healing/if I felt up to it. I'm pretty sure I was still bleeding around 6 weeks, but I also remember starting to pick up a little work around then...and it was also around the time of DS's first smile!! My vote is it could be totally do-able (and maybe relaxing if you had extra help!!) But maybe make reservations that you could cancel or change, just in case you ended up not feeling up for it??

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#5 of 17 Old 01-12-2017, 11:07 AM
 
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@lerlisha -- go on the vacation. It will be fun! We're looking at flying back to Texas around that time to get this baby baptized since all of our family is there, and it feels like it makes more sense this time around.

Also following. It looks like a bunch of us will be making the jump from 1 to 2!

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#6 of 17 Old 01-12-2017, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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@Fembot I know what you mean - people seem to do it and live to tell the tale. I've even seen people manage two with my own two eyes but it still feels daunting.

@FyerFly I love those ideas! I actually have a 9 year old stepson who lives with us 50%. He was 7 when my son was born and we worked really hard to make him part of the team. Not sure how I'll do that with a two year old though!

@FyerFly and @justlizzy , thanks for the words of encouragement about the vacation! I'm hoping we can make it happen.
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#7 of 17 Old 01-13-2017, 12:21 PM
 
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That's great advice to have a newborn footcare kit! It's great to make them feel productive and needed!

I have six children and now #7 on the way. One of the most important things was making the older ones feel like they were part of the whole event. They felt like the baby was theirs too!

I found that continuing to snuggle, read to and have a little alone time with the older ones when possible made them feel much more at ease. I tandem nursed through three of my pregnancies and that really helped. One of my favorite memories, was nursing my toddler with the new baby and the toddler gently enveloped the baby's head with his small hand. He then said, "I'm teaching the baby to nurse." It was magic.

Another really helpful technique is to have the older child buy a present for the baby, then receive presents "from the baby." once the baby was born. This really excited my children and made them feel important, included and loved. I think that never making a correction "because of the baby" is essential. If they are moving too fast I always tell them that I am worried about them bumping into me, not the baby. Really, really important. It avoids most of the resentment that I think comes between siblings.

Wearing your new baby is a great tip too! I wore my sixth on my back when he was very small in a woven wrap. My arms were free for the others during that time and he loved sleeping like this. I also wore him in a ring sling.

Only once did we have an issue. My fourth son felt a little displaced. He eventually said, "I want him (the baby) to go back to his 'friends'" meaning of course wherever he came from before, lol. He was quite serious and concerned. I said, "We are his friends. He only has us to take care of him." My fourth son's eyes widened. He looked compassionately at his little brother and ran to get a toy to give to him and stroked his head, saying that he loved him. He would take care of him. It melted my heart. I tried to make sure my fourth son got some good extra attention to help with his feelings.

I will say that regardless of all these positive measures and interactions, my kids do still have conflict. There is no way to avoid it entirely, but each disagreement is an opportunity for learning and maturing.

You are all going to be fantastic with two. I found three to really blow things out of the water and then after that it was more of the same, LOL!
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#8 of 17 Old 01-15-2017, 03:39 PM
 
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@~Chava~ thanks for sharing, those stories warmed my heart! That's the kind of bond I want my children to have. I love the idea of having the older kid buy a gift for the baby, and in return get a gift from the baby. I've heard the advice of making sure to not say things like "don't do that to the baby" or "No we can't do X because of the baby" because it builds resentment. I think that is so important, so thanks for reinforcing that.

I want my oldest to see this baby as part of HER family. Someone she can help me care for and love on. We give her a lot of freedom in our house, and I hope to give her a lot of freedom with the newborn (within reason, of course!)

I wanted to have my children closer together, like only 2 years apart, but they are going to exactly 3 years apart, which I'm now thankful for. I think my daughter is at a great age to talk about this pregnancy and upcoming baby. Obviously, families make it work at whatever age gap their kids have, so I find comfort in knowing that however it looks, we will adjust and get used to it.

If we could get used to becoming parents for the first time, I'm certain we can adjust to having more than one!
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#9 of 17 Old 03-01-2017, 07:10 AM
 
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Sharing because I totally needed to read this this morning:

http://www.ramshackleglam.stfi.re/20...?sf=rgjxvpv#aa
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#10 of 17 Old 03-01-2017, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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@justlizzy love this! I felt the same as the author, not really willing to leave DS for more than a minute and it's a good reminder that baby-on-the-way might just be ok if I take 15 mins to hang out with my little guy.
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#11 of 17 Old 03-01-2017, 04:37 PM
 
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Great read, @justlizzy . The tandem nursing book (that I'm almost finished with!) also recommends 15 minutes of one-on-one playtime with your older one each day - not just reading books but play play. Like you @lerlisha I was pretty constantly attached to DS, and I think it will be better for all of us this time around, including the new baby, if I'm not quite so intense and am a little more flexible (about putting the baby down for a few minutes and/or leaving DH or another family member alone to figure things out a little longer before "butting in" and taking over...)

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#12 of 17 Old 04-12-2017, 07:12 PM
 
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Anyone have any luck with or new plans for preparing older siblings for the new baby? Its starting to be on my mind more, now that we're on the "other side" of 20 weeks. We got a book from our library book sale about a new baby, and DS requests it often, so that seems like a good start. I've also started pointing out babies we see in public, including an especially tiny one today. Funny enough, its actually the best when a baby is crying loudly in public haha - I'll say "hear the baby crying, DS? Our baby is going to cry like that too." He got to see a mom nursing a baby in a restaurant last weekend, I pointed it out to him and he commented about how the baby was having milk.

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#13 of 17 Old 04-14-2017, 01:33 PM
 
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We've started reading books -- if you can find the one by Mr. Rogers it's really good and one of DS's favorites. Of all things we've been talking about nursing and what boobs are lately. He tried to nurse for the first time in nearly two months a few night ago and we had a talk about how mommy doesn't make milk anymore, and the milk mommy makes is for babies so they can nurse because they can't eat big boy things like ice cream. Now he has to point out where BOTH my boobs and the baby are every night. DS is the one who points out babies in public, and we've been trying to explain that someday the baby in mommy's tummy will be outside like those babies.
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#14 of 17 Old 04-14-2017, 02:13 PM
 
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Trying something with an almost 3-year-old future big sister
in about a month. I'm have her play at being a part of things.
She got her own snuggly, pack and play folding bed, doll,
cradle and doll-sized diapers. We set up a little nursery (big
closet) for her doll and furniture for her to play at being big
sister.
She carries her doll or stuffy on her in her snuggly (one made
for children to use with dolls) quite a bit, sings the doll to sleep
for naps and is quite bossy in maintaining quiet during naps, tries
to get cloths on, fills and refills a little set of drawers in the pretend
nursery with odd socks and clothing and gives the baby or babies
(stuffies) baths filled with pretend water (got the tub she used to get
baths in out for her to use with the doll). She's got a set of empty
bottles to use as pretend baby soap, baby shampoo etc and of course
bubble bath. As she does the bathing we talk about how soft baby's
skin is and keeping things clean.
I've got to cut some rags to make wipes to clean the babies bottom.
She's learned from books that needs to be done once the baby poops
or pees and we've been using toilet paper (too rough we agree).
She'll declare the baby has pooped or needs milk and handles it.
I think all this will help her be happy and helpful as a big sister.
It's fun playing with her and she does want to pack all the doll and
all her (the doll's) stuff when it's time to go somewhere
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#15 of 17 Old 04-17-2017, 06:01 AM
 
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DS and the baby have started interacting! Well, sort of. DS came up and did a toddler crazy dance then said "poke bebe" and poked me, then the baby went and kicked where I was poked. The baby also pushed against DS whenever I'm holding him too. I'm taking this as a good sign that they'll be best buddies.
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#16 of 17 Old 04-17-2017, 07:53 PM
 
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@justlizzy aaaaahhhhh!!!! So sweet!!!!! That is the cutest, love it!

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#17 of 17 Old 04-19-2017, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We got DS a couple of baby dolls that he hugs and loves on and we talk about how we'll have a real baby one day soon. He's only 21 months and he's still not talking much (the speech pathologist insists he's going to have a language explosion any day now...), so it's hard to know exactly how much he understands. He's showing a lot of interest in babies when we're out at the park and perks up when I talk about the baby in my belly. Overall, DS is more of an observer than a participant so I imagine he's taking his time processing and getting used to the idea. He definitely knows something is up. I can tell by the way he touches my belly and something about the way he looks at me when we talk about it.
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