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<p>So I think it just hit me tonight that in 20 weeks I will have a toddler (she will 2.5ish) and a newborn.  We do not have family in town - or family that is likely to fly out for any significant amount of time to help out.  Someone please tell me that I will be able to survive the first couple of sleep-deprived months?</p>
 

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<p>We are in a similar situation except I am on baby #4 (our other kids will be almost 7, 5, and almost 3 when the baby is born). Can your DH take off some time in the first couple of weeks? It's just so important to have help that first couple of weeks when you're recovering and have a toddler running around!</p>
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<p>My other advice (based on when my other kids were born) is to lower your expectations for the first few months. Getting their basic needs met is about all you can hope to do without making yourself crazy. It can be done, though. I was surprised by how "up and about" I was with each of my babies once they were only a few weeks old - lots of multitasking (feeding while coloring with an older child) and planning (I waited until DH was home do do errands like the grocery store or he would go after work for the first few months) but it always goes by so fast when you have other kids to care for!</p>
 

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<p>You'll be just fine as long as you sleep when your baby sleeps. I remember I was determined to sleep seperately and do my regular household duties with a almost 3 year old and a newborn, but that came crashing down at the end of week one. lol Casey wouldn't sleep seperately for more than a half hour and it took another half hour to get her to sleep again. I found MY answer to be co-sleeping and taking naps when baby did. It does help to have someone there for the first week even if it's a friend.</p>
 

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<p>You never know how the baby will  sleep. You might be pleasantly surprised!  Plus, I found that falling into that sleep deprived pattern again was so much easier the second time around.  I knew what to expect, I had some coping tools, I was just mentally stronger.  #2 lived in a baby carrier for the first few months while I got things done and entertained my toddler.  It worked.  Honestly it was farther down the road that got harder for me when #2 was more active and sleeping less.  Preschool was my friend.  Have you looked into a 3 year old class for your first?</p>
 

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<p>I'm sure you'll do just fine, but it may help if you joined a PEPS group and/or started a babysitting CO-OP.  There is a great bunch of women in our area that began a babysitting co-op based on one of the books floating around out there.  They gain points based on how many children they are watching and for each hour.  You could rack up a bunch of points this summer and hopefully count on them to watch your first born when the baby comes.  It can work out very well for those who don't have family near-by, and I would most certainly trust a family I know a lot more than most teenagers.  Plus, it's free!  You end up not having to "owe" any one person and someone is always willing to step up, but it may be difficult for you to get it going depending on what area you live in.</p>
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<p>Or, perhaps you could look into a good nanny?  Just someone to hang with kiddo number 1 while you get a nap or two in? </p>
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<p>I'm sure you'll be just fine, baby #2 will likely get a good amount of sleep and hopefully number 1 will even take a nap or two ;)  I just know, as bad as a wrap as t.v. gets, perhaps you could use that 1/2 hour, hour or two to get some rest in.  We have lots of community centers around here that do "mini-gyms" during the winter which are only $2 drop-in fees for 2-4 hours of play, strap on that babe and watch your toddler enjoy! </p>
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<p>Again, my number one piece of advice would be to find a mother's group!  Meetup.com can be a great place to start. <span><img alt="thumb.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>EDITING TO ASK:  Does your DH/partner have leave from work?  That would probably get you along just fine for the roughest first couple of weeks.  My husband didn't have ANY leave with our first, but will hopefully get at least a week off this go around.  At the very least, you should have Thanksgiving weekend, yeah?</span></p>
 

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<p>I worry too.. My husband will be deployed and most everyone I am close with is six hours plus away.. Thankfully we also have two twelve year olds and a seven year old to help out with our youngest that will be 18 months when this baby gets here.. It does feel very overwhelming at time..</p>
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<p>I just keep telling myself the house can wait and we'll homeschool in my bed if we need to, lol.</p>
 
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