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Anyone have a really seamless transition going from 1 to 2 children?

1255 Views 31 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Michelle Leigh
Just thought I'd try to get the FLIP side to all the horror stories about the transition from 1 to 2 children (if there is a flip side!). Anyone out there have an easy or at least NOT difficult time with this transition???

I am expecting #2 in August and trying to remain positive!

TIA for any insight.
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The transition from one to two was fairly seamless. I was a little worried but after the first few days, I knew it was fine. It continued to be comfortable until ds2 started crawling. That's where we hit our adjustment bump (or cliff, if you will...) You do everything the same as always, only with one hand. The thing I loved was actually being able to hold and snuggle ds1 again, without my big tummy in the way! And he actually fit in my lap again, even with baby he fit better than when I'd been pregnant. Oh, those are such sweet memories. He used to climb up on me when A was nursing and snuggle in and put his cheek on A's head. It would only last a minute befor ehe was off going again, but it was heaven for that moment.

I also realized I could get up and walk around while nursing if I needed to. Came as a huge suprize that the ability to do that exhists. When it's either that or unlatch a content baby... you adapt.
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Hunter is only 1 month old, but so far everything has been great. Austin loves Hunter, hugs & kisses him. Always talks to him and asks about him. No jealousy at all. Both are nursing great.

We all manage to shower/bathe, dress, etc daily with no hassles. Dinner is on the table every night by 6. House is clean, toys picked up, laundry done every night before we go to bed. I swear I'm more on top of things now than when it was just Austin - LOL.

We've only been out a few times, but when we do (if Daddy isn't with us), Hunter is in the KK pouch, and Austin is in the stroller, walking or shopping cart. On the occassion that he gets mad/upset while out, I end up carrying him as well for a bit, or we sit down while he cools off.

I am a big planner/organizer type person, so we have a diaper bag that always stays in the car with snacks, drinks, diapers, first aid, wipes, spare clothes, nursing pads, toys & books. Also if we're going out one day, I prepare everything the night before when DH can watch them, and put all our outfits out on the dresser, and pack the travel diaper bag in the chair by the front door. Much easier in the morning when it's just me rushing to get all 3 of us ready and out the door by a certain time.

I also admit that since DH works from home Tues & Thurs - I get to sleep in while he watches Austin. Much easier on me that way.

I'm sure you'll be fine.
Everyone kept telling me how since Austin was so attached he'd hate Hunter, be jealous, cranky, etc. And how I'd never get anything done, be stuck on the couch all day nursing, etc. I just pop Hunter in the sling and everyone is happy. Or if we sit down, it's Austin's storytime. The best thing I've done lately is get a ton of stickers. He sits with me when I'm nursing Hunter, and fills his papers with stickers. No mess, and he's content as can be, and likes me to help and make up stories about all the stickers.

I've rambled enough.
I'm sure once Hunter gets mobile, it'll change from being so easy - but for now, it's a lot better than I expected.

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My dd was born 19 months after ds, and I prepared myself for the worst.

Instead, I got a chance to witness the most beautiful sibling relationship I have ever seen. They mutually adore each other, and it has been that way since the start. Ds was so eager to take care of her. Cover her, sing to her, show her toys, and play near her. There was never any jealousy, ever. Every single picture we have of them together, you can see the love, and the care. It's really amazing.

As for me, ds was so active, energetic, non sleeping and wild, that sweet, laid back, sleep happy dd was a gift. It was so much easier to have two than one. I know that makes no sense, but it is true.

They are now 5 and almost 4, and they are still very happy to be together, play together and are very attached to one another. The outside friends that they have are friends of both of them. It is so beautiful to see them like this.
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Oh, mine are buds, too. They are three years and a day apart and DS1 was eager to help me in the beginning by getting my water bottle from the fridge, fetching the remote so we could watch Noggin together, etc.

One thing that I did that I read somewhere was when he came to visit me in the hospital the first time, I made sure I was not holding DS2. He came in, I greeted him and kissed him, talked to him a few minutes about what he had been doing at Mamaw's house, and then we showed him DS2 and introduced him to Will. Dunno if that helped or not, but psychologically it seemed to make sense to me so we did it.

I tihnk that and encouraging DS1's involvement with the baby really paid off. I have friends who were terrified their first would hurt their second or make them sick, and wouldn't let them touch or hold and those are the ones with the worst rivalries. I know there are circumstances where an oldest shouldn't kiss or touch a NB (preemies and etc.) but I really think that worsens the older child's feelings of exclusion, yk?
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The transition for us was pretty easy. Both girls are laid-back so that probably helped. Also dd1 was only 15mth when I had dd2 so she didn't really realise what was going on apart from the fact that I wasn't home for a few days.

Dd1 loves her sister. You can see how she interact with her. She kiss and touch her gently and she doesn't show no sign of jealousy at all. And I don't forsee any.

I love the reaction of strangers when they see me with dd1 on my hips and the infant carrier in my hand. They are amazed that I'm out and about.
It hasn't been so bad for me. Thank goodness only my first is a "spirited" child, the baby is so calm and nothing ever bothers her.

But what helped the most, in my opinion, was tandem nursing. We have our moments, as I'm sure everyone does, but mostly there isn't a big problem with jealousy or competitiveness going on in our house (like I was so afraid there would be).

The most amazing thing is the way they look at each other with adoration in their eyes, it makes me so happy to see how much they love each other
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I think our transition from 1 to 3 (we had twins) went fairly smoothly. My dd is really fairly easygoing and we had talked to her all the time about the babies coming, how we treat the babies, how we touch the babies etc. We got her a couple of twin baby dolls that she could learn on, so to speak. We practiced touching gently, holding their hand, cuddling etc.. She also has a fantastic dcp and there was a baby there for a while. The reinforced everything we'd been working on at home with the baby there.

When the boys came home she woke up at around 2 am for about 3 or 4 days upon my return from the hospital crying and inconsolable. We took her to bed with us and she was fine. After those first few days, she went to bed and was fine and didn't wake at all again. She also hit the babies once or twice. I don't think she did it to hurt them, but rather to see what would happen if she did. She didn't like that daddy was mad or that mommy was sad and that the babies were crying, so she never did it again.

Overall, it's been really good for us. I hope it goes great for you too!
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Ahhh, there is HOPE!
Thank youk, thank you, thank you to everyone that has posted. I've even posted the "C'mon, tell me how horrible the transition was" threads and gotten really negative (but REAL and I do need to know REAL) responses. I figured it would do my psyche good to hear the flip side.

Jamama-I am very adept at doing just about anything and nursing!
DS#1 was/is a very spirited child who has had many, many sleep challenges since birth. I walked around the house nursing all the time. In fact, if necessary, I walked about the grovery store nursing, too. It's amazing what you learn you can do. And I'm sure there will be much more for me to learn down the road...

Rissa-Your organizational skills inspire me! I am fairly organized with DS#1 (he'll be 30 months when baby #2 arrives). But I think it's probably WAY easier to feel "prepared" when you have just one. Then again, who knows b/c some of these responses are saying the oppposite. DH currently has a very flexible schedule-which I know will really help (we're not sure how long it will last, though).

Alison-Your description of your DS#1 perfectly describes my boy. I really didn't even KNOW or couldn't comprehend that some babies actually SLEEP and are happy babies until we were out of the woods of the newborn phase with DS and came out of our SHOCK (DS's newborn total non-sleeping phase lasted about 5-6 months-and it wasn't until his 2nd b-day that he actually slept soundly and for the most part many nights, "Thru the night".
Your words of how beautiful their relationship is is exactly what I needed to hear today! I can't wait to see what I truly HOPE develops.

Tracymom-I like what you wrote about your hospital experience. We have thus far not made a huge deal about me being pregnant. Now, as I'm less than 8 weeks away from giving birth and HUGE-we talk about it a little more. He kisses my belly, says that he's going to sleep with the baby, etc (we co-sleep). I've already told him that a new baby cries a lot and nurses a lot. And sometimes I say, "What will our new baby do a lot of after it's born?" And he'll say, "Nurse a lot". So, I think we will handle the hospital situation very much like you did. I don't want to overwhelm him with it-like shove it down his throat sort of thing-. I think sometimes people can make such a HUGE deal about the second baby (even while preggers) that it can really work to do the opposite of what the parents intended.

Sandrine-Glad to know that you've proved all those strangers wrong about getting out and about! I hope to be that mama, too!!

stafl-I am still nursing DS#1, and even though I honestly thought I would wean by this point in the pregnancy, I am content with our nursing relationship now. We nurse for naps and for bedtime/storytime. And I'm imaginging we'll keep this up for some time!

fleurette-Wow-thanks for the good stories of going from 1-3! I think the hitting thing is fairly normal. I have a friend who is going thru something similiar with her toddler and newborn. Thank you for the encouragement.

Thank you ALL for the encouragement. It means A LOT to me. We had a really tough time with DS's newborn months. He can be a challenging child and is really spirited and I'm worried about the transition and this really, really, helps me get my mind around the positive aspects of this new experience.

Keep it cominng! I think I will print these responses out and hang them on my fridge for when I'm getting anxious!

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Originally Posted by Bearsmama
We have thus far not made a huge deal about me being pregnant. Now, as I'm less than 8 weeks away from giving birth and HUGE-we talk about it a little more. He kisses my belly, says that he's going to sleep with the baby, etc (we co-sleep). I've already told him that a new baby cries a lot and nurses a lot. And sometimes I say, "What will our new baby do a lot of after it's born?" And he'll say, "Nurse a lot". So, I think we will handle the hospital situation very much like you did. I don't want to overwhelm him with it-like shove it down his throat sort of thing-. I think sometimes people can make such a HUGE deal about the second baby (even while preggers) that it can really work to do the opposite of what the parents intended.
I agree. I had another thought and realized I didn't communicate it all that well. I seem to remember that the reason we did the meeting that way was that so the focus could be on DS1 rather than DS2 and to make it as unthreatening as possible. I think what you have done so far sounds lovely in preparation!
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Hey Bearsmama! I almost pm'd you with my 'inspirational' story and then I saw this thread!

I know we're both the mom of high high high needs two year old boys (wasn't yours born in Jan '02 too?). I just had my second ds on May 14th and I cannot tell you how smooth this transition has been. The one thing that has made it easy is ds2's temperment. He is the polar opposite of ds1. He is mellow, enjoys being cuddled and held, is an awsome nurser and doesn't mind spending some time in a bouncy seat/swing. He is still sleeping quite a bit, so that makes things easier right now and unlike ds1, he is able to sleep without being held. Ds1 at that age (and up to age 6 months) couldn't sleep without being in my arms--not even one time!

Of course I'm not able to accomplish much non-child related right now and accepting that fact has made everything easier. Ds2 eats every hour, they are both in diapers, ds1 still is very needy--this keeps me very busy, not to mention that I am fairly sleep deprived, yet I can say with all honesty that the transition from one to two has been a TRILLION times easier than the transition from zero to one. Sometimes I wonder how much easier first time motherhood would have been if ds1 had been like ds2. It would have been a breeze, but I am thankful that if one of them had to be high-needs, it was my first, because I was able to really focus on him and help him through those terrible first few months when he did nothing but cry.

So, for you, Bearsmama, I am hoping that you too have a mellow second baby or at least one with a 'normal' temperment. You will be fine, just go into it knowing that things will be different. The first week is the roughest, because you are trying to get to know your new baby and figure out how he/she works, but after that it, for me anyway, has been very smooth sailing.


Also, co-sleeping with 2 has went much smoother than I ever expected. Dh was just convinced that every time ds2 would cry or stir, ds1 would wake up and not be able to go back to sleep. Secretly, I was too. But we've found that some babies DO sleep fairly well and DON'T cry all night. As a matter of fact, ds2 never cries at night. I hear him start to stir and get him nursed pronto and ds1 is none the wiser. It has been so easy and there is nothing sweeter than sleeping with two boys.

Is your ds night-weaned? My ds1 doesn't nurse anymore, and I can say that I could not imagine nursing two at night. I know there are lots of mamas here that do that, but personally, I don't think I could handle it.
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My ds was 4 (almost to the day) when his sister was born. Both kids were born at home. When dd came at midnight, ds was barely awake, he smiled sleepily when we told him his baby sister was finally here.

I was disappointed, b/c I wanted ds to 'see' dd come into the world, be connected like that. Well, the next morning (I barely slept, so I was awake), he pokes his little head over our bed & says, "I had a dream the baby was here" Sooo sweet. He was so excited, and we made a spot for him right next to her, and I've never seen him so happy in my life. The way he smiled...I have that picture in my mind forever.

They have had a stellar relationship for 3 years now, with us having to occasionally remind him that his job is protect her, not use her as an experiment. And remind her that he is not her personal whipping post.

It's all in how you handle it. my brother remembers the day I was 'brought home' from the hospital...with disdain. It was not a positive experience for him, tho' we were & and are still friends, growing up in general was not a positive experience, for family reasons.
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Tracy-Yes, I am trying to make the whole thing very non-threatening. And your thoughts on the after-birth first meeting scenario I will steal for our family! Thank you for your kind words.

TheluckyOne-Yes, I have a January '02 son, too! You have a good memory!
Maybe it's something about January babies? A Capricorn thing, perhaps???
Congrats on your newest addition. I am thrilled to hear that it's been going so well for you. It's funny, even though I really thought I would be "prepared" from going from ONE to NONE-I don't think ANYTHING can fully prepare you. Plus, you never know that you're going to get a really spirited, challenging babe who is unlike most babes you know. So, DH and I have said recently that #1 was so challenging we can't imagine a new one being MORE challenging. So, we've BTDT. And I find that the scariest part of anything is going into the unknown. So, we know this scary part already. And if the new one is a breeze-or even just a little easier than #1, well, it will be like Christmas around here! Don't get me wrong, I realize that some of the same challenges will still apply regardless of what kind of temperament the new baby has. I still have to resign myself to a lot less activity, a lot less "freedom" to run to the grocery store, etc. I know there will be challenges logistics-wise. I'm just so happy that all the mamas here have had a really positive experience. I need to soak all this up!

Mountain-What a sweet meeting between your children! I hope you have a picture (like you said, it's imprinted in your mind) of that great smile. I think you are absolutely right about how that first meeting can really set the tone for the sibling relationship sometimes.
Thank you, thank you all...
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Just wanted share my story also. I had virtually no problems going from 1 to 2. My ds was almost 3 y/o than dd when she was born but we had ds in the hospital room with us when she was delivered. It was the sweetest thing, but the next morning ds was in bed with dd and I when I woke up. He was laying on his side with his hand on her head and was gently stroking it. I just watched him form his bond with his sister and they have had an incredible relationship ever since. I hope and pray that your transition is that simple. Best Wishes!
We also had little problems going from 1 to 2. My girls are 16 months apart, and I had my easygoing baby first. So she has had little problem dealing with dd2. dd1 is so independant that it never bothered her that DH or I would hold dd2 or feed dd2. dd2 is a much higher needs baby, but in the last few months has calmed down a great deal.

Now dd1 will bring dd2 toys and hug her, or pat her on the head. It's the most precious thing I've ever seen!
Goldiemom-Thanks for sharing your experience and for the well-wishes. I'm hoping that our family's transition is similar to yours!

squintz22-Thank you, too, for sharing your experience. I can't wait to see the sweet things!
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Our transition was very smooth also -- dd was a month shy of 3 years old when ds was born. Like a couple other posters, I had a high-needs #1 who totally overwhelmed me when she was born -- going from none to one was a total shock, leaving me feeling like a hurricane had swept through my life. Compared to that, #2 was a piece of cake! One thing is that you appreciate how easy the newborn period can be when you're used to the more complex issues that come up with a 2 year old! And our #2 was the most mellow baby -- I kept joking that I'd finally gotten the baby the books were talking about
The nurses were laughing at me in the hospital when I was worried that ds wasn't nursing enough because he was going 2 hours between feedings (#1 went 30 minutes max between feedings as a newborn).

I'll never forget the first few days of ds' life. With my dd, her first few months were so surreal, I hardly remember them. With ds, I knew how to take care of a newborn, and I just relaxed and fell in love during those early days.

I was worried about the lack of freedom due to having a harder time getting out, and I do go out much less, but I find that I no longer have that overwhelming need to get out of the house these days. Keeping up with the two kiddos and the house and dinner and two naps keeps me so busy that I don't have time to go stir-crazy

I had never figured out slinging with my dd until she was old enough for the hip carry, but forced myself to practice until I got it with ds, and it was wonderful. When I needed to run errands, I'd tuck ds in the sling and he would inevitably drift off to sleep as I walked around. It got so that I would plan my errands around his morning nap since he would sleep in the sling.

I even have the luxurious experience of having both kids nap at the same time most days!

Our biggest problem was that dd acted out a bit after the first month or so, behaving badly and having a lot of potty accidents, which tried my patience, but in the grand scheme of things wasn't so bad.

DD is now almost 4 and ds is almost 1 (where did the time go?) and we're still having lots of fun. DD talks all the time about how much she loves her little brother
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Nicole-Thank you! Your experience with your first really mirrors mine with DS. I was completely overwhelmed after he was born. He was colicky, a HUGE nurser-on no schedule (which was fine, as we nursed on demand, but TIRING!), and just wide-eyed and never sleeping in general. DH and I never felt that we were doing anything "right" b/c we nursed, co-slept, wore DS everywhere and STILL he was just, well, DS!

I think I've amended my expectations b/c of my first child's newborn days. So, anything else will be a pleasant surprise!
Your personal accounts are all so encouraging! Dh and I were just talking last night about how jarring our transition into parenthood was. Ds was "high maintenance" from day one. We both have a feeling that going from one to two kids will be easier for us.

We're expecting Lila in mid-July, and ds will be 3 in early August. So far her temperament in the womb is very different from ds's. Ds just pummeled me night and day. Lila wiggles some, and gives me a few good jabs every day. But she does sleep a lot more that he did! Hopefully, that will continue.

Ds will be here with us for Lila's homebirth. With some cousins (and an aunt) to help him. I don't expect him to pay much attention to me or the birth. Cousin Gabe is 12, and ds already has an agenda planned.
Like many others here, my first was very high-needs. She was 22 months when DS was born - and by then, had become an extremely independent toddler. Whatever she could do by herself, she wanted to do by herself! We tandem nursed for a couple of months until she self-weaned at 24 months, and toilet-trained at the same time.

DS was, on the other hand, the world's most laid-back baby. Actually, according to my mom (who really does have TONS of baby experience), he was closer to 'normal' than my daughter, who would spend hours screaming as an infant. I couldn't believe that DS would actually just nurse, sleep, wake up, look around, nurse some more, and sleep some more, without ever screaming his lungs off for hours at a time or stubbornly refusing to sleep after nursing. They'd even nap at the same time!

So, between my calm newborn and my independent toddler, we never did have any problems. Seriously. We were so prepared for trouble and it just didn't happen - I sent DH back to work within a week when he had reserved his entire vacation plus as much family leave as we could afford.
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