Will you help me with a reader question?
Karen asks: My husband and I are considering having a second child. Congratulations on expecting your fourth! Can you give me some advice on adjusting to life with two? My child just turned two.
My guess is there will be as many opinions and tips for this one as there are families with more than one child! The variables are endless, and one thing that will make a difference is the age of the firstborn when the baby arrives.
For us, it was 5 years ago that we went from one child to two. Our oldest was 2 years and 3 months old at the time our second was born. Blessedly, I don’t remember many adjustment struggles now, but I’m sure there were some! Here are a few things that seemed to work well.
- Maturity – Ok, so really… we had nothing to do with this. We just got lucky. Our first-born talked early, potty trained early, pretty much did everything early. That had to have helped, right? She was pretty independent at 2 years old.
- Family Nap – Excuse the “photo of a scrapbook photo” but this illustrates my solution to something near and dear to my heart. How will I ever get my sleep?! In those early days and weeks when mama needed her sleep, the three of us napped together in our big king-sized bed. Bliss.
- Daddy Time – She loved her daddy before, but our big girl became daddy’s best buddy once the baby arrived! They did everything together while I was nursing the baby, or bathing the baby, or nursing the baby, or sleeping with the baby… or nursing the baby.
- Make Room – When daddy was at work, I simply made room for the big girl. She brought her books to me to read while I nursed. She got lots of attention as my “right hand girl” and we cooked together, did laundry together, and cleaned together while the baby was sleeping.
There will likely be trying, exhausting moments as you adjust from one to two, but those moments will pass… and you will adjust! I know it works for some families, but I personally can’t fathom life with an only child. One of the best gifts we’ve ever given our children are their siblings!
What about the rest of you? Was it difficult to go from one to two (or more)? What worked for you?
*** You’ll have to excuse me and my Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me? series organization for the next month or two. In these last weeks of my pregnancy we’re just going to take this series as it comes and not worry about order, okay? (kind of mirroring my life right now!)***
*** If you have a question about pregnancy/childbirth/infant care you’d like to ask my readers, please email me and I’ll work it into the series!***