Mini Wild Child #2 is almost two weeks old and things on the home front have moved along pretty seamlessly. Mini Wild Child #1 is adjusting to his brother well and is helpful and nice. I’m counting my blessings so far and taking note of what is working for us. Here is what I noticed has made my life easier so far.
Involve Your Older Child
Obviously your toddler can’t help with everything but remember that their world is getting knocked for a loop also. This new little stranger is coming into their house and taking their parents attention away. You can ask them to give you diapers or talk to the baby while you are changing their diaper. Having your toddler help with make them feel like an important part of their new siblings life.
Take Time for Yourself
I have a fantastic OB who has a great philosophy about parenthood. We were people before we became parents and we cannot forget that part of us when children come along. She “prescribes” daily quiet time for Mommy and a mandatory date night after a few weeks for both parents. It’s a wonderful outlook and really does help the adjustment process no matter how many children you have. Even if you can’t get the quiet time daily, you need to take some time for yourself when you get it to do the things you did BB (Before Baby). Read a book, go shopping, have a drink or write a blog (wink, wink). Whatever it is, do something you enjoy that has nothing to do with diapers, onesies or Mickey Mouse. If you are breastfeeding, the only thing you HAVE to do is feed the baby. Your partner can handle everything else, I promise. If you are a single parent and doing this on your own, you get my unending respect and hope that you have at least one person nearby who can babysit when you need it.
Enjoy the Sibling Relationship
You no longer have an only child. As your little baby gets older, you will have two little playmates who will play, fight and everything in between. Besides making sure that your toddler doesn’t accidentally hurt the new baby, let them play. Obviously the baby can’t do much but you are letting their relationship develop. If you constantly hover and never let the toddler touch the new baby you are just adding a buffer in their relationship. Let them be.
Keep the Toddlers Schedule
If you had your older child in daycare or some other daily routine, try to keep to that. If you wanted to pull them out to save money, try considering asking for a part time schedule to give you a few hours to just focus on one baby and let your toddler blow off some steam with some kids and less sleep deprived adults. It will also help them adjust at home by still going to their regularly scheduled activities.
Having a baby is a stressful time and having children already at home adds to the stress. Don’t feel guilt by doing what you need to do to adjust to your new life as needed.