Two children under two years old might sound like a crazy thought. Let’s face it, having two under two IS crazy. However, being prepared has helped greatly as we transitioned from one to two kids! Here are a few of the ways you can be preparing for baby number #2.
1) Teaching your older one to share. This is an ongoing learning experience for us as we navigate life with a toddler. I do think that teaching her to share before baby came was helpful in preparing her to share mommy and daddy with her new baby sister.
2) Spend extra time with your first during your pregnancy. During my last trimester, I remember feeling sad that I was about to lose that one on one time and relationship with my first. It would remind me to cherish every extra book she would ask me to read, every cuddle, and every cry for mommy. I made sure to give her extra attention and special dates, while also encouraging independent play.
3) Teach your toddler to play independently. Obviously, this does not mean independent play all the time! We would practice having her play with toys on her own while I washed dishes or did laundry so that when baby came and my hands were full, she would know how to play on her own. This has been really helpful when I am nursing the baby. Big sister is able to happily play on the floor next to us.
4) Set up a meal train or prepare freezer meals. Preparing dinner was hard enough with a toddler running around – I can’t even imagine cooking with a newborn as well. Not to mention, you are still healing from childbirth and need to be resting as much as possible! Our church family was kind enough to set up a meal train for us, and you can even set one up for yourself. Also, if you have the time before baby comes, make freezer meals that you can just pop in the crockpot or heat in the oven!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!! Having a baby is hard work. Having 2 babies is even harder. Sometimes it feels burdensome to ask for help, but I promise people want to help you! Ask for specific ways for others to help such as requesting a meal, asking for some groceries, or requesting help with cleaning around the house.
6) Accept generosity from friends and family. In addition to asking for help, you will most likely run into situations where others ask how they can help you or say things like ‘let us know if there is anything we can do’. Our family very rarely took those comments seriously and just said thank you for the polite gesture. However, generosity is a blessing to the receiver and to the giver as well. Allow people in your life to bless you. They will be grateful for the opportunity.
I know having another baby so close to the first can seem daunting and overwhelming, but it has been the best gift we could have asked for. While it certainly has its challenging moments, it has been so fun and enjoyable and I think a big key is preparation. Enjoy the moments with your toddler because they grow so fast, & try not to worry YOU are a superhero 🙂
Alyssa Ma is a wife, mom of two, and has been working at Lander Chiropractic as a massage therapist for the past few years.