5 Lessons You’ll Learn When Going From One to Two Children
Congratulations on your second pregnancy! While expanding your family is such a sweet time, you may also be wondering how you’re going to manage around-the-clock care for your newborn with a toddler running around who also needs your attention.
To help you ease your mind, here are five things you’ll learn when going from one to two kids.
Your mum or dad instincts really kick in.
When you’re thinking into the future about how you’ll manage feeding, changing, toddler care, and household chores, this hypothetical laundry list of things to get done can quickly become overwhelming. But when the baby is here and you’re in the thick of it, it will probably surprise you how well you can adapt. While it might be hectic at first, you and your partner will eventually find your rhythm and new norm.
Tip: Planning a schedule in advance and designating which tasks will be done by which parent can help heaps before the baby arrives. But remember to stay flexible, as you may need to make amendments to the plan once you’re a family of three! Just trust your gut and do what works best for your family.
You will probably feel some guilt, but it’s normal and manageable.
Almost every parent will feel some sort of guilt when they bring home a new baby. No matter your best efforts, there will come a time when your toddler really wants you, but you need to be feeding the baby or when they act out, because they are used to getting all of the attention. However, as your toddler gets more used to being a big brother or sister, they’ll start to adapt to the new family dynamic. As this progresses, it will alleviate that second-time mum guilt.
Tip: Especially in those first few months, try to plan some one-on-one time with your toddler. You can drop the baby off at grandma’s house and go on a quick ice cream run, or just have dad/mom take the baby into another room while you play alone for a few moments. This one-on-one time will mean the world to your toddler – and can help you as well if mum guilt is trying to creep in!
Caring for your second newborn is (usually) less stressful than caring for your first newborn.
When you find out you’re pregnant for a second time, you may have flashbacks to the early days of being a brand-new parent and not knowing what to do. However, with your second baby, you’ll be more ready for newborn life since you’ve already survived it once, which will help now that you’ll have two kids to care for. You’ll also probably have realised that there is no such thing as a perfect parent, which will really help you as you navigate this new chapter of parenthood.
Tip: Remember to not compare your family to any other family of three (or four or five). Even if it seems like they have it all together, all families face their own struggles. Just focus on yourself, your partner, and your kids, and you’ll all settle into your new norm in a way that works for you.
Your day-to-day routine won’t change as drastically as it did going from 0-1 children.
When you go from zero to one kid, your life changes massively. But when you have your second baby, they’ll likely fit right into your existing routine as a parent. By now, you’re probably used to waking up early, getting kids dressed, bath times, reading bedtime stories, and more. With a new baby, you’ll certainly be a bit more sleep deprived and have some more responsibilities, but you’ll notice you can keep a lot of your normal day-to-day routine intact.
Tip: Sticking as much to your toddler’s daily routine as possible should be one of the top priorities when you come home with a newborn. Your first-born’s life will change with the introduction of their sibling, but if you can keep some normalcy with their routine, it will help them adjust to this family dynamic change – even if this means a lot of tag-team parenting.
There’s nothing sweeter than a sibling relationship.
When you first bring your baby home from the hospital, many toddlers won’t show too much interest (mostly because all newborns really do is sleep and eat). But once your baby starts getting older, your toddler will likely start taking more of an interest in them. During this time, you’ll start to see things like your toddler acting silly and your baby giggling at them. These little interactions is what makes going from one to two children so sweet.
Tip: When your toddler starts interacting more with your baby, be sure to praise them when they are behaving well, like when they hold the baby gently or play with them nicely. Also giving them special tasks like picking out the baby’s outfit for the day or going to wake them up from their nap could make your toddler more excited about the new addition to the family.
While bringing a new baby home can be nerve-racking, we hope that reading these five lessons you’re soon to learn ahead of time will ease your mind, so you can enjoy your second pregnancy! In the end, growing your family is a beautiful experience, and no matter how long it takes for your first-born to adjust, they will get there eventually as you sink into your new norm as a family of three.