Jack has been with us one month already, and so far we have survived! Thankfully, the second time around seems a bit more natural with a smoother transition. There are plenty of similarities when welcoming your second child compared to your first, along with many differences so I thought I’d share…
– Smoother Adjustment: Of course, there are things you forget when caring for a newborn and there are great challenges at times but overall, it’s a smoother adjustment the second time around. You’re already in the rhythm and on a kid-schedule, so welcoming another one into the mix isn’t as difficult. They seem to just fit right in. This makes the newborn phase seem a little extra sweet the second time around.
– Requires More Prep: Plan on it taking longer to prepare your things and make it out the door wherever you’re heading (getting in the car, running errands, playing outside…). You have one more person to account for so this isn’t surprising. And don’t forget to consider the time it’s going to take to breastfeed the baby before leaving.
– Use Your Time Wisely: You get very few hands-free opportunities, so when you do, use it! Newborns are certainly time consuming! During naps I prep dinner, fold laundry, throw a load of laundry in the wash, unload the dishwasher, etc. I take about ten minutes each night to prep for the day ahead. This even includes setting out my morning coffee cup (important) and breakfast bowl. The less I’m scrambling around in the morning with a little one in my hands, the easier it is!
– Greater Helping Hand from the Husband: Having two kids requires the hands of both parents. This is a big difference with having a second child. Since I’m breastfeeding, I’m usually the one caring for Jack, while Peter handles the reigns on Olivia.
– Toddler is Challenging: The newborn may be time-consuming but they are not as challenging as a toddler (in our case)! With the change in the household, it’s common that the toddler will be more challenging at times as they are seeking attention and control. Truly a patience tester at times!
– Slow Your Roll AND Keep It Moving: There’s a balance between slowing down your schedule to care for yourself and the family, BUT also keeping it active for the older child so they’re entertained and happy. Typically, I plan one activity for the day. We head out in the morning before Olivia gets stir crazy, then make it home for naps and take it slow at home in the afternoon.
– Feelings of Excitement, Gratefulness + Sadness: In the beginning, there are feelings all across the board. I was incredibly excited and grateful to welcome another baby to the family, and I found my heart doubled in size. But seeing Olivia lose the one-on-one attention that she had before, hit me with sadness at times. She suddenly felt so much older to us and would never be our little baby again. Waaa! It hit me hard but then I felt so incredibly blessed to have given her a sibling, which is such a gift.