Showing posts with label From One To Two. Show all posts
Showing posts with label From One To Two. Show all posts

From One To Two - Becoming A Big Sibling



When I was writing posts for my "From One To Two" series, I got questions from several people asking whether I had any tips for helping your toddler with the transition after having a new baby.  However, this was one subject I felt I didn't really have any good tips on! Wyatt adjusted pretty easily after we had Gwen, and there weren't a lot of difficulties that would give me a good basis for advice.  

However, I knew one of my dear blog friends, Kara, did have more experience on helping a toddler who is having trouble adjusting to baby, and I asked her if she would write a guest post for me.  I have to say, I love all her tips!  Kara is such a godly mother, and I loved reading her perspective on this.  I knew she would have good advice, just as she always does on her own blog, Just 1 Step.

I'm keeping everything she mentioned here in mind for when we have this next baby - Wyatt will be a little older, and it is yet to be seen how he will react to a new baby now that he understands a little bit more.

So without further ado, for tips on helping your toddler with the transition from only child to big sibling, read on!


-----------------


As I neared the end of my second pregnancy in the summer of 2012, I had several friends tell me stories about their first-born children struggling with the arrival of their second child. Most of these tales involved toddlers who became angry and defiant toward their mothers. Given that our then 2-year-old, Krewson, was a HUGE Daddy’s boy and gave me very little attention anyways if Daddy was around, I figured things couldn’t get much worse and that there would be no reason for him to lash out at me for bringing home a baby. I listened to their stories, put them in a “could possibly happen but probably won’t” box in the back of my brain, and excitedly prepped for the arrival of our second son.

Our second child, Greyden, was born on July 28th, 2012. I was so excited for Krew to come meet Grey at the hospital, but the encounter was far less exciting than I had hoped. Krew looked at the baby, sort of half-smiled like what in the world is that thing and what is going on, carelessly dropped the ball we’d purchased for him to give as a gift on top of Grey, then proceeded to run around the hospital room playing with all the relatives, never giving his new little brother a second glance.




We arrived home as a family a couple days later, and it became obvious fairly quickly that Krew was not overly excited about having a new sibling. He showed absolutely no interest in the baby and strongly disliked the crying. My husband (Dave) and relatives showered Krew with attention while I tended to Greyden, which seemed like the best thing to do, but before long it started to backfire.


For some reason that I’ll never understand, Krew started to avoid me and lash out at me, just as I had heard others relate. It absolutely broke my heart. He didn’t want to be in the same room as me, and flat out said so. He wouldn’t let me touch him or hug him. He would push on me and tell me to go away. He would gleefully run to anyone else, especially his daddy, but gave me a cold shoulder almost every time I initiated conversation or contact.


I cried and cried and cried, wondered what I had done to my child that he would hate me so much, questioned how I’d ever thought it would be ok to bring another child into our home. I felt like I’d ruined Krew’s life and mine. It was a difficult experience in the midst of dealing with a newborn and all the raging hormones and life changes that go along with that.


I’ll never forget the day that marked the turning point in those struggles with Krew. Dave had to leave for ultimate frisbee practice for the day, and so Krew had to stay home with me and the baby by ourselves for the first time. As Dave was leaving, Krew was hysterical crying. I yelled to Dave, “Lock the door!” because I knew Krew would try to run out the door after him as he left. Sure enough, as soon as Dave was gone, Krew hung by the front door, sobbing, pounding on the door screaming, “Daddy come home!! Daddy come home!!” I sat in the living room, nursing Greyden, tears of hurt and betrayal and uncertainty pouring down my face. At one point Krew’s screaming stopped, and he came walking into the living room. He took one look at me, turned around, ran back to the front door, and started sobbing and yelling and pounding all over again.


After 10 to 15 minutes, Krew realized his daddy wasn’t coming back and came whimpering into the living room. I asked, “Do you want me to hold you?” He answered, “Yes.” I put Greyden down on the floor and pulled Krew into my lap, and as I did he angrily kicked the Boppy I had been using to nurse Grey. Then he curled up in a ball in my arms and cried and cried and cried.


It was an incredibly emotional day, but we had a breakthrough. Once the tears ended, a wall had been knocked down. Krew started acting like my little boy again. That night I laid in his bed with him for a while, and he reached over and grabbed my arm and pulled it around his little body. I cried silent tears of relief and thanksgiving and thanked God for that moment a million times over.




I’m writing this blog post because Callie asked me to share my tips on helping a toddler transition to having a new baby in the house. I felt that it was important to share my story first so that you understand where I’m coming from. Our transition was anything but easy, and one of the most painful times in my parenting experience so far. But I do feel that I can provide some helpful advice as a result.


1) Make sure both parents are spending equal amounts of time with the toddler.

In most cases, as in ours, I would assume that the dad tends to spend a lot more time with the toddler than the mother. But I can imagine there are situations where it is reversed. Whatever the case, just make sure the toddler is getting an equal amount of attention from both parents. If one parent gives a lot more attention to the toddler and the other gives a lot more attention to the baby, this sets up the parent with the baby to be the bad guy. Not a good at all.

2) Make sure this time with the toddler is QUALITY time.

When parents are spending their time with the toddler (#1), make sure a good chunk of this is fun quality time. Do things the toddler wants to do. Read a book, play a game, go outside, run in circles through the house, have a tickle fight, whatever. Just make sure you are doing activities that bring your toddler joy. Forget the housework and to-do list for a bit and instead focus on bonding with your child and reassuring him that life is still ok.

3) When relatives offer to take the toddler to give you a break, ask them to take the newborn instead.

This is counter-intuitive, but it’s very important. Your toddler needs moments where he feels like he still has his old life. He needs time with his parents, time to be the center of their attention. Although he will enjoy attention from relatives, this won’t help at all to reassure him that his parents are still as devoted to him as they were prior to the new baby. So hand off the new baby, not the toddler.



4) Do not allow aggressive or defiant behavior.

Maintain your rules and your methods of discipline. When Krew pushed me or spoke rudely, he received the same reprimanding that he would have received prior to Greyden being born. This does two things. First, it prevents any defiant or aggressive behavior from becoming acceptable and habitual in the toddler’s head. Second, it maintains consistency in the toddler’s life. The same behaviors that were unacceptable prior to the new baby are still unacceptable after the baby.

5) Allow non-defiant regression.

Krew wanted to suck on a pacifier, lay in the baby’s crib, and lay on the changing table. All things he hadn’t done for quite a while. But we let him. I’d read about this type of regressive behavior, and I’d read to just go along with it. We did, and it all passed fairly quickly.

6) Try having your toddler “help” with the baby, but don’t get your hopes up.

Prior to Greyden being born, I had read that it was good to have your toddler help with the new baby in order to keep him feeling involved. I tried this, and it didn’t work. I would ask Krew if he wanted to help with little thing (baths, getting me a pacifier, talking to the baby, etc.) and 9 times out of 10 the answer was NO. We didn’t push it, and I really think it was the best choice. No sense in making him see the baby as even more of a hindrance on his life than he already did.



7) Pray for your toddler and for yourselves.

I wish I had done more of this. Pray for your toddler, and pray for you and your spouse as parents. Pray that God direct you in the best way to handle your situation. Every family’s situation is unique and will need a slightly (or drastically) different approach. Pray that God help you find it. Also pray that God take away any fears, anxieties, or hurts in your toddler’s heart. He knows better than anyone what is going on inside that little toddler’s soul, and He can help you better than any book, article, or blog post.

8) Be patient.

If you do end up with a struggling toddler, healing and adjustment to the transition will take time. You must be patient. I have heard of toddler acting up for months when a new baby arrives. MONTHS. Thank the Lord this did not happen for us (our biggest struggle was just for a couple weeks), but it does happen. You have to be strong and have faith that this too shall pass. Maintain your consistency, follow the steps above, and wait. It’s hard but necessary.

9) Finally, give yourself grace.

I hate to break it to you, but you’re going to mess up this thing called parenting. You already have, I already have. We’re fallen adults trying to raise fallen children in a fallen world. We cannot ever know how to best handle every parenting situation, and even if we did know, I don’t think we’d have the willpower or strength to follow through with it. Learn to rely on your Father to guide you. Extend yourself grace for your messups just as you know He does. He gave you your children, and He’s there to help you raise them. Listen for His voice and follow His direction. You’ll make it through.



Now, Greyden at 18 months and Krew at almost 4.

17 Ways To Make Your Oldest Feel Special


DSC 8813blog

Transitioning from one to two kids can be harder on your first child than it is on you sometimes.  It's a big change to all of a sudden not be the only kid int he house anymore.  Add in to that all the attention that the new baby inevitably gets, and the first child can end up feeling ignored.

Whether your child has a really hard time adjusting or they fall into the role of older sibling with no hiccups at all, they still need to know that they are important.  Here are a few ideas for reminding your first baby that they are still special to you!



1. Sit on the floor and do something your toddler wants to do while the baby naps.

2. Buy some craft supplies.  Put the baby in the pack-and-play for a while, and do a craft together.

3. Recognize all the cute things your oldest does and tell them how adorable they are!  Everyone exclaims over the new baby, make sure you exclaim over both of your kids' cuteness.

4. Give them opportunities to help you with things. Praise them whenever they do!

5. Let them cuddle with you on the couch while you are feeding the baby (no reason you can't snuggle both of them at once).

6. Watch one of their kid movies with them.

7. Make them cookies or some other special treat, and make a big deal about how you are making it especially for them.

8.  Take the opportunity to buy them that apple juice at Starbucks or little toy at the grocery store.  You have limited time left while you only have to buy one thing instead of two!

9.  Take a minute to sing them a silly song or dance with them around the kitchen.

10.  Strap the baby into the carrier and go exploring outside with your toddler.

11. Take them on a "date".  Leave the baby with your husband or other family member, take them to the movies, take them out to eat - do something special just for them.

12. Don't change their bedtime routine after baby - still read to them, sing them a story, pray with them, or whatever else!

13.  Let them climb in bed with you sometimes.

14. Play their music in the car.

15.  Discipline them when they misbehave.  Don't ignore bad behavior just because you have your hands full with the new baby.

16. Treat them like a treasure, not a nuisance.  Even when you are in the middle of something.

17.  Tell them why they are special.  Tell them they are cute, tell them they are sweet, tell them all the things you love about them.

Those are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling, but the bottom line is that little things matter, so look for opportunities to show them you love them just as much as the new baby.  

What things do you do to make your older child{ren} feel special?  If I get enough suggestions I'll compile them into another post!

Two (Or More) Kids - Out And About


DSC 8813blog


I think one of the biggest questions I had (and that I heard from other moms), about adding a second baby was how it was going to affect 

shopping!  When all you've ever had to do is get one baby in and out of a store, it can be scary to think about handling two.

I am here to ease your mind.  You can go (almost) anywhere with two kids that you went with one.  All it takes is a little strategy.

---

Go to places that have carts.  

It can take a lot of energy to carry a car seat around and keep a hold of your toddlers hand.  Especially in the first few weeks when your baby is little, limit your excursions to places with carts.  And then park right next to a cart in the parking lot - wholla!  Not a problem.


Make use of your baby carrier.  

Trip to the mall?  Strap the baby in the carrier and stroll your toddler around like normal.


Grocery shopping?  

If it's a quick trip, put one child in the top seat of the cart, one in the basket.  You would be surprised how much stuff you can fit into the cart around a car seat or toddler.  If you know it's going to be a big grocery shopping trip, use the baby carrier again and put your toddler in the seat on the cart.
  
Note: My plans for grocery shopping with three?  Carry baby, put Gwen in the seat on the cart, and have Wyatt either walk or put him in the basket.  


Clothes shopping?  

Just try to get the big dressing room so you can fit your cart or stroller in there with you.  Personally, I think clothes shopping with two young kids is technically doable, but more effort than it's worth.  I mostly order clothes online now, or find a time when I can go shopping by myself.


Keep the less secure child in the car for as long as possible.  

The less secure child usually translates to the older children who have the ability to run around in a parking lot.  When Gwen was smaller and confined to her carseat, I almost always got Gwen out of the car first and put Wyatt in the car first, just because I felt like it was safer that way (though Wyatt is pretty great about staying right by me in parking lots).  

Now that Gwen is bigger and I have my hands full carrying her, I usually get Wyatt in the car, close the door, put Gwen in her carseat, then go back around and buckle Wyatt in.  Unless I have the cart or stroller handy - then I just transfer them to the car one at a time.


---

Overall, it's more energy, but it's not very hard to wrangle two kids by yourself while going out.  Three will be more challenging, but I have a plan in my head for most situations!  Enter heavy use of the baby carrier and the double stroller.

Now, if I had Wyatt, Gwen, and then twins, I don't know how I'd manage any of this.  So if that's you (Taara?) - comment below!  I want to know how you do it!

Nevermind, Taara just posted this week about how she handles four kids on the go, including twins - go check it out!

That's all I have.  Moms of 2+, leave your comments below with more out-and-about tips!

Two Kids - Balancing Things At Home

DSC 8813blog


Before you ever even venture out of the house with two kids, your husband will go back to work.  And you will be left alone in the house.  With two little ones depending solely on you.

In the end, every mom who has ever had two kids figures this out, and you will too.  Here are just a few things I learned (so far) about taking care of more than one young child at once.

----

They will occasionally cry at the same time.  

You can sit down and cry too (don't think it hasn't happened before in my house), or you can buck up and handle it!  Don't let it freak you out when it happens.  

Obviously if one of your kids is crying because they are in danger or hurt, help them first!  Just thought I better say it.  

In non-injurious situations, take care of the kid whose fix is quicker first (i.e. - hand the bottle to the baby, or give your toddler a snack).  

If you are not sure why they are crying, take care of the toddler first.  They will remember, and you don't want them to feel like they are not as important as the new baby.


Don't worry too much about what to do with your oldest while you are nursing the baby.
Go ahead and make sure your toddler is taken care of first (i.e. - they don't have to go potty, they have a snack).  If your child knows how to play independently at all, they'll be fine.


There is no reason that you can't take a shower.  

Put the older one down in front of a video (it really is okay), put the younger one down in a bouncy chair/crib/pack-and-play, and there you go.  It's not being a bad mom to let other things entertain your kids while you take a five minute shower and blow dry your hair.  Really.  It's okay.


If at all possible, manipulate schedules so they nap at the same time! 

I think this is probably a lot easier for some families than others.  Thankfully I've been able to work this out with my kiddos from the start, and they've cooperated.  I try to push Gwen off until after lunch for her nap so that she and Wyatt go down at the same time.  Wyatt is fairly flexible on his nap time too, so that helps when Gwen gets tired early.  But even if it only works out for 30 minutes, that time alone can be so refreshing and give you energy for the rest of the day!  (It's also how I still manage to blog, in case you are wondering - we might have more of a challenge after this baby arrives.)


Take your opportunities to spend time with each child individually.  

Your love is not split with the second baby, it doubles.  Your attention, however, is a different story.  You will have to split your attention when both of the kids are awake.  Don't beat yourself up about that, because it's just the way it is, and it's good for kids to learn that they have to share.   But if you get some time ( for example, if one of them is still napping) do something with your child who is awake.  Every kid needs some one-on-one time with mom every now and then.

---

It seems really overwhelming when you only have one to think of handling two, but it's really not hard.  It's a balancing act, and it might take practice, but every mom eventually finds her mom-of-two groove.  Give yourself time, figure out what works best for you, and thank God for this precious time at home with your kiddos!

From One To Two - Labor and Delivery

DSC 8813blog

It has been a couple months since my last "From One To Two" post!  I apologize to you mamas who were waiting on me all this time.  Now that gender reveal and Christmas craziness is over, I'm finally getting back to this series!  Today I'm going to talk about what to do with your older child{ren} when you go into labor and right after the baby is born.

This is obviously going to be a little different for each family depending on the situation, but here are the main things to have in order before you go into labor, plus some other random tips.


Find someone to watch the older child while you are in labor or at the hospital/birthing center. 

 This is going to look different depending on what kind of birth you are planning to have, but it's best to have someone there for your older child.  I think it would be a little overwhelming, especially for younger children, to see their mama in so much pain.  Having someone take care of your older child during labor/delivery is a good thing (unless they are old enough that you want them to participate in the birth).  If you are going to a hospital/birthing center you need someone to stay with your child.  Or if you are having a home birth I think it would be good to have someone there to take care of and distract the older child (since you and your husband will be occupied with, you know, having a baby).


 Don't wait too long to call your child's care person.  

This is probably just me speaking from my crazy labor experience, but it's better to have whoever is taking care of your child come over a little early (or take your child early on if they are going to someone's house).  Especially if the care person lives more than 15 minutes away.  Play it safe so that you don't end up going from contractions-12-minutes-apart to ready-to-push in the span of an hour, leaving for the hospital too late because you didn't call your person soon enough, and having the baby on the highway.  Ahem.


Think about how you want your child to meet the new baby and plan it out.  

I think it's important to make a plan for how you want this to go, because if you just fly by the seat of your pants and the first meeting doesn't go well . . . well, postpartum hormones are flowing, my friends.  You don't want to be disappointed with something like this with those hormones raging.  For us, we planned to have my mom bring Wyatt to the hospital first thing after Gwen was born, then Derek went out into the hall and brought Wyatt in so that we could introduce him to the new baby without distractions.  It was important to us to have Wyatt be the first one to meet her.  Our plan went off without a hitch.


Make sure to give the older child some love when you see them again after delivery.  

I made sure that Gwen was safely in her hospital basinet when Wyatt came in so he could climb onto my lap and I could give him a big hug.  Derek picked Gwen up and introduced her to Wyatt while he sat with me.  I think it's important to let them know that they are still your baby too, and they haven't been replaced by the new baby -  being available to hold them right away is a good way to do that.


Don't freak out if your child doesn't want much to do with the new baby at first.  

This is no indication of what kind of relationship they will have in the future!  Wyatt didn't want to touch Gwen when she was first born.  He just kind of looked at her.  I think it took almost a week before he finally reached out one finger and touched her head!  Don't push them, and don't worry about it, just let them adjust.


Should you bring anything for your older sibling to the hospital?  

I think it's a good idea to make sure you have a movie or a few toys for your older children in your hospital bag.  We had some alone time with just the four of us in the hospital before the visitors started streaming in, and we put on one of Wyatt's movies and just snuggled in the hospital bed.  It was a special time for us, and it made it more fun for Wyatt.


I would not recommend having your older child stay the night in the hospital with you.  

I don't think most moms would want that anyway, but it's just not a good idea.  They won't sleep, you will sleep even less, and nobody will have fun.


Should you buy a big brother or big sister gift for your child?  

We didn't, but that's only because my family is really good about remembering to bring something for older siblings when a new baby is born.  Several of our relatives brought Wyatt a gift, in addition to the gift for the new baby.  I knew they would, so I didn't worry about it.  If you aren't sure if your family or friends are going to think of this, I think it would be good to have a little present on hand to give to your older child.  It's hard for a kid to watch a new baby get lots of gifts if they don't have anything to open themselves.


Bring them home together.  

This might not always work out, but after Gwen was born we met up with my mom to pick up Wyatt and then brought both the kiddos home together.  It was meaningful to me to have us all arrive home for the first time as a family.  I liked that Wyatt was a part of our ride home, instead of having him come home later with a new baby suddenly there.  It was good for family unity.  This isn't completely necessary, but I thought it was special, and I'd recommend arranging your plans this way if possible. 



Moms - anything else about labor/delivery/hospital stay that you thought was important?

-------------------

Here is the itinerary for this series (so far). 


11/18/13 - It Is Not The Same


1/9/13 - Labor And Delivery (this post)

1/16/14 - Balancing Things At Home

1/23/14 - Out And About

1/30/14 - Ways To Make Your Oldest Feel Special

 If there is anything else you would be interested to see me cover, comment below! 

It's Okay That It's Different


After last week's post, where I talked about how having the second baby is different, I got a few responses from people saying how they feel bad for their first child.  By the time their second child comes around they know more of what they are doing, and the general thought process seemed to be that the first child got short-changed because the parents didn't have as much experience for the first as they do for the second child.

So I thought I should address this before moving on with this series.  Yes, you do have more experience for your second child. And that is because your first child is the one that changed you into a mother.  You can see yourself changing before your very eyes with that first baby.  But does that mean the first baby is being short-changed?  That all subsequent children will have it better because mom finally knows what she's doing?  Not at all.

Mothers have been raising first babies with zero mothering experience since the beginning.  And you know what?  Their lack of experience generally does not mess up the first child.  On the contrary, firstborn children are typically the achievers and leaders in the family.  Over half of our U.S. presidents have been firstborn children, and over 90% of the first astronauts that the U.S. sent into space were firstborn children (source).  The fact that their mothers raised them with no experience didn't seem to hurt them much, even though their mothers may have felt just as worried about the "mistakes" they made with their firstborn.

There are definitely benefits to being a firstborn, and there are also definite drawbacks.  But so it is with any birth order.  Derek and I actually have an ongoing (friendly) discussion about who has it harder, the oldest (that would be me), or the youngest (that would be Derek).  

Bottom line - you are not going to mess your first child up just because you make "rookie" mistakes in your mothering journey.  If kids were messed up that easily, I think every person on earth would have issues, because even the best parents don't handle everything perfectly, with any of their kids.

As a firstborn myself, I sometimes tease my parents that I was the "experimental" child - that they made all their mistakes on me.  But honestly, it's all in jest - I'm happy I was a firstborn child.  Even if it is true that I was the "experimental" child, I know that being the oldest has made me who I am today, and I'm grateful for it.  I also think that it's kind of cool that I was the baby that turned my mom and dad into parents.  It's not a drawback.  It's rather special.  

Don't let your inexperience with your first worry you or make you feel like the second child has it better.  There are good things about both situations, and it's okay that things are different for one child as opposed to another because of birth order.  The world needs it to be different.  It needs firstborn personalities, middle, and youngest personalities.   I think God knew that and designed personality dynamics that way on purpose. It's a good thing.  

Do your best with each of your children, be as fair as you can.  But also learn from your experiences, and apply those lessons without giving yourself a guilt trip.  

It's okay.

-------------

If you have any specific questions/comments for me, comment below and I'll make sure to cover it in a future post!

It Is Not The Same

DSC 8813blog

If I had to pick one thing to tell moms who are expecting their second baby, I would say don't expect things to be the same with your second baby as they were with your first. 

I think most moms kind of have a handle on the idea that their second baby might be different from the first in a general sense.  They know their children might not have the same sleep habits, eating habits, personality, etc.   But I think one area where this can take moms by surprise is how they feel right after their baby is born (stick with me here).

If you were at all like me, that moment when you met your first child face-to-face lives in your memory as one of the most powerful moments of your life.  Looking at that sweet baby that you carried nine months and realizing that they are all yours - and you are responsible for their little life.  It's exciting.  It's scary.  It's new.  It's overwhelming, that rush of love and emotion that you feel.  I think some moms expect that same exact rush of emotions with the second.

In some ways, it is the same way when you meet your second child for the first time.  It is still one of the most powerful moments in your life.  The love still rushes over you.  But it's not exactly the same.  With the second, you aren't as scared.  With the second, bringing home your baby is no longer an entirely new thought - you've done this before.  You know what you are doing now.  It will be a different mix of emotions.

Will your second baby change you?  Absolutely, but not in exactly the same way as your first.  They'll change you in a different way than any subsequent babies as well.  Every child will be a little different, and that's a good thing.  It keeps you growing.

When you met your first baby, you were a brand-new mom, still trying to figure out what that meant - now you are already a mother.  You are more comfortable with this whole process.  It is different because of it, but it is no less beautiful.  

Don't put expectations on those first moments based on your experience with your first.  Meeting each new baby is a unique and powerful experience in it's own way - appreciate each first moment for what it is without the comparison.   Every time you first lay eyes on your child is indescribably and equally special.  Treasure it.

What Do You Need For The Second Baby?

Recently Alex asked me what I would recommend purchasing for a second baby, and I realized I have gotten a lot of questions over the last year about the transition to two kids, but I've never written any posts about it!  So I'm starting a little mini series on the transition to two kids.  

Of course the balancing act is going to a whole other level soon with Baby #3 coming, so maybe once I figure things out after this little one makes his/her appearance I'll do a post on having three kids as well.  But for now, my tips on going from one to two.

 

DSC 8813blog

 

First of all - what do you need for two kids?  

It can be a little tricky to know what to purchase for the second baby when you got so much of what you needed for the first.  What do you really need more of?  What extras will you need now that you will be handling two kids instead of one?  

I think the answers vary a lot by family, lifestyle, what exactly you already have, and whether you are having the same gender as your first or not.  If you are having the opposite gender the second time around, the list is obviously going to be much longer.  But in general, you are not going to need a whole lot of extras for the second baby.  Here are a few tips for buying for Baby #2 (or #3).

 

A Few Things To Think About

1.  Go through your stuff and see what you have that is worn out.  For us, this was swaddling blankets, burp clothes, and bottles.  These items had a lot of wear by the time Wyatt was done with them, so I decided to get new ones.  And it's just nice to have some fresh things for the new baby.

2. Think about how old your first child(ren) will be when the next one comes and go from there.  Whether you need to make some of the big purchases again - ex. crib, car seat, stroller - is going to depend a lot on how far apart your kids will be.  

3. Get things that you wanted to try with your first baby but never did.  These will probably mostly be little items, but here's your chance!  For me, it was those SwaddleMe blankets.  I bought a couple to try with Gwen, and I loved them!  It was fun to try something new.  For the next baby, I want some sort of cute teething toy (like Sophie the Giraffe), or pacifier toy (like a Wubbanub).  Just because I think they are cute.  I also think a carseat blanket/cover would be nice, instead of draping a blanket over the carseat all the time (but I might just try to make one of those).  Just to give you some examples.  Give some new items a go!

 

A Few Specific Items

1.  Get a good baby carrier.  If you don't already have one, now is the time to get one.

2.  Double Stroller?  For strollers, I say if your kids are going to be close to two years apart or more, you can probably get away with not purchasing a double (unless it's in your budget and you just want one).  You can carry your youngest in a carrier and put the oldest in a regular stroller until baby gets older, and by the time you need the stroller for your new baby, your other child will probably be walking better.  A double stroller is only really necessary when it's just you alone with the kids anyway - if your husband is coming with you, using two separate strollers is easy enough (hello $15 umbrella stroller!).  However, if your kids are going to be less than 18 months apart (like with my third baby), I think a double stroller is something you might want to consider.

3.  Diapers.  Obviously.  If you are using cloth, you need to evaluate the age gap again.  I'd say if the new baby is coming right around the time you could be potty training your older child, you will probably still need more cloth diapers (sorry to burst your bubble).  You might be lucky and have your child potty trained in a weekend, or it could be a really long process.  Your child could be ready before the baby comes, or they might not.  They may be doing great with potty training and then regress because of all the changes with a new baby (I think it's generally not a good idea to mix potty-training changes with new baby changes, but everyone is different).  Bottom line: Potty training is unpredictable, so play it safe.

4.  Somewhere safe to put the new baby. If you don't have a swing, bouncy chair, pack and play, or something like that, get one so you have somewhere to put the new baby when you need to help the older child.  I think it's pretty unlikely that someone having a second baby would not have at least one these things already, but just in case.

5.  New pacifiers.  Pacifiers hold a lot of bacteria (yuck), so just get new ones.

 

That is pretty much all I can think of.  If you still have everything you had for your first baby, you are probably already set for most things.  You just need to decide if you are going to need to re-purchase any big items, depending on the age gap, and then fill in the little things that need replacing or that you wished you had with the first baby.

Anything I'm forgetting?  Do any of you have any items that you think were lifesavers for when you added another baby to your family?  Comment below, I'd love to hear!

-------------------

Have any specific questions for me about having more than one (or more than two) kiddos?  Leave them in the comments and I will tell you what I think!

© Through Clouded Glass. Design by MangoBlogs.