Re: suggestions for preparing for babies close in age
Lower your expectations. Is everyone fed, happy, and relatively clean? Count the day as a success.
Don't psych yourself out. My two are 16 months apart, I was SO worried and paranoid about how I was going to cope, mainly with the lack of sleep. Some don't believe me, but it was a breeze and I loved it! The hardest part is actually now at nearly 6 and 4.5. They are both into the same things, both want to be first all the time, around each other all the time, etc so it leads to a lot of sibling annoyance and bickering.
Ignore everyone who warns you of jealousy in the older one - another thing I was worried about, mainly because how do you prepare a < 1 year old for something like this when they can't comprehend it? And how do you rationalize with a young toddler? Again, it was a non-issue. Dd1 liked her sister, but she wasn't crazy in love, nor did she get jealous. Sure, there were times she would have a meltdown because I was doing something with dd2 and couldn't tend to her right away, but she did that regardless of if I was using the restroom or cooking dinner, or tending to her sister.
Get your older one independent as possible - and don't feel bad about it. Little ones at that age LOVE to feel independent. They LOVE to do what they can for themselves. So help them and encourage them to get there by arranging their environment as best you can. I found I was actually more patient with things like this because I was busy with dd2. Just after dd2 was born, dd1 went through a tremendous dressing phase. She absolutely loved dressing herself and took immense pride in that. So I let her. Was she able to do it? Eh, not really without a lot of help in the beginning, but who cares. It kept her busy, taught her independence, and gave her self confidence a boost. Who cares if her shirt was on backwards or her shoes on the wrong feet. She was so proud of herself and she obviously didn't mind, if she even noticed. Along similar lines, have snacks and sippy cups ready to go and in a place they can reach so your older one can help themselves. If they snack all day, who cares as long as it's healthy. It just means your less likely to deal with a meltdown 10 minutes before dinner is ready.
SAHM to D 10.05 , C 3.07, O 12.11 and EDD 10/2013
[COLOR="Red"]ISO: Girly Alva or Sunbaby OS for a mama on a budget.