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Old 12-26-2012, 01:47 PM   #21
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm hoping it'll be easy. I'd love to hear more stories.

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Old 12-27-2012, 09:42 AM   #22
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Re: talk to me about going from 1 kid to 2

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My daughter was 26 months but quite mature for her age and she did just fine with her brother. No jealousy in relation to him. I use the baby carrier (mei tai or sling) a bunch. The only problems I had were more related to her being two but large for her age, so if she got cranky or started to throw a fit in a store it was hard to control her because I was wearing the baby and she weighs 40 pounds. I would have preferred a 3 year age gap for that and other reasons.
Personally I felt that a newborn is a breeze compared to a toddler.
haha, exactly! I joke that our baby is the easiest member of the household for me to take care of. And that includes DH and our dog.

I'm always apologizing to her for her brother's antics or being "ignored" while I am doing stuff for him instead of her, but she is full of patience and grace and wise beyond her years (er, months). It's amazing how much she just goes along with things. Even when he jumps on her or wakes her up, it's usually responded to with a smile instead of a cry. For us, the second baby has been easier than the first toddler.

OP, major hugs to you. I hope the transition is easier than you think it will be. I won't sugar coat it and say that it's super easy, but I was expecting it to be way harder than it is. There has been way more good than bad. I felt very down during my pregnancy and was very very scared (and we had tried to conceive her, so it wasn't at all a surprise), but now things are just wonderful. It's tiring but in a good way. We are constantly laughing and it's so fun to see our son in his new role as a big brother.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:44 PM   #23
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Here's hoping that this new babe is easy going. :-D DD has been super clingy lately. As much as I love the cuddles I can do without the whining that comes with it, lol.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:49 PM   #24
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Re: talk to me about going from 1 kid to 2

^ How old is she?
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:54 PM   #25
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:30 PM   #26
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Re: talk to me about going from 1 kid to 2

3 years apart is super easy. If they can potty by themselves, and have a shelf in the pantry of child-obtainable snacks, you are good to go. 3 is a whole different ball game than 2 years apart. I would work on kiddo sleeping in her own room, and being fully potty trained before newbie gets here.

Seriously, you've got nothing to worry about.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:52 AM   #27
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Re: talk to me about going from 1 kid to 2

Congratulations! and

We were very fortunate that our kiddos all adapted nicely into our family, but number two was definitely the trickiest transition, on a purely convenience factor. With one baby you are so portable. You can go wherever and do whatever and you only have one kiddo to worry about naptimes and feeding. The logistics of two is harder, but not impossible.

In our circle of friends, DH and I have noted a phenomenon around the second child, and I have no idea if the theory holds water, but for what it's worth here it is: We found that parents who made a huge deal about number two's arrival to number one set the stage for drama. I am not talking about celebrating and enjoying the addition to the family or including the first child in all that joy. I am talking about excessive worry about the first child being put out, left out, feeling tromped by the new baby. We have a few families who went all out, and made this monstrous deal about coddling the first about how bereft he must be now that the baby is here, buying gifts (large gifts, not just token or sentimental items), etc.... And, to this day, those children are all victim mentalities. They all whine a lot, blame other kids for every problem, fight with their siblings excessively. First hand, my parents did this to my brother, and he and I never got along, and he is always the most hard done by person, in his opinion. Basically, I think the bigger deal you make out of possible negative reaction, the bigger the chance for creating drama, if that makes sense. I have not had nearly enough coffee yet (still on holidays), so I am probably not explaining it well enough.

So, I guess my advice would be to include your daughter in the excitement and joy, but to just live life. Don't worry excessively and deal with each moment as you see best.

Practical advice-- Baby carrier!! Stretchy wrap and an ergo or similar. Not just around the house, but a good carrier is a lifesaver when grocery shopping or walking with two. Recognize that it is ok for your first to watch a little TV or a movie while you tend to the baby. Let things slide in the early days if you need to, and just snuggle everyone. If friends want to do something helpful ask for freezer meals, so you can easily prepare food. There will be hard days, but they will pass quickly.

Mama, the BEST part is yet to come. Seeing siblings together is the most heart warming, amazing thing I have ever experienced. Those interactions are my most cherished memories. When your daughter speaks to and interacts with the newbie, you will wonder what you ever did without both of them.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:33 AM   #28
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Re: talk to me about going from 1 kid to 2

^ Very good stuff here.

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So, I guess my advice would be to include your daughter in the excitement and joy, but to just live life. Don't worry excessively and deal with each moment as you see best.
This for sure. I had many emotions about bringing a second child into our family, felt worried and guilty, etc. but I did my very best to not suck our son into my own mental baggage. We did special things with him to make sure he knew he was still special and the baby wasn't just taking us away, but we also didn't baby him. We treated him like the kid he was, in the situation we were in. Sometimes he has to wait because I'm doing something for his sister, and sometimes (often! haha) she has to wait while I take care of him. I include our son as much as possible, and have him help do things. I do my best to take care of all of his emotions and be understanding of this big adjustment, but he doesn't get special treatment or spoiling just because he was our first.

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Practical advice-- Baby carrier!! Stretchy wrap and an ergo or similar. Not just around the house, but a good carrier is a lifesaver when grocery shopping or walking with two. Recognize that it is ok for your first to watch a little TV or a movie while you tend to the baby. Let things slide in the early days if you need to, and just snuggle everyone. If friends want to do something helpful ask for freezer meals, so you can easily prepare food. There will be hard days, but they will pass quickly.
Yes to all of this as well. Couldn't live without our Ergo, especially for outings. And yeah, drop the guilt about doing things to make life easier. Of course I wish that we never watched tv and our son spent the whole day playing outside and that I never gave him prepackaged snacks. But you have to let some things go, and it shouldn't be your sanity.

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Mama, the BEST part is yet to come. Seeing siblings together is the most heart warming, amazing thing I have ever experienced. Those interactions are my most cherished memories. When your daughter speaks to and interacts with the newbie, you will wonder what you ever did without both of them.
Seriously, this is so true and it is all so amazing.

I remember almost crying when my son first came to visit us at the hospital when DD was born. He seemed mad at me, didn't really care about the baby, etc. He was tired, there were lots of people around, and it just wasn't a great visit (not terrible, but not great). It broke my heart. I wanted to snuggle with him, and he felt so BIG.

Thank goodness I suggested that my husband come back later that evening with our son for another visit, and have dinner with us. It was just the four of us, and our son was well-rested after having a nap. He wanted to sit on my lap, and he was very interested in DD. We ate dinner in my room, and put the baby in the bassinet thingy while we ate. She fussed a little bit, and he walked over to her and said, "It's okay." She fussed a bit more, and he said, "Don't cry."

Wow I almost started bawling. It was so sweet. Then he tried to share his carrots with her, haha.

Now? Even though he is a rough and tumble little boy who is loud and rambunctious, he just ADORES his sister. Watching them smile at each other, listening to the little things he says to her... it is so amazing. He looks so proud when she smiles or giggles at him. He has to kiss her goodnight. The way the two of them look at each other just shows a connection that I can't even begin to understand. I'm so glad we don't have a huge age gap, I think 2-3 years is perfect. My sister is 7 years older, and DH has an even bigger gap with his siblings. We knew we wanted them to be close.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:38 AM   #29
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YES to everything the PP said!

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Old 12-28-2012, 12:59 PM   #30
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Re: talk to me about going from 1 kid to 2

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3 years apart is super easy. If they can potty by themselves, and have a shelf in the pantry of child-obtainable snacks, you are good to go. 3 is a whole different ball game than 2 years apart. I would work on kiddo sleeping in her own room, and being fully potty trained before newbie gets here.

Seriously, you've got nothing to worry about.
I agree completely!

Being able to use the bathroom and get a snack herself makes a huge difference. My kiddos are almost exactly 4 years apart, so added the second babe was very easy.
What made things smoother for me:
I found a mini boppy pillow at a thrift store for $2 and bought it for DD so she could nurse her babies on the couch next to me while I nursed my Newbie It was a nice way to include her.
A lot of Moms set up a "nursing basket" of things to have close by while they're stuck under their babe nursing all day. I did this, but it was things for DD.
DD slept with us, in our bed until I was too pregnant and grumpy and I couldn't take it anymore. Then I put a crib mattress on the floor on my side of the bed so we could still "hand snuggle" as she called it.
When she was used to that, I moved the mattress to the other side of our bedroom, before the babe was born. When he was about 6 months old, I moved her to her own room. This worked for us, but my kids both sleep like rocks.

Congrats Momma!! I bet everything will go much more smoothly than you fear.

ETA: Make sure and spend some special time with DD before the babe is born, and also to set up some special things/activities for her after newbie is here. So much attention is put on the new baby, you have to make sure not to push DD aside. After our boy was born, my Brother in Law was here for the birth, (He is DD's favorite person in the world.) He took her on some special solo walks which was really nice for her.
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