Having a child is likely the single biggest decision you’ll ever make.
Many people might say getting married, or buying a home, or settling on a career might come in as the second biggest life decision you’ll make, but while those are certainly major life-changers, having a second child could very well come in at #2.
Life’s about to change when the second child arrives. Some of the changes just will not be the same as they were when you had your first baby.
Are you prepared?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the things you might not have thought about so you’re not blindsided. There is, of course, lots of happiness and joy in bringing Child #2 home, but it will not be without its challenges. If you know beforehand what these challenges are and how to face them, you can avoid some of the stress that goes along with that happiness and joy you will be experiencing.
Rise to the Challenge
Your second child will most likely not be exactly like your first. Did your older child sleep through the night after a week or two? You might not get a full night’s sleep for much longer the second go-around. Was your first laid back and relatively quiet? You just might have a colicky Child #2. So your best bet is to NOT expect everything to be the same.
Your schedule is about to get turned on its head. The baby’s schedule will not be the same as the older child’s. One naps, the other’s hungry. One wants to play, the other needs changing. Juggling responsibilities and satisfying the needs of both children is tough, but remember, you’re a rockstar. Try to get the older child to watch TV or nap while the baby naps to give you some me-time. Or play a game with your older child while feeding the newborn.
You might feel like you’re not bonding with your second child as much as you did your first, and that’s understandable. Child #1 was the center of attention; now that attention gets split. Give it time. Your spouse can be a big help here: have them spend time with the first child while you tend to the baby.
The stress of two children can be hard. Expect that stress. Reach out for help if/when needed. Your spouse and other family members can be sources of support and assistance.
And Then There Were Two…
Perhaps one of the biggest changes will be in your older child. Will he/she be happy? Jealous? Angry, even? These are all likely emotions. It’s common for older children to act up when a baby arrives.
Preparing them beforehand goes a long way. Talk to them during your pregnancy. Tell them how exciting it is to be a big brother or sister. Reassure them. Get them involved, both before and after. Let them help decorate the baby’s room before he/she arrives. Later, let them help with feedings. Get them a gift that can help them bond with their new brother or sister, such as a book they can read to the baby.
Most of all, set some time to spend with your first child alone when #2 arrives. Find an activity you both enjoy and can do together while the baby naps, or have your spouse care for the baby while you participate in this bonding time with your firstborn.
Above all, always remember: YOU GOT THIS!
Editor’s Note: Harrison Howe is a freelance content provider & writer for Daphyl’s LLC. Daphyl’s is a USA based multi-national world leader in safe, innovative, Licensed Rock N Roll, branded baby gear. The opinions, advice and assertions made in this article are for entertainment and information purposes only & are solely those of the author.