Before we had Augie we heard over and over that either it was so hard to go from 1 to 2 kids or that it was a breeze because you already had a baby and adding one more wasn’t terribly hard. I remember wondering if we would do okay or even how Rooney would handle it. I personally think that a big part of the change can depend on your little ones. Rooney and Augie are 23 months apart so when we had him, she knew he was coming, but wasn’t old enough in my opinion, to really feel like she was getting less attention. We loved having Linzee from Mae Photography come to the hospital and grab a few photos of the two and see how they reacted to each other! Man I am grateful to have these forever!
As things getting closer for you just remember that you can’t control everything but you can also be aware of how you handle situations! With that said, here are are some of my top 5 tips to help you little ones prepare for new babies when you already have one at home!
- Independent playing : Find ways to help them start to entertain themselves. Get them more used to social time so that they won’t feel like you have to be around every second. We did a lot of different toys and exploring with books and in turn she would always go straight to them to play. At times she would of course ask me to come but also being so pregnant at the end there I wasn’t able to get up quickly or a lot for that matter so she had to depend on herself for playing activities. When we brought Augie home Trent dedicated himself to her for that whole first week which was huge for her.
- Keep things as “normal” as possible: We had our nanny stay with Rooney while we were in the hospital and was there the day we left for the hospital because we knew it would help her with routine. I am a huge believer that the bigger deal you make and the more you dramatize the event, the more the kids get freaked out. They struggle with change so much with big events, so by keeping the routine normal they feel like nothing has really changed but adding a new person to the house. I have been around for bed time, nap time, lunches, breakfast, al those normal routines so that she is seeing me present and not feeling like I disappeared.
- STAY PATIENT AND GIVE YOURSELF GRACE: This is HUGE. I can’t even tell you how many times I have felt like I was falling short, or was I doing enough but at the end of the day showing up and being there is enough for them. They just want to see us around and they don’t care if we take them out to do a ton of things, they just want attention and us remembering they were here first. I worked really hard to hold Augie with her around so she saw him as a new normal for us. I also talked a lot before he was born about brother and called him by name and talked about how he was going to be here soon so when he showed up, she seemed really excited to just put a name to the face. We have to remember that we can only do so much. There will be hard days and long days, or days that your AC goes out and your little 2 year old is crying and the newborn is crying and all you can do is your best. Take a breath and remember you got these babies because you were meant to be their mama. On those long days go to your fridge, get a snack and snuggle your newborn and start over fresh the next day. The best thing about kids is they are so forgiving and don’t hold grudges. If only we could be more like little kids! 🙂
- INCLUDE them with helping with the new baby: This one was really big for Rooney personally. We let her from day one help as much as she could and hold Augie so that she found her place and didn’t feel replaced. Their value is huge and they will recognize you trying to include them. Now I also understand this could go the complete opposite way of your child not wanting to be involved at all and if that is the case THAT IS OKAY! let them take their time to adjust and try to not get to upset about it. I know that if things had gone differently for me I would have been bothered but at the end of the day we have to roll with how it is dealt to us.
- ACCEPT HELP- either from people or getting your groceries delivered… ETC: this one is especially hard for me, but I have my nanny, who literally is my right hand, and she has been so much help to me. She did so many different things to help me out those last few weeks before I had him and then also the first couple weeks. Let people bring you dinner and snacks. It truly makes them feel good to serve you so accept it! I had my sister and mom around a lot as well and that was so great for me personally where I was so hormonal I needed people I didn’t have to worry about how I reacted to things and they would let me boss them around 🙂 . I am so grateful for the help that we had, and even for the people at Shipt for delivering my groceries al the time to me! SERIOUS GAME CHANGER!
I hope these are helpful and just remember to take a deep breath and enjoy it as much as you can!