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Hi, I have recently found out that I am pregnant with our second child. My oldest will be 19 months old when the little one is born. My question is, does anyone have tips and advice for making those first few weeks OK when there are two kids to deal with? (I am lucky enough to have my mom-in-law come to help for the first week or two, and although my husband cannot take much more than a day or two off work, he would be supportive). I'm so grateful for all the support, but I just want to know what can I do to prepare, and what are some things I could ask my mom-in-law or husband to do when the baby arrives? What things did you all do to get through those crazy first few weeks? I'd really love to hear ideas & advice from any moms and dads out there!
I should also mention that with my 1st child, I felt like I was caring for him fine when he was born, but it was really hard to take care of myself or even eat or drink enough 'cos I was always trying to sleep instead. I was hungry most of the time but in denial so I could sleep. I am a bit scared of a repeat of the same thing!
Our daughters are 17 months apart, so I know the stress you are feeling. You don't feel like you can possibly have the time to do everything now, let alone when you have two. Somehow, you find a way to get it done.
One thing we thought was helpful was my wife's friends froze a number of meals for us ready to be heated and eaten when baby arrived, and that helped the first couple of weeks enormously.
Another thing I would say is that whenever you get a chance to sleep in those first few weeks, take it. You will feel an overwhelming need to be active and get things done, but the times are few when both of your kids are sleeping. Take advanrtage with a half hour nap... it helps keep you going.
Sleep, sleep, sleep! I agree with everything AnswerDad says. Lean on your friends and family to get as much rest as you can. Remember, you're still healing, too, and have to take care of yourself before you'll be good for anyone else. Also, don't sweat the small stuff; a clean house is not more important than taking care of yourself and your baby.
I had to remind myself to lower my expectations. I felt like supermom with my son. When my daughter came along, it wasn't as easy to get everything done. I had to let the housework slip a little bit. After I did that, things were much easier. I just made a point of enjoying every moment with them that I could.
You do not realize how much a newborn sleeps until they get older and start growing out of their naps. Take advantage of your newborn's napping to catch up on sleep yourself or to take a hot shower!
Take advantage of any help you can get! I just had my 2nd 3 weeks ago and it's been kind of rough so far. I had a c-section, so I was in the hospital for most of our first week. My fiance had 2 days off when I came home, so there was a lot of help then. My mom also gave us a few meals during the first week, but other then that we've been on our own. If you can, I'd suggest asking your mother-in-law and your husband to maintain the housework while they can. I wasn't allowed to drive, vaccum, do laundry, or put dishes away for the first two weeks. My fiance did a decent job of keeping the rest of the house clean, but the laundry and dishes have slipped big time! This week he finally decided that maybe he should wash some things (now that I have the okay to do so again) but it's going to take us probably another week to get caught up! It is okay to let things slide a little, but don't let it get too out of hand because then you just have to do more to get it caught up again later.
Thank you everyone for all the responses. It makes it all feel a bit more feasible. Jnjfischer, you were especially helpful with giving specifics of how you did things and some suggestions for me, thank you so much. Congratulations on your recent 2nd baby, that is so exciting!
I really appreciate everyone's insights.
If anyone has anything they'd like to add, I'd love to hear it - keep the ideas coming!
Congratulations on your new pregnancy! I know exactly how you feel...when my second child was born, my son was only 20 months old. I wondered how I would be able to juggle the responsibilities of 2 AND still find time to shower and cook dinner. Plus, I worried that I wouldn't be able to give my oldest enough attention.
Needless to say, I managed. My advice...for those first few weeks, take advantage of the help people are willing to give you. When someone offers to watch the baby...let them. Your new baby will be happy in anyone's arms and you can then devote some much needed one-on-one time to your oldest. I also tried to involve him in the baby's care as much as possible so that he wouldn't feel left out. This made me feel like I was meeting both of their needs without neglecting either of them.
You will learn to multitask like you have never had to before....and you will do a great job. You will learn that you can successfully feed your newborn while making a last minute pb&J sandwich and you will find that you rely on your spouse more than ever.
The second time around is different because you are not a "new" mommy anymore so you are already a pro at feedings, naptime, changing diapers etc... We had diaper time assembly lines at our house and the kids ate at the same time and napped at the same time to make it easier for me! Don't worry.....you will do fabulous. Enjoy your pregnancy and rest assured that you will survive!
Try to stock up on quick meals that your older child likes. I have 2 kids a husband and a newborn. I am lucky cuase, My sister told me that trick. Don't feel bad if you have to give the kids toast with soup and some cheese or fruit for lunch. as long as they are getting all the food groups they will be fine it is hard about the first month then it gets much easier. The other thing is to figure out what meals your hubby is good at making and stock up on the "dry ingredents" for those items then if he has to cook a few meals in the first 2 weeks he will feel good casue he helped and he knows how to make it. We ate a lot of hamburger and hot dogs on the grill but, hey My newborn is a summer baby so every dinner is some verison of a picnic.. (lol) it always tastes better if someone else cooks it. As far as the eating that is my hardest thing to.. I keep yougurt, cheese sticks, grapes ( I wash and dry and put in a bowl with a lid as soon as I buy them) peanut butter (crackers, are really good too) so then what I do is I grab a hand full of grapes, a cheese stick, and some peanut butter crackers and some water on my way into my bedroom to nap when baby is sleeping. (no garbage) and I ate something before my head hits the pillow...Good Luck!
I just thought to add this about the landrey, I think Purex makes a new thing that it goes in the washer and the dryer it is some kind of sheet. I saw it advertised but I haven't tryed it yet. That might be something to pick up and use for a month just so you don't have the problem with the dirty clothes pilling up. I am going to see if I can find a coupon for them and try them out. To see if they are worth it. I have a feeling they are going to expensive but I am going to check it out.
Stay Happy !