Lisa’s 6 Tips for
Bringing Home Baby Number TWO!
- This is more like a pre-hospital tip: give your child a baby doll when you’re pregnant. My daughter Logan was just 9 months old when we found out The Doyle’s were blessed with baby number two. We were thrilled, but would Logan be old enough to understand the joys of having a sibling? Yes. By the time she was one, giving her a baby doll was the best idea. We taught her how to hold the baby, give it a bottle, whisper to the baby, sing to it, and most importantly be gentle! This worked out great for Logan. Although sometimes I think she believes Kohen is her “real baby doll” giving her a toy doll was very successful for our family.
- Talk to your child about going to the hospital. I was so sad to leave Logan for several days to deliver our new bundle. I wanted so badly for her to come with us, but let’s be honest that would have been a disaster to bring a 17-month-old along in tow. Although Logan (at the time) couldn’t expresses too many things in words, we always tried to talk to her like a grown up about things that were going to happen. We told her she would be staying with grandma for a few days and the baby would come home. I’m not sure if she understood this, but reminding her about a “grandma and grandpa vacation” and “a new baby” seemed to help and ease her worries. We all know as parents, routine is KEY and not only a new brother would change this routine, but the days in the hospital would turn her world upside down.
- Spoil the older one with big sister gifts. I bought Logan a few big sister shirts to make her feel special. I wish I would have gotten her a few toys and what not but I dropped the ball on that. My mom did a great job of making Logan feel special when we were in the hospital. She gave her new outfits (Logan’s obsession) and some toys to keep her busy. There are a bunch of fun big brother/big sister books out there too!
- When you finally get to bring the older child to meet the baby, make it all about the older child and not the baby. Although you are obsessed with your newborn and exhausted make the first meet-and-greet about the first born child y so they don’t feel scared. When Logan showed up we made sure not to be holding Kohen and to greet Logan with tons of love, kisses, and attention. She was so confused about the hospital and why mommy looked so crazy. Lol. After she got warmed up to the hospital I held Kohen and we introduced them. Then we let Logan explore the situation and say “hi” to her new baby brother. We each took turns holding Kohen and allowing Logan to take a peek. Even though Logan seemed like a baby herself only being 17 months old, the moment she held her little brother (with assistance from mom) it was love at first sight.
- When you get the baby home, give the older one a “job”. So Logan was a late walker (15 months) and Kohen arrives when she was 17 months, so I know what you are thinking “what job can I give them?” I have basically TWO BABIES! Logan feels very important when getting to help me take care of her brother. This job makes her feel included verses left out and helped reduce jealousy because she is apart of the process, not ignored. These are Logan’s “jobs” -retrieving diapers, handing me wipes, bringing over the burp cloth or blanket, singing to baby, and helping me “feed” Kohen (sitting next to me, because this girl was running and climbing all over my house when trying to breastfeed. I’ll post about this later…breastfeeding a newborn with a toddler was a whole other challenge.)
- My last tip is stick to the older child’s schedule. We all know as parents it’s all about that schedule, schedule, schedule. Well stick to the older ones! It’s going to be tiring; your up with your newborn from 4-5am and your toddler gets up at 6am. But YOU WILL GET THROUGH IT! Remember: those first few months are the hardest and they will end because everything is a phase. Try your best to take shifts with your husband. My amazing husband gets up with Logan at 6 so I can sleep a tiny bit longer since I’m awake more for nighttime feedings. Eventually now that Kohen is five months old he has somewhat molded to Logan’s schedule, they wake up at the same time, go to bed at the same time, and if I am LUCKY nap at the same time.