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Welcoming Your Second Child

There is nothing quite like welcoming a new child into the world. With the arrival of your first child, if you’re anything like me, you make a huge list of things to do and get. You experience emotions you never thought you would experience all at once (like happiness, yet perhaps a bit scared and anxious too). There seems to be so much to do before and after the birth. With your second child, things can seem a bit more chilled. You know what to expect a bit more this time around and may have a lot of the items you need already that were used with your firstborn.

Although it may seem a bit easier this time around, you will suddenly be responsible for two little persons, and trying to juggle everything can come off as a tad overwhelming. Your first born may also be feeling different now having to share Mommy and Daddy’s attention. Here are a few tips to help make that transition from being a parent of one to a parent of two a tad easier for everyone.

Clean Everything

You may have a lot of clothes from your first stored away, but it’s always worth giving them a good wash. This goes for things like a diaper bag too (which we all know can get pretty dirty over time), as well as a crib mattress and protector, and toys. This will give you the chance to go over everything to make sure things are working and in good shape too.

You’ll Need Plenty of Diapers Though!

If a baby shower is being arranged, make sure it’s clear you have most of what you need. Instead, ask for diapers – You’ll ALWAYS need those! Other things like clothes, shampoo, and baby wash can also come in handy, as you most likely wouldn’t have kept those with your first!

Do Something Special with Your Older Child

A big change is about to occur, and some younger kids won’t quite understand, but it is still worth doing something special with your child anyways. This can be a trip to the movies, a park, a theme park (but don’t overdo it, Mamma!)…anything that you and your child can do together that they will absolutely love.

Read Stories and Role Play

There are a lot of books out there you can read about becoming a big brother or sister, so take the time to read some as a bedtime story. It can also help to do some role play with dolls and/or stuffed animals. Have friends who have more than one child? Have them over for a playdate. Again, if you have quite a young toddler, they may not understand, but it all helps, and the play dates help to learn how to share and play together.

Arrange for a Familiar Babysitter

Welcoming a new child is a big change for your older child, so when the time comes to go to the hospital, we recommend arranging a babysitter that your child is familiar with. If anything, they can at least feel at ease with someone they know and trust when labor kicks in. Try to have someone nearby so they can come quickly if the second baby decides the middle of the night is a good time to start making his or her way out into the world.

Have a Bag Prepared (for Both You and Your First!)

We often know that we need to have a bag packed and ready to go to the hospital for ourselves, but you should have something ready with everything your first child needs too. This includes clothes, diapers (if necessary), snacks, a favorite toy, some activities, a special surprise. You can even have them help pack the bag and pick the things they want in it. It will make them feel good to have something special just for them. Make sure their pack includes their schedule. Again, anything to help maintain consistency during this chaotic time helps!

Hold Off on Visitors

The first 24 hours after your new baby has come on will bring a world of emotions to your firstborn. Instead of letting people come around to see the newest arrival right away, perhaps hold off a bit to let your older child adjust without the chaos. When visitors do come, make sure your older child is involved. They can help unwrap gifts for the new baby or pass out snacks to guests.

Give Lots of Cuddles!

Give lots of cuddles and snuggles! Even whilst feeding your second baby, let your first cuddle up to you. Let them give gentle cuddles to their new brother and sister too.

Acknowledge Feelings

Finally, know that jealousy and regression is to be expected. Always acknowledge your child’s feelings about the new baby. While explaining things may not always work, especially with toddlers, it is important that they know they have been heard. Make sure they have their time with Mommy and Daddy too but don’t feel like you have to give in to every demand they have in their moments of jealousy in order to grasp attention.

Let’s Hear Your Experiences

What was it like for you when you welcomed your second child? How did you help prepare your first born for the new addition to the family? We’d love to hear your experiences over on our social media pages!

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