I have been the mom through two newborns so far and I've definitely enjoyed the ease of baby number 2. I don't know how many times I was warned by people that the second baby was so much more of an adjustment than the first. In my experience these people were fortunatley wrong and bringing the second baby into our family went much smoother than the first. I can even say that I enjoyed the newborn stage so much more the second time around. Maybe because I really understood how fast it would tick by.
Sure there were frazzled moments where I dripped milk all over the place and held a red crying baby. Since I had already been through these kinds of baby experiences before I knew that all hard moments have a time limit and eventually pass. Now my newborn is 6 months old and I'm in the full swing of things as a mother to two.
Soon our dear Amanda will be welcoming her baby boy and Lilah will be an older sister; I've got a few tricks for her so she can stay on top of the transition of adding a new tiny family member.
Stock up on some basics like toilet paper and paper towels now. Having a few extras in the house will help you out immensely once that new baby boy moves in! If you have any special occasions happening in the first month you bring baby home, go and get those pressies and cards now. Stash them away and your future self will thank your tired new mama self in a big way.
If you can find the time, get your hair done. In fact, do all that personal self care while your bump is still burgeoning. Not only will you feel good, you will also look awesome in all of the photos of your birth. A win win situation for you.
Don't spend too much time getting anxious or losing sleep over preparing for the baby. Newborns do not actually need much; if you've got milk on tap you are golden. Having your partner run out for diapers is no big deal and most newborn essentials can really be found in your home. Plus there is the chance for on line shopping during those midnight feeds.
Bringing Baby Home
When we were bringing Josie home from the hospital we were able to arrange an extra day at day care for our son. For a short time it was just the new baby in our apartment and that moment felt relaxed and not rushed or stressful. We also chose to keep him in day care twice a week even though I was on maternity leave. I can't express how helpful this was for me and I'm so grateful that we were able to do this. It gave me time where I could just focus on discovering the new baby. We did our healthy baby visits during those daycare days and had friends over to meet the baby. In the early weeks it gave me a chance to actually sleep when the baby slept.
If people offer to bring you food always say yes. However, don't feel obliged to say yes to every visitor in the first weeks at home with your baby. I found by 4 weeks I was able to easily have a friend pop over without it being a huge deal.
Any family member or friend that offers to take Lilah out of the house will hold a special place in your heart. I had some really nice moments in the first few weeks at home with just the new baby because of this. My girlfriends had him over for play dates, off for swimming adventures, and even just some nearby playground fun. It felt so good to know he was having some special attention while I nursed and snuggled with the baby in my bed. It's not too early to book those playmates now.
The Maternity Nurse Advice
Now for me to put my nurses hat on! Don't rush your post partum recovery, instead relish the sweet fleeting newborn days. If there is ever a time to truly slow down and rest and recover, it is after you have a baby. Don't feel the pressure to put on your 'pre baby' jeans and head out on a bunch of errands. Allow yourself the time to lounge in soft stretchy clothing and lay in bed feeding your baby. Your body has gone through the amazing feat of growing a baby, birthing a baby and deserves a chance to recover guilt free.
If you didn't learn to breastfeed in a side laying position with your first, try to do it this time around. This position gives you the chance to rest and is more relaxing over all. For the most part, most repeat new mothers tell me that breastfeeding is much easier with each subsequent baby and I found this to be true with myself.
I'm so excited to hear about Amanda's journey of welcoming her second baby. Do you have any other tips for her on becoming a mother of 2?
Thanks so much to Andrea for sharing her thoughts and experiences. (Oh, and did I forget to mention her husband also takes gorgeous photos?) I really appreciate the advice as I enter a new stage of motherhood. And if you haven't already checked out Andrea's blog, you should swing by Mama in the City to wish her a happy birthday!