September 5, 2019

Helpful Tips When Transitioning From 1-2 Children

Helpful Tips When Transitioning From 1-2 Children

As excited as I am about welcoming a new baby into our family, naturally I’m pretty nervous and anxious about it. There are so many things to think about, including how we’re going to balance it all and how we’re going to manage Nate’s emotions and feelings as we welcome a new baby. When I asked this wonderful community for some tips on how to navigate this new chapter, I got flooded with so many helpful suggestions.

If anything, after I read your responses, I felt so much better knowing that in the end, everything will be okay. Yes, the beginning will be rough and I (we) may want to pull our hair out, but after a few months, we’ll get into a groove. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

Basically, It’s going to be a mess and complete insanity, but embrace it. It doesn’t last forever. 

There were so many suggestions I would never even think of, but when I read them, I thought “ahh! this makes complete sense.” I know I’m not the first, nor the last, to have these wavering feelings, so I had to share with all of you, what was shared with me.

Helpful Tips When Transitioning From 1-2 Children

One of the number one answers was that your first child will need you more than your new baby. Physically, yes, your baby will need you. Mentally, your first will need you more and the baby won’t remember, but your older one will.

Plan for one-on-one time with the first, as much as you’re able to get. If breakfast dates were your thing, try to keep them up.

When family/friends come to see the new baby, they should first shower the older sibling with attention before making contact with the baby. This helps the older sibling feel special and remembered and not like the new baby is taking all the attention away from him.

If guests come over with a present for the new baby, have a little bag handy to pull something for the older child to have your guest hand him or her. This way, they do not feel left out.

If it’s financially feasible, keep the first one in daycare/school.

Also, if it’s financially feasible, get as much help as possible! Whether a night nurse, a nanny for when new baby comes up (even if it’s for a couple of hours a day or a few days a week), a dog walker, out sourcing for laundry, grocery delivery, getting a cleaning person, etc.. ANYTHING to help alleviate your load. I understand that this is not possible for everyone, but if there’s an opportunity to get help anywhere and everywhere, take it.

Making sure the older sibling is involved in most/all things concerning baby, from pregnancy until baby’s birth. That will go a long way to help him feel ready to welcome the new addition. Continue even after baby’s birth. Toddlers love to help!

When older sibling comes to the hospital to meet his new baby brother/sister, give him a wrapped gift that is from “his new sister/brother”.

Stay in the same routine you already have. Your new baby will follow suit.

Don’t allow yourself to neglect your own recovery (mind and body) in the madness.

Store plenty of freezer meals.

Order more wine.

Never “blame” the baby for not being able to do things regarding your oldest. Example: “I can’t pick you up because of the baby.” Instead, say you’re tired or your back hurts.

Have somewhere safe that you can put the baby if your first child needs your attention. Dockatot, mamaroo, etc.

Baby wearing so you’re able to be hands free.

The reality is, it’s going to be a shit show at first, but things do get better! I should probably print that out and put that on my fridge as a reminder. 

Those were most the repeated tips, but if there’s something I’m missing that was a game-changer for you and your family, please share!!

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11 comments

  • Mariana

    Those are all amazing tips! I would add:
    – never “blame” the baby for not being able to do things regarding your oldest while pregnant (meaning: never say “I can’t Pick you up because of the baby”. Instead, say you’re tired or your back hurts)
    – most important of all: if both of them are crying, attend to the oldest first! The baby won’t remember but your oldest will.
    But as many said, those first months are a bit messy but after that it’ll be much easier. And there’s no bigger joy in life that watching your kids play and laugh together! Congratulations!

    • Helena

      Love these! Def adding them to the list. Thank you!!

  • Sel

    Hello Helena, three additional tips that may be of use –
    1. For you and Keith to be gentle on yourselves as you adjust and learn to share your love, energy and time with Nate and his baby brother or sister.
    2. Going from one child to two requires Mum and Dad to improve their household organisational skills – otherwise things fall into a chaotic mess.
    3. Most importantly, if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask. Needing help is not a weakness. Today’s society praises self-reliance/self-sufficiency – but as desirable as that trait is – I feel that the concept of self-reliance has drifted to the extreme and is damaging to society. Everyone will be in need of help throughout their lives. I believe that offering and receiving help is the cornerstone of both personal well-being and a well-functioning society. It’s normal to need help, not abnormal.
    Wishing you, Keith and Nate a fantastic weekend, Sel. x

    • Helena

      Thank you!! Definitely NOT above help – we plan to get it wherever we can!

  • Diana

    Nate is going to be an amazing older brother! What’s his reaction to the bump? does he now whats happening?

  • Anna

    Good luck! Another tip I’ve heard is to “tell” the baby he/she needs to wait their turn while you’re busy with the older one. Hearing you putting the older child first is a good reassurance for him. Baby won’t have a clue!

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  • Chrisy

    Dear Helena!
    I love this post and agree to most of it, but never understood the idea of giving a gift to the brother/sister that’s from the “newborn”. I have 4 kids and have always been real. And telling the older sibling that the newborn brought him a gift, always seemed so weird for me. Am I the only one? Sorry if this annoys anyone. Just my opinion. Btw read a lot of your posts and love the way you think! Kind regards Chrisy

  • Jessica

    Thank you for all of the amazing tips! I just found out I’m expecting my second and have heard all of these but great reminders #shitshow haha

  • Severn Hollow

    Very nice… I really like your blog…

  • DARESSA HOPE

    I am overly loving your blog these days! Although, I am rather new to your site, I would be interested to know if you could dive into more detail regarding your pregnancy experience with both a boy and now a girl? Are all the little myths true, such as being pregnant with a boy is much easier than being pregnant with a girl? Based on your pictures, it looks like you are doing well with both pregnancies!

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