Tips From Real Mums: Transitioning from 1-2 Kids.
I recently asked my Instagram how they adjusted from one to two kids and I had so many Mum's who are currently pregnant with their second ask me to share what tips I got so here are just some of them. I got a lot more but a lot were similar. Some might conflict with each other but just take away what you feel suits your life and you parenting style.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF & STOP PUTTING PRESSURE ON YOURSELF..
"Just take it easy on yourself, for starters. Secondly, praise the eldest for literally anything. I found that I was constantly telling my daughter off for being too noisy, being too whiney, waking the baby, being too rough etc and she really started to show major resentment towards both the baby and I. I made a change and started praising her for all the small things (like playing by herself quietly, eating on her own, holding the trolley,using manners) and she went back to being her happy loving self."
"Most of all lower your expectations and be kind to yourself. If some days you only achieve keeping everyone fed & Alive well that’s a successful day! Kids don’t need us to be “perfect” parents they just need us to be happy & loving. It’s easy to get down on yourself and feel guilty for not being able to give each child as much attention as you would like to or to adjust to juggling both their needs but we can only give so much and they do adjust "
"Do things your own way and honestly whatever works! The kids will work like clock work (I know mine did) as soon as one woke one went to sleep. Could never get them to work together. I was living on basically no sleep so I had to improvise just to get through the day! It may not be “the healthy food and lots of craft activities” for a while, it may be a lot of TV and frozen foods! But if that gives you time to sit and stop for a minute, than do it! And DON'T beat yourself up for any of it!"
"Don’t sweat the small things - Tomorrow is always going to be a new day."
"I would get anxious or beat myself up about what I hadn’t achieved in a day I set my self a couple of really simple goals and if they were achieved the day was a win. They were make my bed, get everyone out of their pjs and have a shower (even if it was at 10pm or with everyone at 12pm)."
"It’s going to be chaos, be ok with chaos! It does get easier and you find a routine, and you figure out what works for you in time."
"Have stations around your house where you know you will feed and change bubs nappies.In your ‘station’ have things like tissues, wipes, nappy, bags, burp cloth, pacifier, bottle of water, packet snacks (for you and toddler in case you’re feeding and can’t move) and a few books and toys for you to read and play with your toddler while feeding. "
"Prep a shit tonne of freezer meals." - before the baby comes.
"You could get a meal delivery company to deliver your meals like YouFoodz for already made meals or Marley Spoon for meals you can make yourself."
"Each evening pack and re-organise the nappy and toddlers bags so you can easily grab them and walk out the door in the morning if you have plans or appointments. Don't forget to charge the iPad each night too if you need to take both kids to the shops or appointments."
"Don't forget your partner or husband and the importance of giving each other time but also an idea of what each other are thinking so your ideas don't clash and you take it out on each other."
TIPS FOR YOUR TODDLER...
"Allow time for 1 on 1 with your eldest to make sure they don’t feel like they will miss out.. be patient with them with the new baby because if they are anything like mine, they will be obsessed! Use your partner as much as you can to balance out the load... and enjoy it, soak it all up!"
"Give Everyone (most especially yourself) time to adjust. Your toddlers world has just totally changed and you now need to find that balance again where everyone(including yourself) feels happy and looked after! Don't rush it and enjoy those newborn snuggles!!"
"When your toddler comes to visit in hospital have a little gift they can give to the baby and have one you can give back to them from the baby so they feel special and remembered too."
"Getting your eldest involved makes a huge difference. I had a 2 year 4 month age gap between my two and asking my eldest to help me change the baby, burp the baby etc was great. Also timing them to do things eg: quick I’ll time you run and get me a nappy for the baby.. wow you got it in 10 seconds amazing!! Huge sense of accomplishment for them and they don’t feel as left out because a new baby’s demanding your attention."
"Don’t expect too much of your toddler, they might hate baby to start with take things slowly it’s a big adjustment for everyone!"
"Routine routine routine, try and have your first child in a good dinner bath and bed time routine. Keep it going when the baby comes so that your toddlers life stays as normal as possible."
"Keep your toddler in daycare, let them continue their days as normal."
"Make sure you have a good baby carrier because baby wearing is a lifesaver when you’ve got a toddler! I found a wrap perfect when newborn then a sturdier carrier like an ergo great when a bit older."
"Don't put pressure on your toddler to bond with the baby instantly. Allow their relationship to grow over time."
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
"Ask for help! Whether it’s a babysitter, family or daycare".
"Don't be afraid to ask for help from your family or friends with the toddler. Get them to take them to the park or for the day if you need to."
"Ask your friends around to visit for company and talk to them if you're struggling."
"Accept the gesture of friends or family making meals or bringing takeaway around, especially in the first few weeks. It's not that they think you can't handle it, they honestly want to help out and probably want to snuggle the baby too."
"If you can express try expressing a feed so your husband can help over night or early mornings or if you are bottle feeding let your husband take some of the feeds. It will help them bond and let you get some sleep."
"Nap when you can seriously even if it's just for 10 minutes."
"Seek help if you are struggling whether that be talking to a friend or your doctor."
AND IF ALL ELSE FAILS..
"Drink wine (when the kids are all in bed!)"
Hope these helped you as much as they did me.