Bump, Baby and Me: Preparing For Another Child3rd Oct 17 | Family
Is your second or third baby on the way? Do you feel prepared?
Photo Credit: Maria Rusk Photography
So this blog post is well over due!
My excuse? The arrival of Robyn, our second little girl, our house move, house renovations, (delays with the renovations!) and all the other bits that life with two little ones throws at you!
Anyway, here I am, feeding Robyn, typing with my one free hand, sitting at my new kitchen island (it’s still a real novelty!) and Ayla is upstairs having a nap so all is good in our world!
Before we had Robyn, part of us wondered how on earth would we adjust with a new baby in the mix?
Just when we were getting some sort of rhythm in our busy lives with a toddler it was all going to change again.
In saying that, I knew we would adjust, just like every other family, because there’s no other option is there? You just go with the flow!
I posed the question ‘What advice would you give to someone expecting their second baby’ to a group of wise & experienced women and they shared what worked for them.
If you are expecting a new addition to your family you might find some of these tips useful too:
‘’Lower your expectations of everything. Meals, baby no.1, cleanliness of house, ourselves!
When we called people or text to let them know baby had arrived we also said "so we'll see you in a few days once we all get some much needed rest"
It was important to take that time just for us. (Now some people ignored us, but at least we tried to fend them off!)’’
‘’ I learned how to breastfeed lying down and invested in a super king bed - it meant we all got loads more sleep than on number one. I made sure to make the most of having help straight after she arrived, and pretty much took to bed with her for the first week - it really set us up before I had to fly solo with two. I also finally learned how to use my ring sling which was great for us’’
‘’I cannot recommend enough a co-sleeper if breastfeeding... I breastfed all four of mine but waited till no.4 to use one and I don't know why!! Best thing ever! I got so much more sleep... we barely woke up to feed. After the first 3-4 weeks I got the hang of it lying down and it was plain sailing from there.... loads more rest for mama’’
‘’Know it’s ok to lower your standards. You will never be able to meet the needs of two children to the same degree that you could meet the needs of one. The love doubles, yes, but time and patience don't. There is the same amount of those, now split between two. Understand the enormity of what you are asking of a toddler when you bring a sibling into their life and expect acceptance of this new tiny person demanding a share of the attention that has been 100pc theirs. While you are pregnant, you worry about how the toddler will feel but as soon as you have the baby you are in their corner, as they are most vulnerable of your children. Try to remember that though your toddler seems to have grown enormous overnight, he/ she is still a baby and will take time to adjust’’
‘’ Try and get one to one time with your toddler for cuddles & chats, read books, do jigsaws- whatever they need. Include them as much as possible and ask for their help at changing times etc. When your baby is on the mat/bouncer, sing nursery rhymes/dance together etc. That way the toddler is amused and baby is entertained. It helps them bond too.
Encourage affection between the toddler & baby.
I find the hardest part is when both are crying, who to go to first. The baby is smallest & most vulnerable but the toddler is struggle with the change/emotional upheaval so that can be a bit of a challenge sometimes.
Keep snacks handy for you and your toddler as it will bide you time when baby needs feeding at toddlers mealtime!
Have a few meals in the freezer/frozen pizza take away menus etc. to hand & the big tip I have- Take any help that’s offered!‘’
Photo Credit: Maria Rusk Photography
Something else that helped us prepare Ayla was a personalised book. It told the story of our family in simple terms & captured the build up to the baby arriving .We enjoyed reading it to Ayla at bedtime before Robyn came along and she still pulls it out to read now that she’s here.
I ordered mine from a lovely Irish business ‘Writing for Tiny’. Our cats Kobi & Nahla even got a mention! Toddlers like to know what’s happening so I found the repetition of reading this book worked well.
Besides preparing Ayla for the arrival of a new baby, Steve and myself did some prep work too.
Lots of people think that because it’s a second baby no additional preparation is needed. There’s an element of ‘Sure you’ve done it already’ isn’t there?
Photo Credit: Maria Rusk Photography
Second, third or forth time births can all be very different and some women can feel a little shocked by maybe the speed of the birth or the path it takes.
Getting yourself into a good headspace, giving your birth some thought and thinking through all the different scenarios can really help with how you feel about your birth after your baby is here.
This birth was going to be very different for us as Ayla had been a planned c-section (she was a very stubborn breech baby!) and I was hoping for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) this time around.
So what was I doing to stack the odds in my favour?
*I was keeping as active as possible in Steves gym, PTI doing movements that were suitable for me, suitable for my growing bump and ultimately preparing me for labour.
*I was doing my Pelvic Floor Exercises (could have done them more to be honest!). You can never do enough of these, as long as you are doing them correctly. Knowing how to release, drop & relax them as much as lifting and tightening them is very important. If you are unsure about Pelvic Floor exercises it’s a good idea to visit a Women’s Health Physio.
*I was reading up on VBAC, making sure I was up to date with the latest birth guidelines and policies.
*I wrote up my Birth Preferences. Here’s a link to a previous article I did on birth preferences.
*I was listening to the GentleBirth App, especially the VBAC tracks.
*We attended a VBAC workshop hosted by Tricia & Bernie from Snugglebugs in Kildare.
Even though I was always chatting about VBAC births with Steve, the workshop was really good for him as he could see the statistics and hear from a different perspective how best to prepare for the big day.
*Another thing we did was book a Doula. (What does a doula do? Take a look).
Doulas are becoming more and more popular in Ireland now and I felt if we wanted to feel truly supported through the pregnancy & birth and those early postnatal days it was the right thing to do. I’ve trained as a Doula myself so I know what that additional support can do for a family. More about Mim, our Doula, later!
All that’s left to do now is tell you how Robyn’s birth went, but that will have to wait for the next blog post! (I can’t wait to write that one!)
Thanks as always for reading & if you’d like to keep up to date with all the Bump Baby and Me happenings just like my Facebook page & feel free to get in touch,
Kathy is passionate about all things surrounding birth, babies and parenthood. She also has a big interest in wellness, health & fitness.
She runs ‘Bump, Baby and Me’ – providing Pre & Postnatal classes & workshops & Doula services in Malahide, Co. Dublin and LOVES working with mums, dads & babies.
She is the proud mummy to her little girls Ayla & Robyn.