January 7, 2013

Advice For 2nd Time Moms

OK ladies...this is where I turn this blog over to you.

Sure I've been around the baby block before.  I know how to change a diaper in my sleep, heat up a bottle {in a microwave}, soothe the gas pains and do it all while holding a glass of wine.  One baby is easy peasy.

What I need from you is all the 2nd time mom stuff.  Do I need a double stroller {really}?  How do I parent from the couch while feeding a newborn if the toddler starts drawing on the wall with permanent marker?  What about going out in public, alone, with two children?  And can someone please explain breast pumps?  Which is the best?  Should I rent one or buy one?  Will I ever have simultaneous naps?  Is it true that your heart just...grows, when the 2nd baby arrives?  Are we ever going to have husband-wife time again?

How bout the toddler?  Will she feel deprived?  Is she going to hate the new baby?  How do I transition her in the best way, for HER.  What things can I do to get her ready and excited?

Yeah, that's what I want to know.  I want the nitty gritty.  The stuff no one tells you about.  The stuff that would make you say "why did I want to have a 2nd baby?!".  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  I want it all. Don't hold back on me now, people.

Please and thank you.


  1. Everything will fall into to place...it just will. Everything seems to work and yes there will be times the toddler is coloring on the wall while you feed the baby but its ok. Keeping everyone alive and fed is the goal.

    If you are going to breastfeed and pump you will need a good pump. Go with a Medela. They are expensive but cheaper than formula.

  2. You may have heard of these before but I am going to have a big brother party for W when we return home. I'll get my mom to prepare the cake and whatnot. I'm also going to have the baby give him a gift in the hospital. A good friend of mine bought a photo album for the older kid to have and took lots of pictures in the first few days of both of them together for the older sibling to show off to visitors when they came by.

  3. Medela pumps are the best......obviously, price wise, they are the most expensive, but girlfriend, they work. Take it from a Mama that pumped for about 9 months. Don't go cheap when it comes to that part of the deed...you need the best!

  4. Great post- I'm right there with you and every one of these questions plagues my mind at all hours of the freaking night. Looking forward to all the responses.

    As for the breast pump- I have the Medela pump in style. Love it. Definitely not an item you want to cut corners on in my opinion.

  5. Try to make it a practice not to say things like I can't right now KP because I'm feeding/changing/holding, etc. the baby or you're going to have to wait KP, because seriously, what toddler knows how to wait?! If you keep saying things like that (even though it might be true), she's going to start attaching mommy not spending time with me/doing things for me bc the baby is "in the way" and then comes the resentment. Change it around and say things like come read the baby a book while I feed her/Help me change the baby or something where you try to make her a part of what you're doing.

  6. I love my Medela Pump In Style. Rent one for a little bit before you go splurging on one (unless your insurance covers it) or be like me and buy one and only use it for 3.5 months the first time. I bought ours with Carter and nursed for 3.5 months and then that baby sat collecting dust.

    Yes, you'll need a double stroller (if KP still doesn't mind riding in one, of course). See, when I go out in public, I can't let Carter roam free or else he would run off into the wild oblivion. So double stroller it is. I have the BOB and I love it for running and working out. It is a must in that sense. For stores and such? Awful. Like can't navigate the racks of clothes and aisles at Williams Sonoma. So for those trips? You'll either wear New Baby or perhaps look into the Sit and Stand strollers. That's where we're headed next.

    You'll be able to parent from the couch and? You'll get really good at it. Someone told me about a "fun box" of stickers and pipe cleaners and new little toys that you can pull out before you get ready to sit down. I did that for the first few weeks and it worked like a charm. And then? It got to be a pain in the ass to keep dragging out.. so? I turned on the TV. And that? My friend? Is like gold around here. MMCH, Jake, George.. you name it? We watched it. As many episodes as we needed to until the baby was fed.

    The best part? KP WILL BE ABLE TO HELP YOU. Diaper cream out of reach? Diapers left on the couch? Have her run and grab them. Have her help you un-velcro the diaper tabs. She'll feel like she's being the best helper ever in the whole world even with the smallest mundane tasks.. and it's including her and making her feel all warm and fuzzy.

    Girl.. you will rock the mom of two thing. Promise.

  7. Medela pumps are by far the best in my opinion. As far as everything else, it will work out...Promise. I too wondered the same thing and my kids are very close in age and now I look back and wonder how I did it haha!

  8. I know this is a bit of a repeat from others, but here goes! Starting out I suggest renting a pump. I didn't, but I got lucky and had fantastic supply so the somewhat cheap-y pump I had worked out. Some people have awesome supply and could feed triplets (me) and others can barely pump(most everyone else I know). Nursing/pumping are both difficult at times and uncomfortable, but have great benefits. I like to think of it like exercise. We don't always like to do it, but there is so much good from it that it outweighs the negative. Also, a lot of the negatives go away after you get used to it!
    Just FYI, in my opinion double pumps were no help. I felt more restrained. With only the single pump I still felt able to do stuff while pumping. Depending on pump, boob size, the flanges etc. etc. You'll figure out what works for you. I'm all for electric pumps, but if you have great supply then a manual one wouldn't be bad to work with.
    I'm having my second in may and have some of the same concerns as you - a little different though since my first will only be 1.5 years at that point. It may not be much help, but everyone tells me it falls into place. Just like how the first took time, give yourself some time to get a schedule and use the help your offered. Just because you did it once doesn't mean you don't need someone to help with dinner, laundry, and so on.

  9. I am interested in what people have to say about double strollers!!!

    Our second is due in May and I have been eyeing the Baby Jogger City Select. I can't let Rowan roam when we're out. She's a super good listener but I space out and would probably leave her somewhere...

  10. Please do a post with answers!! Wondering the same things!
    Or I can come back and read all the comments :)

  11. I only have one so I can't comment on the two kid part but I just finished pumping for a year and the Medela pump is awesome, though they are pricey so you may want to rent at first until you are sure you want to continue breastfeeding/pumping. I know we could rent them from our hospital if we wanted. I had to pump since I had to go back to work but since you are a SAHM you may be able to get away with not having one though that also means you're the only one that can feed the baby so it really depends on what you want to do.

  12. No advice on the two kid thing but as far as breast pumps go, Medela Freestyle is what I have and that thing is AMAZING. It's hands-free, so you don't have to be attached to a bag like with the other Medela ones. Definitely good for having 2 kids I would imagine.

    I would definitely check with you're insurance because with Obamacare now most insurance providers cover breast pumps!

    I have no doubt you're going to rock this mom of 2 thing...:)

  13. I don't have kids but I think it's all going to work out! You are smart and savvy you can handle it!

  14. It will all work itself out! Don't stress! KP will be 3 and she will be able to keep herself busy while you are feeding the baby! Are you doing 3 year old preschool with her?

  15. Shannon thank you so much for posting this. I was considerig doing the same thing now I will just stalk your page to find out the answers. I know my little guys is 6 and will want to help a lot more but I still don't want him to feel left out.

    As far as the breast pump thing... I pumpe with my first and I just couldn't see buying such an expensive pump when I could just buy a hand pump. Like another blogger said as long as you produce a good supply of milk then it isn't a problem with the hand pump.

    I will be back to read more answers. Thanks again for posting I have the exact same fears/feelings/concerns.

  16. I have an Avent pump and love it. Also, I believe there was a law passed on the 1st that requires insurance companies to cover the cost of a pump. Some insurances make you buy it and apply the cost to your deductible and others reimburse you outright.

    When I was pregnant with Becca, the doctor prescribed once a week pajama days to try and calm down early contractions. I hated it at the time, but honestly it was probably a good thing, because we had a TON of pajama days after Becca was born, and it was an easier transition for Lizzy. BUT, it has been a hard transition. The behavior issues came out full force while feeding Becca. Reading to Lizzy while nursing helps some, but we also watch a ton of TV right now...whuch sucks, but she will live.

    Also, try and teach KP to do as many things on her own as you can (putting on shoes, getting a glass of water, buckling her carseat, etc) because it is a HUGE help!

  17. Shannon, My second will be 2 in March, a lot of these quesetions I can't even remember answers to. While there will be a lot of people who can give you great advice on these topics, all I can say is, you just do it. It's survival mode and you do what you have to do. Kendal might have to go without youre full attention for a little while, baby dew #2 might have to cry a little longer while you finish something up for kp. Im not going to lie, it was hard for the first 3 months. But now its all a blur and my kids are happy and healthy, and they dont remember it either! As far as the double stroller goes, I say wait until the baby comes and decide then. I was CRAZY about have a double stroller BEFORE the baby came, and it was totally unnecessary. I used a snap n go for the fisr 6 months and I have only used my sit n stand maybe 10 times.

    Youre going to do great. And yes, youre heart really does just grow :)

  18. I have three little ones, two boys and a girl. The oldest is 4 and the youngest is just about 9 months.
    I work four days a week so have pumped with all of them. I use a Medela pump and it's been fine. I don't know if you nursed before, but I think the suggestion of renting a pump is a great one. The hospital pumps are amazing and you can use it for a week or two to see how it works for you.
    As far as the double stroller...we do have one, it's a sit and stand type. We don't actually use it a lot though. We've used our single stroller and the Bjorn a lot. Now that our baby is getting bigger she rides in the stroller a lot more though. The sit and stand is nice because the older kids can hop on and off easily. It's compact, but can be difficult to maneuver. If I didn't work and was home with all three kids more, we might use it more than we do. We might use it more moving forward because Elin is getting bigger and heavier in the Bjorn.
    You'll be great! I wasn't sure how I was going to handle two, or three for that matter but it does work itself out. Life is all about experiences, right? That's what I told myself as I took my three kids and two dogs (we're watching an extra dog right now) for a walk on Friday. It was just a little bit crazy :)

  19. Alright Shannon you asked for it. I have a 2 1/2 yr old and a 6 month old. So here's my take.
    Breast Pumps- Medela are the best, you only need one if you want hubby to do feedings, or are going to have to leave baby. I get the swing one for just in case I needed it. It was really good, but more of a pain to pump if I didn't really need to. I only BF for 3 months, so it wasn't really worth it.
    Strollers- My kids are 2 years apart, and we go to the mall and on walks frequently so I knew that I would need a good stroller. I know that my little guy would never stay in a sit and stand, so I needed 2 seats. The best one we found is the Contours Stroller by Kolcraft. Its amazing!! You should check it out.
    Parenting from the couch is tough. It's like as soon as they see you are feeding the baby, they will try to get into something. Have lots of books available to read to them while you feed and maybe have special toys that they can only have when you are feeding. Also I like to strap them into the highchair for a snack when baby is feeding so I know that they can't get into anything.
    Simultaneous naps- well the first 2-3 months are going to be fine, the baby sleeps almost all the time. You may think "oh this is easy, what was I worried about?" Then shit gets real. When they are up more and need more attention, you want to get them on a schedule and get them on the same page. I also have child proofed my toddlers room and even when he doesn't want to nap right away, he has to play quietly in his room. He eventually falls asleep on his own and it gives me some down time.
    And yes- I didn't think it would happen, but your heart does grow. You will love new baby just as much.
    As for hubby-wife time, we are still working on getting that part straight. Be creative and hopefully you have grandparents close by, that like to babysit.

    We were lucky with our toddler. He absolutely loves the baby. We talked a lot about it when baby was in my belly and I didn't think he understood much but it helped a lot when the baby came. He has to be reminded to be gentle a lot. I think he gets a little mad about that. I don't think he feels deprived or replaced. We make time when baby is sleeping to have alone time with him and make it special. I would get your daughter a baby doll and teach her how to take care of the baby before it comes. When people bring presents for the baby, either ask them to bring something small for her too or keep a bag of small dollarstore gifts for her to open. tank to her lots about where the baby is going to sleep and when the baby is coming. Let her help with the nursery. I had my guy paint some canvases to hang in her room.
    The thing we struggle with the most until baby girl can sit up really good is grocery shopping. Just be well prepared and have a bag packed well for both of them. Lots of snacks for toddler distractions.
    Well I hope this helps- this comment is longer then most of my posts. LOL

  20. Oh wow!! That was longer then I thought!!! LOL Let me know if you have any other questions. I am not an expert but happy to help.

  21. Grr, I just had a long comment typed up and my internet went out just as I tried posting it. I'll make this one short and to the point. I have an almost 2 year old and 4 month old and a double stroller is necessary for us because my daughter won't walk next to me without taking off. Our iPad is my secret weapon when I really need to tend to the baby and Kyla is wanting attention. She knows exactly how to get to Disney Junior or the other educational apps we have on there for her.

    It's hard at times, but so worth it. You will be a great mama of two! Oh, and even though it's sometimes easier to just do things yourself, have Kendall help get a diaper or throw it away or get a burp cloth. Kyla loves helping and loves when I get excited for her when she does. And even though it's sometimes easier to NOT go out, I go crazy stuck in the house (especially now in the winter) so it's worth the hassle. I will just go walk around the mall sometimes just to get out.

    Ok, this one ended up being long too, sorry :)

  22. Ok here goes!

    Breast pump: I had the medela Swing. Medela makes the best pumps I've tried others and they suck (or actually don't). I was told unless your pumping to bottle feed a lot, like going back to work or bottle feeding instead of nursing, then you don't need the bigger ones.

    You'll need a double stroller. I've had a few and my favorite was the Phil & Ted. But I used it when my son was around 10 months and up so I really can't tell you how good it'll work with a newborn.

    As for parenting from the couch. I would turn on a show when I was nursing or read a story. It helped keep my daughter busy. I would also have her help hand me wipes or help cover the baby with a blanket or things like that. It made her feel included.

    Yes your heart grows with each new baby. It's weird because one day it's just the 3 of you and the next it's 4 and you can't even imagine being 3 again.

    I didn't do anything special when I had my son. I jut told y daughter there's a baby in my tummy and taught her his name and just included her in feeling my belly and giving it kisses. She already loved her dolls so she was excited to have a real doll.

    My biggest advice is to take it easy. Don't back your days when you first have the baby. Just relax and accept help! Also if you could get KP on a nap schedule it's nice because you know when you'll get a break. You know if it's a bad day that at a certian time you'll get to sit and cuddle and relax.

  23. I loved my medela double pump. It was great and didn't take that long! Totally worth every penny. We also tried at least 4"5 double strollers before we found one we love. We absolutely love our Joovy Ultalight sit and stand! It is small, compact, and light. Kendall will adjust so fast. We let Mia "help" and that seemed to make the transition easy. She still calls Paxton "her baby". Good luck!

  24. It's a lot harder then I thought it was going to be. You don't have any me time and you have to find ways to get things done during the day while taking care of 2. We did get the double stroller but don't use it as much as I thought we would. My oldest is 3 though and he would rather walk sometimes. I like having the choice with the stroller but it's more for me. We had a NICU baby so I had to pump and rented one from the hospital. I ended up buying a tommee tippee double pump only because the Medela pump from the hospital was not working for me. I would have kept renting if I had the choice. Parenting the older one while dealing with newborn needs is more about choosing your battles. Decide what is really important and then let the other stuff slide. Most importantly don't get mad at yourself if you can't "do it all". We are only humans after all, maybe super mommy humans but still humans ;)

  25. Looking forward to reading a lot of this, even though I am only on number 1.

    Can't wait to hear about how your doctor's app goes!! You look so great!

  26. My girls are 22 months apart. I bought a double stroller and only used it for the two months that I was a 'runner'. Loved my Medela double pump, as mentioned above. It's worth it. Be sure to buy a hands free pumping bra, as well, so you can read or whatever while you're waiting.
    It's hard. I won't lie. The girls are pretty good friends and Eva was WAY better than I expected with the changes. however, there is a level of exhaustion that you cannot plan for. If your older child is like mine, then you'll just have TWO children getting up at night as opposed to one. I just made sure to include Eva in what I could with the new baby and made a big deal about her being a big sister. Nineteen months later, we're doing pretty well.

  27. Obviously I don't have 2 kids yet, but this is how I plan to approach it..

    Rent a pump before you buy. You never know if it is going to work out or not. I borrowed from my sister and plan on buying one this time since insurance covers it and I know that I can BF because of experience with Connor.

    I will not be getting a double stroller. Connor hates to ride in one and we have practiced going into stores holding my hand and verbal cues such as stop and stay close to the car. He does fine. When we go on walks he walks/runs to keep up with us.

    I have purchased a kid digital camera to give to Connor in the hospital. We have practiced taking pics with mine anyway and he loves to do it, so I think it will be fun to get his perspective on the baby thing. Also, he is getting headphones for his iPad. The iPad is the last thing I will want to hear along with a screaming baby.

    Connor is pretty good about understanding when I say just a minute or I will be right there when I can. He hears it all the time anyway. However, I have mixed feelings about turning Connor into my "helper". I really want him to focus on being a toddler and playing with his toys, not having to go fetch a diaper or do a favor for me.

    I have really worked hard to establish his own play areas away from the living room. I just moved many of his toys into the basement that he can go down there and play on his own, and he does. He also has the train table in his room that he will spend a good 45 minutes playing with and it is nice and quiet. It gives each of us time away from each other I noticed over break.

    However, since I have to continue paying our sitter anyway to keep our spot while I am on maternity leave, he will be going to her every day. He loves going there and loves playing with the kids so why not? I know you don't have that option but it is something I am looking forward to.

  28. Hi there. I have to say the first week or so was hard, but then we go into a routine and seriously, it wasn't that bad at all. Yes, my kids do nap at the same time, which is a blessing. I have a sit and stand stroller that we started using when my youngest was about 6 months or so. I loved it, now my oldest is 5, so he really doesn't want to be in the stroller much, but I really do love it. I breast fed my daughter while working full-time, so I borrowed a Medela breast pump and it worked wonderfully. I would recommend the Medela and I would buy one or borrow one if you can and get new tubing and things. Yes, your heart grows-- I don't remember my life with only one child, it is wonderful. Be sure to take some me time, whether its a nap or a little time away to do some shopping. Its important for your sanity! Good luck!

  29. You are so funny!!

    Okay...from a mom of four and who is also raising her husband....you will do great. A lot of those things will come with your own parenting style..really!! It will be so great and the memories of adjusting from one child to two will be things you laugh about forever. Don't stress and enjoy it. There will be days you will need to look in the mirror and tell yourself you will live through it...and I promise you that you will. Kids are amazing and resilient.

    naps...we started quite time. No matter your age (kids only) you had to go to your room and nap OR play for 2 hours each day. That way when one grows out of naps you still have 2 hours to regroup for the next siege.

    Breast pumps....I bought one...don't blow the bank though...unless you plan on turning it into a second job. :)

    I promise you that God blesses us with enough love to fit every family size...if he blesses you with 1 child or 15 (I hope he gives you lots of sanity if you hit the 15 mark!!) :)

    Oh and the most important thing to remember is PRAY...it will get you through the hard times and be thankful for the good times.

    You are going to do amazing!!

    (trust me...I had 3 in diapers at one time...and changed diapers for 10 years straight)

  30. Thank you for this post. We are thinking of having a second baby and everythign you have a question about, I have the same ones and fears! I feel like I won't be able to do it. Sometimes having a two year old stresses me out so bad when he is having a terrible day, that I cannot even imagine having a second baby. So thank you for this, because the comments are helping ease my fear.
    And you will ROCK baby Dew #2!! KP will be an amazing sister!

  31. Ah you'll be fine! Don't stress! I have kids who are 18 months apart, 3 1/2 years apart, and 2 1/2 years apart. They all have their unique challenges and benefits. I would say she will probably be in love with baby #2 until 'lil brother or sister is mobile and interested in her stuff!

    Going from 1 to 2, I was most afraid of not ever being to love anyone else as much as I loved my first. Your heart will grow like you never imagined.

    Stroller: Consider - Does your daughter use a stroller a lot now? Do you plan on wearing the new baby at all? I used a double stroller a lot when my kids were 18 months apart, not so much with the others. A sit & stand might be a good alternative. But for public excursions, it is nice to have a place to safely "stow" each of them. Two or three times out and you'll be a pro.

    Parenting from the couch...well, it's necessary to a certain extent, especially in the beginning. But if your daughter can occupy herself with some Color Wonder markers (no marks on the walls!) or puzzles for 20-30 minute intervals, she'll be fine. This is also a great time for lots of cuddles and reading and watching movies and (let's be real) family naps.

    Simultaneous naps? Good luck...it could happen. See above.

    Breast pump...I've had a couple from Babies R Us that worked fine. I have also supplemented with formula and had no problems, but the ladies at La Leche might tell you differently.

    Husband and wife time? Make it happen, that's all. I know you have people willing to babysit for you, take them up on it! You might feel bad saddling them with 2 kids instead of 1 - do it anyway! Time alone at home might be a little trickier for awhile but you'll get there.

    You might feel some guilt at first (some = A LOT)because a newborn's needs generally must come first, and it will be an adjustment for everyone. But the payoff is awesome! Seriously, you will have so much fun with two! Best of luck to you!

  32. Baby number 2 scared the heck out of me. I can still remember when the hubby went back to work and the feeling of dread that took over me. But as others said, it passes and you get into a routine. I wore that baby everywhere. Invest in a Baby Bjorn and plan on lugging that baby all over the house if you plan to get anything done (I even went the bathroom regularly with the baby sleeping in the Bjorn). When you finally go to the grocery store with the kids, wear the baby in the Bjorn and put the toddler in the cart seat (that way you actually have room to put groceries IN the cart). Rent or borrow a Medela Pump in Style. If you buy one keep in mind that you can always sell it on Craigslist when you are done and regain quite a bit of the buy price. Keep with the breastfeeding, first week or two sucks but after that it is smooth sailing. Use coconut oil on your nipples (as well as on cradle cap and baby butt). Get help. Perhaps you have a friend with kids that will come over. Keeping the toddler entertained with a play date was so helpful. The kids will nap together at the same time occasionally but I wouldn't count on it happening much. Your toddler will probably give up naps at some point and it usually happens once the new baby settles into a napping schedule. Get as much "alone" time with the hubby as you can now.....because once baby #2 comes you are both gonna be crazy busy. I don't know if every other woman was like me but at the end of the day sex was the LAST thing on my mind. Perhaps it was the newborn hanging off of my breast or the constant smell of spit up in my hair. So what I'm saying is get as much of that in now as you can. Hope I didn't scare ya! Good luck, you'll do great.

  33. Hi! Okay some straight talk coming from a Mom of 3 girls(8 year old, 16month old and almost 3 month old). We had a pretty big gap between the 8 year old and the 16 month old so that was hard because obviously we got used to freedom and lovely 8 hours of sleep!! But we adjusted and then BAM preggers again when my baby was only 5 months old so the middle and the baby are only 13 months apart. It has been tough and I def. depend on my 8 year old A LOT. My husband (like Jimmy) works a lot and sometimes late evenings or side jobs so having extra hands is like gold. Depend on your family and in-laws. You will need help. The feeling guilty thing will more than likely happen b/c it’s almost impossible not to feel like you are taking something away from KP. Try to think of it like this, KP will not really remember this time so if she gets mad or sad towards you at least you know inside she'll forget all about it within a couple hours. Time with your husband will be hard at first but as each month passes it gets easier and you'll figure it out. I have no advice on the breastfeeding b/c unfortunately I had to formula feed with all my babies and formula SUCKS...so if you can try and stay strong and stick to the breast feeding it’s so much better for your baby. Good Luck!!

  34. hey there mama-first of major hugs because that is what YOU need!! Everyone will adjust, its the truth- its just a matter of how much time it takes for that to happen. I bought Julianna a doll that truly mimicked a real baby so that she kind of understood that babies will cry, we have to change their diapers and I would take the baby and "pretend to nurse" but just hold her, just so Julianna would find other toys and things to do while that was going on. My favorite quote from going from one to two is " Your time may be split in half, but your heart doubles the second that baby is born and you see both of them together". Grocery store trips became older one first into the part where kids usually go and get strapped in, and then baby got b'jorn'd lol. And once you get your feeding pattern established, you will have your date nights with Jimmy!!! Andrew and I would just wait until we put the kids "asleep" (haha kinda) and then make dinner together with a glass off wine or a beer and it worked. Believe me a few days/weeks will give you a routine and the best part of newborns is the "I sleep, I poop, I eat" so you can give KP a lot of QT. LOve ya mama!

  35. Shannon! Those are all great questions to ask. You really thought this out! I think a 2 seat stroller is a necessity & makes life much easier with two. & allows you to be semi hands free & lets just be honest it would be pretty hard trying to carry a toddler whom refuses to walk perhaps as well as carry a newborn around. Hello heavy & tiring! As far as Kp being able to adapt to a new baby start her out now & get her familiar with the fact that a baby is on the way & let her be involved she is old enough to understand that something is going on & even though she may not fully understand every step it will help in the end to allow her to know things are changing & that a new one will arrive. You can always try a doll with her & say sissy or bubba will be this little help me take care of him/her & I bet she would enjoy that. As far as husband & wife time take your friends & family up on their offers of when they want to babysit the little ones. You still need grown up time as much as you need mommy & daddy time. & too if you have been having several husand & wife time alone maybe you can opt for like 1 night a month to have just one child instead of two so you can bond alone with as parents with just one & that can help both kids in the end! I wish you the best of luck sweet girl in the adventure as kp has a new little sister or brother. I think all will fall into place :)

  36. Ok, so I haven't read any of the other comments so I'm not sure what has already been said. Sorry to repeat, if I am!!!
    I have two boys, my oldest was 2 September 11th and our second came on September 20th!
    Get a double stroller!!! I didn't want to spend the money, but we use it ALL the time. Not sure how Kenzie is, but my oldest is a follower. He wants to do everything everyone else is doing. So if baby is in the stroller, he wants to be in the stroller too! And don't get a side by side, they DON'T fit in any kind of store! Target, no way you can make it through the isles!!
    Breast pump, I use a Medela. It's great. Same one they had me use in the hospital. I love it! My oldest adores the baby, but the biggest thing is that when he wants to kiss or hug him he's WAY too rough. These things we will learn in time.
    I considered myself a patient person, until baby 2 ca,e along. I lose it way too much with my toddler. He's doing everything he normally would, but I can't parent him like I used to because I'm busy. And, our baby was colicky so that sucked giant balls with a toddler.
    All I can say, as much as it sucks, get the, onto a schedule!!! My baby goes for a nap at 9:30 and I wake him up by 11:30, feed then play. Then BOTH kids go down again by 1:30. Our baby is 3 1/2 months, so it has taken this long to get them sleeping at the same time, but they have been doing it since Christmas and its heaven!!
    I was told (I'm a boy mom so I don't have dolls, but you do!!) to get a doll before baby comes, and go through baby routines with the toddler. Have them help feed, diaper, everything!! So when baby comes, they can "help" with things. Like pass a soother, or diaper. Help pat their back while burping. Have Kenzie sit beside you while feeding and include her in everything as much as possible!!

    And always remember, our kids can be jerks at times and get on our nerves, but it will pass!! You can handle it all!! That's why people continue to have more kids!! The bad times do pass!!

    Good luck!!

    Jodi Miller

  37. Here goes 'nothin ;)

    Will you need a double stroller? Maybe. What you will need early on is a wrap. You can wrap that baby up and still put the toddler in a seat strapped into a cart or whatever. Wrap--necessary. Double stroller--debateable. I admit. I bought the luxury stroller. While I'm glad I have it, I don't use it near as often as I thought I would. I use a snap & go stroller, put Lucy's car seat in, and even at the mall Eme holds onto the side of it like an angel and prefers to walk like a big girl. You could TOTALLY wait and see on this--really.

    Parenting from the couch? Well, on a serious note--what I did while boobs out feeding was try to have Eme occupied doing something first. Sometimes I would strap her into the booster seat, pushed into the table (she can't get out) with a coloring book, or ipad (for a show) or something. ANYTHING. Now it's no big deal.

    Going out in public alone with 2 is hard. It gets easier every time. I'm 5 months in and I still don't LOVE it. But I spent the first 6 weeks not going out alone with them, really, until my husband got home. Baby steps. Go to your parents house. Or to target. Nothing hard. Be prepared to leave when one freaks out.

    Yes to breast pumps, but again, not necessarily something you will need for a few weeks post baby. I have an amazing one but my FSA paid for it. Buy, not rent. I'm a medela fan.

    Simultaneous naps? Absolutely yes. I have had overlapping naptime since day 1 (practically). The baby's 2nd (or 3r) nap will line up with KP's...just keep it that way. It may not go over the ENTIRE time nor will they sleep for as long as the toddler (not always--but sometimes!), but there will definitely be some overlapping time. Definitely.

    Is it true that your heart just grows? Um. yea. Like a trillion times yes. But I can tell you this till you're blue in the face, but it's something you just don't fully get or believe till you're there, so don't worry about it ;) But promise, you will love them the same! It's amazing.

    And husband wife time? Ha. Welllll it might be a while. I mean, we had almost 2 months of putting Em down for bed and still having Lucy up with us while we watched tv and stuff and cuddled on the couch. We ended up kind of loving that sweet time with just Lucy, feels like when you just have one. It definitely takes more work to find husband/wife time..but it will happen eventually :)

    I will be absolutely SHOCKED if KP 'hated' the new baby. Just keep referring to the baby as HER baby. Her baby sibling. She will start to feel protective and some ownership that this little person is a part of her life...and the anticipation is going to build SO much over the next 7 months that girlfriend will be a rockin' big sister. She'll be an awesome age.

    Overall--you have time. Lots of time for KP to get used to this. And then it will take a few weeks/months of transition for her--but it doesn't mean it's going to be bad, at all. Just different. It'll be great, you can do it. ;)

  38. Okay, so I'm late to the game and you've got a TON of great advice, but I think I've got them beat:

    1. Read my blog. Hello baby #2 surprise, and I just became a better mom in a little blue line.
    2. Keep doing what you're doing. Don't parent Kendall any differently. She'll FEEL different then. Sure, things will change, but really kids are so malleable, she won't miss a beat if you don't. The new baby is a new thing in her world. She'll adjust to it, no worries.
    Plus, she's a girl. Girls love to play mommy. Liv still introduces Avery as "my baby." Somehow I play second fiddle in their relationship.

  39. Shannon, my "babies" were 12 years apart so I have no advice on how to handle a toddler and a newborn.I got really lucky because Kirsten is THE BEST big sister/helper/mother hen EVER. But I do have a couple things to share:

    First: Rent a breast pump! I bought a $250 breast pump for Kirsten (and that was 13 years ago!) and used it for 6 weeks. Big, huge waste of money. With Adam, I couldn't afford to buy a breast pump or even rent one. And it's a good thing I didn't because while he learned to latch on almost instantly, he HATED breast milk. That's right, by one week of age he refused to drink breast milk. Like, would get a big ol' mouthful of milk and spit it out. So, breastfeeding didn't work out so well with him. Since you're not sure whether you'll breast feed for a few weeks, months, or the full 1-2 years...I definitely recommend renting a pump at first. You can always purchase one after you get your feedings established. I'd at least give it a month; I know the hospitals rent them out for something like $50 per month.

    Second: Yes, your heart GROWS when you have more children. Do you remember me a year ago? I was big and fat and pregnant and cranky. I wasn't excited to have a new baby at all, let alone a baby BOY (I was a GIRL mama! I didn't know a thing about boys!). Kirsten was the absolute love of my life and I couldn't imagine ever loving another child as much as I loved her. But guess what? Adam absolutely stole my heart the minute he looked into my eyes. I swear it was like when the Grinch's heart grew 3 sizes. And that doesn't mean that I love him any more than I love Kirsten...and I don't love her any more than I love Adam. I love them both SOOOO much, each in their own way. I hope you don't worry that you'll lose your bond with Kendall because I promise you that you won't. But you're going to have a new bond with baby #2 and love him/her exactly the same, and differently. I know it sounds crazy, but you'll understand, I promise!

  40. Do you want me to answer each question one by one? LOL. I will speak to teh ones I have something to say about...

    Do I need a double stroller {really}? Yes ... admittedly I've only used mine about 6 times in 6 months, but THOSE times ... I thought "what woudl I have done without this?" .. I am glad I didn't get an $$ on though.

    How do I parent from the couch while feeding a newborn if the toddler starts drawing on the wall with permanent marker? You will figure it out. You'll figure out how to stand up and feed the baby while chasing a toddler. And KP will surprise you. Keep a stash of "Baby Feeding Time" toys and stuff for KP to look at while you're feeding. Also, pray you are lucky like me and get a quick eater ... G takes 5 mins TOPS.

    What about going out in public, alone, with two children? Just do it. Just do it. Just do it. It is scary. (I have hardly done it at all since PTing Eva..) but you will soon feel like it's the only way you know.

    Will I ever have simultaneous naps? Yes ... we have at least 45 mins overlap every day (And that is a bad day). Typically, 1.5-2 hours. There will be days you won't, but that will be okay because sometimes you'll cherish the one on one time.

    Is it true that your heart just...grows, when the 2nd baby arrives? Times a million.

    Are we ever going to have husband-wife time again? Nope. Ha.

    How bout the toddler? Will she feel deprived? Sometimes. You want honesty, right?

    Is she going to hate the new baby? Nope. Even if she does, it won't last.

    What things can I do to get her ready and excited? Give her her own baby to take care of when you are taking care of baby, commission her help (E loves to be my helper .. fetching wipes, diapers, laudnry etc) without making her feel like a slave, FIND and make time for 1-1 interaction. It's easy to try to get it all done when the baby is sleeping but remember that you need to give undivided attention to KP sometimes too.

    Oh yeah and? DORA DORA DORA.

  41. So, I feel like I need to save the comments as well! You got such good advice!! :)

  42. Hi there..
    My babies are 22 months apart (currently 2.5 and 9 months) and it was definitely a big transition!! My toddler is quite spirited, territorial, and jealous, so adjusting to a new baby did take some time..it really was a love/hate relationship between the girls at first :) But after a few months she just grew used to the idea that the baby was not going anywhere, and things calmed down.
    I never did buy a double stroller, my two year old walks, while the baby is in the stroller, works fine for us. I rarely go out in public alone with them, lol!!
    And yes, your heart will grow :) :) You will truly cherish the differences you will see in the personalities and physical traits of your two children, it really is amazing!! Be prepared for the "well (baby #1) never did this...but baby #2 does" or "baby 1 slept through the night at 2 months...why is baby2 still not STTN at 9 months?" lol!! You will compare compare but they are two different humans :)
    As others have said, it'sgood to get the older one involved where possible, with diapers and feeding and suc h....
    Ok, rambling now!! Most importantly, parenting the second time around will "just happen" just as naturally as it did the first time...you just figure it out!! And sometimes, on a great day, they both nap at the same time!! I would say the first month is the easiest...when the newborn is so sleepy...once they are on the go - watch out!!
    Good luck, Mama!!

  43. Look at the out-pouring of greatness! such awesome responses for you!

    I have a double stroller, I use it every single day. Except now that it's winter, I'm not so much. Mine is a Bob Double. I walk/jog everyday. If you plan on getting outdoors everyday- for a workout, I recommend this :) I've taken it to the mall as it fits through standard doors and is actually very maneuveralbe (sp? haha) however, I avoid many stores bc there's no room. So I put the baby in a sling, wrap or ergo and bring the single stroller! works perfect.

    As for everything else. My absolute best advice EVER, is Go with YOUR Mama intuition. DO what feels right & good to you and the rest will work out.

    Always, always know that someone has gone through the exact same thing Your going through. The awesome stuff & the more challenging stuff.

    You will be FABULOUS and nothing less :)

  44. Great advice from everyone!!

    We rented a pump from MCE @ $16 per week till my milk came in with B and then I bought a Medela and it worked great. Amazon had a great deal. I will probobly rent the hospital one this time around too, well just until my milk comes in. Those hospital grade pumps are mega pumpers!!

    We have a single BOB stroller we got as a hand-me-down and love it and I found a double BOB on Craigslist for $75 for us and another one for my parents for $100 {these things sell for $500 plus}. They are great for running, walking , hiking and everyday use. Now my parents also got us a double Graco Ready-2-Grow double stroller for more of an everyday stroller to use shopping or whatnot. We got it at Buy-Buy-Baby for $150 a few months ago.

    I am going to steal the idea about the Big Sister Party for when we bring R home from the hospital. R is giving B a gift when she is born too. We got her a personalized rag doll from Wal-Mart.

    One thing our pediatrician suggested to help get B ready for her little sister, is to keep stacks of books in our main living space and that way when we are feeding the baby, we can tell B to get a book and mommy or daddy will read her books.

    All of my friends have said it takes about 2 weeks to get the crazy this is never going to work phase out of the way and by week 4 you really have a routine down with two kids.

    I will let you know how it all goes in about 8.5 weeks!!

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