As you welcome your second baby, you’re likely to have mixed feelings and concerns about how the change will impact you and your family. The good news is, with careful preparation and planning, you can ease the transition from one child to two, helping your child foster a positive reaction to their new sibling. With this in mind, here are five tips to help you welcome your second baby.
- Be prepared
Chances are, you won’t have as much time to prepare for this new arrival as you did with your first, and second pregnancies often rush by without much time for daydreaming about life with a new baby. Some women also note that labor is faster the second time around. All of these are good reasons to stock up on diapers, pack your hospital bag and prepare the nursery before your third trimester.
A second pregnancy is the ideal time to reflect on your first-born’s early days and decide what you want to do differently. Some second-time mothers try a different birthing method, while others adopt a completely new parenting approach – such as attachment parenting. When it comes to changing, many mothers feel more confident a second time around and feel they can use reusable nappies instead of disposable ones. Doing this will save you money (especially if you have two children in nappies) and help the environment, so it is a positive change to make. You can search where to buy cloth diapers online and stock up ahead of your due date.
- Let your child help
In addition to buying or borrowing the items you’ll need for your new baby, you should also try to prepare emotionally for life with two children instead of one. If you’re worried you won’t bond with this child as much as your first or that your second child will feel neglected, “nesting” can help emotionally as well as logistically in bringing everyone together. Have your firstborn help sort through his or her old baby things and involve them in as many decisions as possible.
- Take a class
All women could do with some education surrounding childbirth, even if they’ve given birth before. Nature has a way of making you forget, even if your body knows what to do, so it’s a good idea to attend a childbirth refresher class so you and your partner are prepared.
- Help your child adjust
Your child may take a while to adjust to the thought of a new baby, so it’s your job to help manage his or her expectations. Carefully sourced books and animations can help children prepare for the arrival of a brother or sister, but ultimately you and your partner will shape how your child deals with the adjustment. Remember that negative reactions to having to share your attention are normal and shouldn’t be dwelled upon. Make sure you explain to your child how things will change ahead of the birth, and always reinforce good behavior.
Welcoming a second baby is an exciting time, but it also requires plenty of adjustment. Whatever you do, make sure the whole family works together to welcome your new arrival into your home and remember that most siblings overcome their rivalries and develop healthy, long-lasting relationships as they get older.