The Second Coming
When Eden my second child was born just 10 days before his sisters second birthday I had that brief period of what I have seen mooted as two under two but really no matter what age they are nothing really prepares you for juggling your new arrival and fitting them into your child’s, partners and your own life. Even after trying to research how to peacefully transition your newborn into your toddler’s life of which there is numerous guidance for, how about how are you going to manage it in your own life, what new scenarios are going to be thrown at you, why did no one tell you that going out with them will leave you resembling some human version of buckaroo. So I have decided in true Dad’s and Don’ts fashion to tell you some of the things I have learnt in the hope that you either don’t make that mistake or know that this scenario is ok and how you might deal with it:
- No older sibling is going to have a textbook reaction to the new arrival, we were expecting moodyness and reservation and instead at first meeting we were met with a not really fussed attitude but hey look at me dancing (he’s her favourite now though although she did say the same thing about me.
- Always have a safe place to put the baby down close to hand especially when feeding as chances are they will pick up on you being distracted and start playing up, trying to juggle a telling off or even trying to grab hold of them to keep them from hurting themselves is no easy feat with crying baby under the other arm.
- Invest in a baby carrier with great back support (I use a Lillebaby 6 in 1 carrier, miles better than the BabyBjorn I used for Dahlia) as chances are you will be pushing the other in a pushchair too at the beginning.
- Add a backpack to fit in 2x the amount of changing bag bits for the full buckaroo effect and having a front or side access pocket to keep wet wipes is a must.
- This is a Dad mainly one, don’t feel self-conscious about the looks that you get if you are alone with the both of them, the more we are seen the more we change society’s perception of ‘just babysitting’.
- Now is your time to hit home the sharing lesson to your toddler as believe me nothing of the babies is safe so get things of theirs and give to the baby… Dahlia still tries to put his clothes on now.
- Have time as a family but also separate with each child.
- Their sleep patterns will never be the same so that sleep when the baby sleeps thing is an absolute myth. At any one time there will be a toddler needing interaction or a crying baby needing soothing or both, so a routine is so important.
- Be sensible this time, you know what the good things that were useful from the first baby so only get those if you haven’t kept it. My favourite thing this time was a Shnuggle bath as it made bath time much more enjoyable and safe.
- And lastly don’t leave them unattended as you know they already have a secret bond and language to plot your downfall
Now I am 6 months in I can say that it does get easier, but it really was a shock to the system and in no way puts me off a third (or in Lily’s mind a fourth!!!) but prepare your own life for the transition as well as your first child’s.
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