When I was pregnant the first time, I kept hearing other mom’s say to get any big changes done well before baby comes. At the time I didn’t understand it. Now, though, I get it. When I had my second child it completely rocked my first-born’s world and she became different for several months afterward. While I don’t expect that the second will be completely unscathed, I do expect her to make some adjustments.
There are a few changes I considered when determining how ready we were for baby #3.
The first, and most obvious for us, was whether any weaning “needed” to be done. With our first, we just kind of let things happen. With our second, it was obvious to me that night weaning needed to happen, just for sanity’s sake. Later, we needed to totally wean for the sake of my health. I just couldn’t keep up with feeding all 3 of us.
Consider these questions. Are you healthy enough to feed all 3 of you? Are you open to tandem nursing (nursing both the newborn and the older child)? Do you need to wean, if just to keep your sanity?
Are there any sleeping arrangements that need to be changed to welcome a new member of the family? Our youngest was sleeping in her own bed, but I was still sleeping with her (and nursing) most nights. First, we needed to get her to sleep without nursing. Then, we moved her to her sister’s bedroom, but still snuggled her to sleep. Then, we had to transition her to falling asleep by herself. It took most of the pregnancy to accomplish those three things. Now we have to get her to do all that in her sister’s room :).
So do you need to make sleeping arrangement changes? Does someone need to graduate to a toddler or twin bed? Sleep with a sibling? Move to another room? Do they need a change in process or person who puts them to bed?
Many mom’s have told me not to bother with this one because they may regress and end up back in diapers. We haven’t had this experience. I’m not sure if it’s because we don’t push it or what, but my oldest daughter was wet/dry potty trained for at least a month or two before my 2nd was born. The poop? Well, she finally decided to do that about a week or two after the birth. As for the second, we haven’t even tried that yet. I think we are going to try soon and hopefully the weather will cooperate with commando-style PT, but we will see.
Either way, it’s something to consider. Do you want to be diapering two children? Is the older one old enough to get it? Can you afford it? Should you switch to cloth if the thought of disposables for two makes you swoon (in a bad way)?
The last thing to consider is whether or not the other child(ren) need to get used to spending time with others — like daddy, or a grandparent or a sitter. My oldest was a daddy’s girl through and through so I didn’t really consider this for her. My youngest, though, is a mama’s girl so we’ve been sending her out to spend more time with daddy so she gets used to it. Grandma & grandpa have returned from Florida and she will be spending some time out there, too, with her sister.
So. Do you need to get your child(ren) used to other caregivers? Who? How will they be helping? Can they help now or are they just coming for a short time?
This post is part of the Prepping for Baby Series — check out the full list of posts!
What do you do to prepare your children for the birth of a sibling?