Despite all the trouble that they put us through, kids are a real joy in our lives. This is why it is so tempting for us to want to have another child right away. Going through another pregnancy and all those first moments with your child - it’s an experience so pure and wonderful that you just want to do it all over again. But expanding a family is more than just having a baby. Even if you and your partner are ready for another baby, you have to make sure your house is prepared for the second one - more specifically, is your firstborn prepared to share mama and papa’s love, care and attention?
Read on to find out the mistakes commonly made by second time pregnant moms and how you can avoid it.
Not bringing your firstborn up to speed
Allow the older child to be involved with the pregnancy. Let him/her know that this was the same way they came into the world. Take them along for your doctor’s appointments - allow them to listen to their sibling’s heartbeat and look at their ultrasound scans. This way they would start feeling more connected to their sibling. Start doing activities with them to make them feel more attached and loving towards their soon-to-be-born sibling - this can include baby shopping, choosing names for their sibling and deciding what their younger sibling should call them.
Not giving enough attention to firstborn
You may think that since you already had one kid, the second would be easy to handle. It is partly true - you would know what to do in certain situations that you would not have known before. Once your second child is born, you will have to not only look after your newborn, tending to his/her tears and diaper changes but also pay heed to when your firstborn feels like you’re not paying attention. They may feel like they’re not getting as many snuggles and as much quality time with mama and papa as they did before. So spare some time to spend with the little toddler. You can do this by taking turns with your partner in looking after the two kids.
Go back to work only when you feel ready
When you apply for maternity leave, you may feel like 2-3 months is all you need to get back to work. It might have been more than enough for your first pregnancy but the second time around, the time would just fly by in the blink of an eye. Juggling between tasks like breastfeeding, shopping, cleaning, and tending to both kids can be pretty hard. Take the time to make sure there is a smooth transition. Make sure your firstborn is trained to know how to look after his/her sibling. This can be little things like cuddling them or feeding them expressed milk from a feeding bottle. This would ensure that you also have a peace of mind when you decide to head back to work.
Chances are, when you got pregnant the first time, you loaded your house with a lot of baby supplies that were not entirely necessary. This time, you would want to avoid buying so many things. You can do this by making an effective list of things you would actually need at the very start. Don’t buy baby clothes right away - you can make do with the ones you bought for your firstborn. Diapers and baby bath essentials should be on your list but first, check up on the stock that you may already have. Buy gender neutral clothes for your firstborn so you can use them on both children.
Do you have enough hands?
There will a number of pending chores that need to get done when there are two kids in the house! These include cooking, cleaning and looking after the firstborn. If you start feeling like you can’t manage everything on your own, it is alright to ask for help. You can easily get help from your partner or a family member. If this is not enough, you should try hiring someone to help with the chores around the house. Try your very best to ensure that you and your partner are the ones who look after your kids for the most part. Ask others to look after your kids only when you are absolutely not able to.