How to Prepare for a New Baby When You have a Toddler

I have found that with baby number two, preparing for a newborn is very different as you have captured the heart of a little fan and he...


I have found that with baby number two, preparing for a newborn is very different as you have captured the heart of a little fan and he/she deems you their idol. The thought of a new bundle is scary and intimidating for them. Lots of insecure thoughts seem to fill their little heads as it sets in that they aren't the only sheriff in town anymore! Here are some ways to prepare for baby number two when you have a toddler already!

 

SQUASH THE INSECURITIES
This little character is my side kick and love of my life, Jack. He is a TOTAL momma's boy and he reminds me daily "Mommy, I make you so happy!" Sounds like the product of a super ego kid? I think there is no such thing. When they are constantly being introduced to the world and new ideas, I feel that it is important that the parents build up their confidence so that they don't shy away to the new and exciting challenges that they are faced with as new things can be terrifying to a toddler when they are still so small: new class, meeting new friends, trying the bouncy slide. Since he was a little baby, I have always told him how special he was, how handsome he is, and that he "makes mommy soooo happy" (Now he reminds me everyday...especially when he has done something wrong...he knows how that little phrase cracks a smile on my face and it is hard to stay mad. He works the system. haha). 
I have noticed lately that he has been very moody, clingy, and sometimes a little quiet around me. I really didn't think much about it until one day I went to pick him up from school, like I do daily, and his response to my walking in the door was completely negative.
Normally, Jack will run to me screaming "MOMMY!" and then proceed to tell me about all the things he did for the day, but this time he took one look at me, screamed "I don;t want mommy," crossed his arms, and cried. The teacher had to carry him to the car! He acted like I abuse him and that he hated me. I have to admit, I was crushed. I wanted to cry but I kept telling myself, he is two, he doesn't mean to hurt my feelings, but I have obviously made him upset so I need to get to the bottom of it.
We got home and he sat in the floor crying for another hour. I started thinking about all of the things that happened in the past 24 hours... he hugged and kissed me that morning when I went to work, we played with his toys the night before...wait...the night before....we, as a family (Ben, Jack, and I) built James' crib and set it up in Jack's room with him. Jack seemed to be excited, helping us build it with his play hammer and screwdriver but maybe the realization set in the next day that there is a new baby arriving soon and he is wondering where his place will be.
I decided to sit him on the couch and tell him that mommy needs to talk to him. I asked him to look up so he can see mommy's eyes because I have some questions. I asked him if he was excited about his baby brother. He replied that he was. Then I asked if getting a new brother makes him sad. He replied yes. I asked if he was worried mommy won't spend time with him. He replied yes and then looked down. I put my finger under his chin so that he was looking me in the eyes again and said to him, "Son, there is NOTHING that can ever make me not love you or want to be around you. You are my little love and it will ALWAYS be that way. Mommy will have to take care of James but I will need your help. You are the big, older brother, and mommy can't do it without you! OK?" A grin slowly spread in his face and he shook his head. Then We hugged and eskimo kissed and all has been great ever since! I expect a few relapses between now and the next 4 weeks but I have learned in the mix of preparing for James, I may have neglected to get on the level of a 2 year old's mind set. He isn't an adult. All he understands is that another little guy will have a part of mommy's heart now and the insecurity of loosing mommy's attention in nerve racking. If you are having baby number 2, take the time to squash the insecurities.


ROOM SHARING
This can be great for two reasons, one, the obvious, you don't have the room in your current living situation which is partially our case. We do have a guest room but I did not want to loose that space and the upstairs loft area could make Jack even more insecure because he has to sleep in his room and his new baby brother's room is upstairs with mommy and daddy. Second, I thought that having the boys share a room for the first few years will help them to bond and grow closer. Jack wasn't super excited at first about sharing his room, mainly because he didn't want to share his toys. I explained that I needed him to help me watch baby James and that James will have baby toys and may be too little to play with his toys. He would need to show him how to play with those toys if he wanted to play with him. That seemed to fix that. Jack has been pretty excited to be getting a roommate to watch movies with. 
When pondering the idea of room sharing, the biggest question for us has been the bed situation. Jack has a convertible crib to toddler to full bed. It matches his dresser and room furniture so we Definitely want to keep that piece but what happens when the boys get to be 2 and 4? They are too young for their own rooms but we an;t possibly have 2 full beds in their room. We decided to go with a budget crib/changing table combo that is very nice but not super expensive. (about 1/2 the price of Jack's convertible crib) so that we could pass it down to a family member or family in need in a couple of years and use the full bed for both of the boys until they get to the age where they wil need their own bed in which James will get a new bedroom suit.



A BABY SPRINKLE
When having a a second baby of the same gender celebrations are still in order but maybe a sprinkle versus a shower! My family surprised me with a little baby sprinkle in which the stocked me with the necessities.

Sprinkle Nesseccities:
Crib Sheets
Matress Cover
Diapers
Newborn Pacifiers
Bottles (if you have a lab that likes to chew on them)
Wipes
Monitor for Two
Crib Matress
Crib
Restock on butt paste, baby lotions and shampoos, etc.
Monitor for Two

My sprinkle was just very close friends and family, a great little intimate setting. This time around we did receive lots of gifts but it was more about the celebration versus stocking the nursery...although I must admit. We were pretty spoiled with baby items!


REUSE
Hopefully you have boxed up a lot of baby clothes in case number 2 is of the same gender! We absolutely did! We have BOOKOOS of baby clothes and toys from Jack which will save us hundreds. We had so much fun going through the boxes showing Jack all of his old baby clothes and letting him pull out all of his old baby toys. We gave them all a through wash with Dreft and stocked the drawers that we assigned to James. Reuse everything! Ben used to always tell me that he got his brother's hand me downs but hey...there shouldn't be a negative connotation with this idea. We are young parents and like 90% of young parents we are trying to raise children on a budget...REUSE!!!


I hope you all have found this post useful. I would love to hear more about your ideas in the comments below!




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