Transitioning from 1 kid to 2? Here’s some down to earth help.
I was listening to The Birth Hour podcast (shocker, I know!) on one of many walks towards the end of my pregnancy with Nellie. It was Shannon Tripp’s episode where she shared her four unmedicated hospital births. My birth preferences align very closely with her so I was instantly hooked, but her open mindedness around birth (also something I 100% align with), her calm approach to motherhood, and her humble knowledge and experience was what made me go from interested to full on mom crush. Check out her Instagram for her life in Hawaii with her husband and four kids and tons of safety advice on a variety of topics related to her experience as a pediatric ER nurse (she’s also a birth coach, commmmeee on).
On Shannon’s episode (number 423 if you’re interested), she shared a piece of advice that I immediately texted to myself while on my walk —
“Don’t try to fit your old life into your new life when you have a baby.”Shannon Tripp, The Birth Hour Podcast Episode 423 (rebroadcast)
It’s extremely simple and some might even say so simple that it doesn’t need to be said, but, man did I need to hear it. We need to remind ourselves that it’s going to get messy for a bit. Slowing down and taking time to breath in your newborn and adjust to your new life is exactly what you should be doing. So often our expectations set us up for disaster. If you’re expecting your life to stay the same and nothing but smooth sailing, you’ll likely spending your first months fighting disappointment and frustration from what you think it should be and what is truly is.
This quote made me crave more advice from moms with multiple kiddos. So I asked the moms around me for tips and what to expect when transitioning from 1 kid to 2. Here’s what they said…
Give yourself grace + ask for help
“Grace. Ask for help. Don’t try to supermom it. Your heart can love 2! Get 1:1 time with your kiddos when you can.”
“Give yourself lots of grace and patience! Everything takes just a bit longer to do.”
“It’s so easy to be hard on yourself with the transition from 1 to 2. Reality is, it’s not going to be like having your first. The time, attention, accomplishments will all shift. And there are huge amounts of guilt in that. Guilt in not giving your first the attention they’re used to. Guilt for giving your second not even close to the attention you gave your first. Guilt for thinking “do I have room in my heart for more love?”, guilt for relying on people for help more (rely on people!). Moral of the story – do not be too hard on your self. The fact that it is different and hard makes it perfect.“
“Ask for people. People who love you WANT to help! [Think meals, laundry, holding that new baby, taking older kiddos to the park]”
“It probably won’t feel like you have quite as much time or attention to give to your second baby compared to your first. This isn’t better or worse; it’s just different.”
“Baby #2 (and #3 and #4) will be different from your first. It’s okay that you “still” don’t know how to do everything perfectly.”
“Hang in there, it only gets easier, I promise!”
Get your older one(s) involved and make time for just them
“When I had my second I always involved [my oldest] with everything, changing diapers, getting blankets, etc.”
“Explain what you’re doing with the baby when you can’t tend to [your older one(s)] at that moment. For example I would explain to [my older one(s)] that I was feeding the baby milk just like she had her lunch. Or that we have to change the baby right now just like we change her diaper.”
“Your heart can love 2! Get 1:1 time with your kiddos when you can.”
Plan 1:1 time with your older one(s) to do something babies can’t do. My favorite: sharing ice cream cones!”
Use your tools!
“Baby wearing is huge – naps can happen out and about while you’re in the car or baby wearing. Try to practice naps in the crib each day, but don’t stress.”
“Have special toys for your older one that only come out during the new baby’s feeding time.”
“Don’t forget the power of a change of scenery! Getting out of the house will be more difficult, but it’s still important. That means you can keep those playdates for your older kiddos sanity (and your own too!)”
Above all else know this…
“Nobody can do better than YOU! These babies were meant to be yours, so don’t compare yourself to anyone else.”
Transitioning from 1 kid to 2 so far…
It’s been two weeks being a mom of two and I’ve reread this list a dozen times. Give yourself grace. Ask for (and accept) help. Get Hayes involved. Use your tools. Seriously, this is an epically helpful yet simple list. And I imagine in the weeks to come I’ll pour over these words and find refuge in them when I am feeling reallyyyy dang tired from multiple newborn feedings a night or when I’m feeling inadequate about the time I’m not spending with Hayes and Jeff. We’ll see if I add anything to the list by the time I’ve “gotten the hang” of this mom of two thing 🙂
Comment below with anything I’ve missed about transitioning from 1 kid to 2!! I want to hear from you!