PREPARING A TODDLER FOR A NEW BABY

Hello, dolls!! Hello, hump day! Another week, another chance to get things sorted before my due date. I can’t believe that in just 3 months, I will be a Mom of two! I feel like I am competing with time when it comes to accomplishing everything I want to do for our growing family and myself. Today, a coworker said something that struck me — I should enjoy this pregnancy because it might be my last.  Whenever people ask me how many kids A and I want, I always shrug and give a vague answer. Truthfully, it’s still up in the air and with the number of things we have to consider (and duhh! it’s too soon to think about that at this point).

When I was pregnant with baby A, I devoted all my time and energy to work that the only pregnancy-related activity I was able to do was to go to yoga class. I wasn’t able to document my pregnancy as much as I wanted to or even get his nursery done before his arrival. I remember going to Target the day that we came home from the hospital because I knew I am missing some important stuff that we will need during our transition. I spent my 39th week of pregnancy feeling anxious because I knew I could have done more to prepare myself. This time, I am going to do things differently by choosing to focus on appreciating this journey, prepare myself and our family, and also to spend more time with baby A before he officially becomes a big brother.

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Baby A has been my life and soul for the past 2 years and 7 months. I know a lot of Moms with more than one child, at some point, asked themselves “how can I love another child THIS much?”

I even get emotional sometimes because of the overwhelming feeling that I get. I’ve heard great stories from other Moms about their journey with two kids emotionally. How it shaped them to be the women that they are now and the overflowing love that envelopes their soul. I am truly excited to feel THAT too.

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Baby A’s baptism at the Greek Orthodox Church.

Being a parent comes with a lot of responsibilities. I always feel bad whenever I have to alter my work schedule to accommodate things I have to do for baby A. I remember feeling like I was asking for too much from my employers by doing so. Being a Mom of two means twice the responsibilities.

Introduction

As a Mom, I am concerned about baby A’s transition as a big brother. Not only will he split my time and attention, but he will also have to share his “comfort zone” — our home. Some kids loathe the idea of sharing anything and as early as 2 years old they could be brutally honest about their feelings towards it. We told A that he is going to be a big brother when I was only 8 weeks pregnant, not ideal some may say but we wanted him to understand what is about to happen.

I think it really helped that my sister was pregnant at that time and they were together everyday because he was able to see what Mommy will look like eventually, she made him touch her belly, and explained to him that there’s a baby inside that he will meet soon. When she gave birth, he was very excited to hold his little cousin that all the nurses thought he was the big brother! That was 2 months ago and thank God because he is really excited to be a big brother.

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Not the best looking cake but I did it for my baby A! 😛

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Division of Need

If there is anything I will thank A for the rest of my life, that would be for being a great father. A has been very hands-on from the very beginning. We do not have a written contract of who’s doing what when it comes to baby A but our “routine” helped us navigate through our baby’s needs without making the other parent feel like they’ve done nothing.

With this new life that we are going to embrace as a family of four, I know that the gravity of attention and obligation is going to be more than what we have experienced in the past two and a half years with baby A. A has been spending more time introducing baby A to new things that will help us with our transition. We do not want him to feel left out as we scramble to feed or change baby #2’s diaper, so we intend to keep our routine with baby A the same (with the bonus of having Mommy home all day!) until we know he is ready for another change.

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Inclusion

Nesting has got to be one of my favorite things about pregnancy! Before Marie Kondo (haven’t seen or read any of her show/book) became a household name, Moms were already organizing the hell out of everything. I’ve been nesting for a while now and let me just tell you how liberating it is to let go of stuff that we don’t need. I am in the process of clearing our second guest room to turn it into a nursery.

The other day, I started going through baby A’s clothes that I kept. I sold hundreds of pieces but was still able to keep 3 boxes! CRAZY! Anyway, I showed him some of his clothes that I plan to reuse and said: “is it okay if baby borrows these?”. He gave me the perkiest “yes” ever!

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Independence

Baby A is not going to be a baby forever, in fact, I should probably start referring to him as Little A on this blog soon cause he is one big boy now! Anyway, to help our adjustment smoother, I started to let him do more things on his own. He has shown signs of independence during his first year — from holding his bottle at 3 months old, eating his yogurt cup on his own at 8 months, and the fact that he can settle in a corner with books to entertain him.

We got a piece of great advice from his pediatrician about last year, she told us to let baby A choose between two kinds of food/snack to make him learn about decision making and so he can feel that independence means being in control of something.

Potty training still in progress… 😛

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Baby A @ 3 months loving his new chair!

Socialization and Exposure

I now get it when parents ask their friends to have a baby after they do. To new parents who don’t have a lot of friends with kids, it’s not only challenging to find time to hang out but also the fact that your kid is growing up without someone constant to play with. My Mom would always tell me that if baby A was in the Philippines, he would have playmates all the time. We used to take baby A to Gymboree and we loved it — aside from learning motor skills he was able to be around children his age. Unfortunately, they closed the location close to us so he’s been hibernating here at home all winter.

Baby A gets really excited when he is around other kids. I recently took him to an indoor playground and my heart just melted when I observed him interact with little boys and girls (a good sign that he is ready to be a big brother!!). One of my goals before baby # 2 is to expose baby A more to an environment he craves for..to be around kids!

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Assurance

Every day, we assure baby A that he is an integral part of this new chapter in our lives. I know to try to find my balance as a Mom is going to be my biggest challenge this year so I want all of us to be emotionally prepared. We share our excitement with baby A whenever we do something for baby # 2. We tell him things that he can look forward to as a big brother and ask him how he feels about certain things. My favorite lately is whenever we talk about the fun things that will happen to him this year as an individual — school, traveling (or as he says it “riding the plane”), and spending more time with Mommy!

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I am currently 24 weeks pregnant and I couldn’t be more excited to focus on my family — like actually commit to it and not just say it. I have a couple of Mom guilts that I’ve been holding on to and it’s time to redeem myself. I have been stressed and exhausted and I know it’s about time. I am excited to spend more time with baby A before he becomes a big brother, to finally get that solo time that we never got — I went back to work before he was 12 weeks old so our routine for the past almost 3 years has always been “Mommy is at work”. Now that he is older, I want both of us to feel that we got that special “moment”…even for just a little while.

xx

R <3

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3 thoughts on “PREPARING A TODDLER FOR A NEW BABY

  1. Ahhhh!!! I’m finally able to read your awesome blogs again! I’m so so so glad you wrote about this! And I totally agree with having them around other kids. I took E to friends and family who had babies so she could see how little they are and how much help they need. She’s the best big sister ever (but yes they do still fight lol). Ahhh!! Excited for your next chapter in life! You’re doing great momma!!

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