|Photo courtesy of Ambro at freedigitalphotos.net|
With only ten weeks to go until my son is due, I have found myself starting to nest, but also thinking about how to cope with a newborn and a toddler.
Baby boys room is all painted and decorated, we are just awaiting the arrival of the carpet fitter and then we can get started on putting the furniture up.
In my daughters room we were lucky enough that her cot bed was bought for us from new, and we bought her white and pink bedroom furniture ourselves (even if it was on offer).
This time around we have had to be a little more money conscience. As most of you regular blog followers know, my partner and I bought our first home this year. I previously lived with my dad and he kindly let us have my old bedroom furniture to put in baby boys room. A nice white wardrobe and chest of drawers. The cot we bought second hand from a local second hand baby shop at the bargain price of £30. We decided not to buy another cot bed as when our daughter goes into a single bed we can transition baby boy into her old cot bed.
We have also rearranged our living room to give our daughter more space to run around and play in, which will also make it much easier for us when her brother is born.
As the weeks draw closer Iv started to think about how this labour will compare with my first. Apparantly my daughters birth was quick for a first time mum, 8 and a half hours. I am therefore hoping this time will also be just as quick. I was adamant before my daughters birth that I wanted everything to be as natural as possible, I wanted a water birth and no pain relief except gas and air….. HAHA that did not happen. At home my contractions had started and I decided to have a bath but oh no no no, as soon as I hit the water I just wanted to get out, I felt so uncomfortable. At the hospital I was given Pethidine, I would not have Pethidine this time around as I found it did nothing to ease the pain, it just gave me an out of body experience and made me feel sick. I opted for gas and air and an epidural which undoubtedly I will be having again this time round.
Other things I have been thinking about have been how we will cope with a new born baby and a toddler. My partner and I have decided that the most important thing we need to do is to keep my daughters routine exactly as it is, or as close to as possible, as not to upset and disrupt her. A new baby will do that all by itself I imagine. My daughter won’t be used to having the new arrival around, but we can make the new arrival used to having my daughter around. By this I mean at nap times my daughter can be in the same room as her little brother when we put him down to sleep etc where as trying to get my daughter to nap with a new born around is probably not going to happen.
We will let my daughter play an active role with the new baby. She already has a slight I understanding I feel of what is going on. She points to my tummy and says babba, then she will kiss or cuddle my bump. If she sees a baby on the TV or out and about she again points and says babba. She also has a baby doll which she is fond of giving a bottle to! When I let her know it is time to change her nappy she will go and get a nappy out of the changing unit.
I feel that the more I involve my daughter with my newborn the better. I think it will help her not to feel like the attention is being taken away from her and she will know that she is an important part of her brothers and our lives.
I think the most important thing for any new mum to do is to be able to accept offers of help, don’t feel too proud or like they think you’re not doing a good job or think you’re struggling. That is more than likely not the case. Your friends and family will want to be a part of your new babies life and will no doubt want to help you out as much as possible as well, even if its just giving you time to have a shower or sit down and have a cup of tea for five minutes while someone else entertains the children.
As I have mentioned before one of the quotes I live by is “A messy home, is a happy home”. Yes my house might look messy and untidy but it is clean. We do let the dishes, washing, toys etc pile up but I feel it is more important to spend time with my children and bonding with them, teaching them new things, playing with them and cuddling them than to be running around after them trying to tidy up behind them. After all they’re only little for a small while and when they’re all grown up then my house will be immaculate. In other words when my newborn is born I will have to lower my expectations of what my house will look like!
A common tip I keep hearing is how to manage breastfeeding your newborn with your toddler around. This can be a tricky one from what I have heard. But a lot of people have said they allow their toddler to come up and have a cuddle or more successfully is to let them choose a book and sit next to you so you can read it to them as you feed your baby. I will definitely be trying this out.
All in all I think I have a lot of thinking ahead of me, if anyone has any top tips about how to cope with a newborn and a toddler please feel free to comment below or get in touch with me via email:firstname.lastname@example.org