There’s a common refrain you hear from people who have two kids:
“One is one. Two is twenty.”
As a woman who’s 7 months pregnant with her second child, that’s not very comforting. And as a woman who’s frazzled enough wrangling a toddler in the throes of his “threenager” phase, the thought of adding a baby to the mix has me freaking out a bit. Okay. A LOT.
Plus, I’m an only child. I never had to fight for my parent’s attention. Never had to wear hand-me-downs. Never had to share my toys or my room. It was pretty great. But it gave me zero experience with this whole sibling thing.
So, I reached out to my mom friends near and far who have two or more children, asking for their advice – what they wished they knew before there were two. I wanted the good stuff, the nitty-gritty, the specifics. Not just, “it’s hard, but you’ll figure it out.”
Their responses ranged from hilarious:
“Abandon them at a fire station, change your name and move to Costa Rica!”
“Can I say drink more wine? LOL. Really, though. I always make sure I’m well stocked.”
“Dum Dum suckers! Have lots of Dum Dum suckers!!!”
To downright practical:
– Heather Deeter Caserta, Sarasota, FL, mom to Caleb (5) and Kylie (3)
On Introducing Your Toddler to the New Baby
When Devlin came to the hospital to meet his baby sister, I made sure I wasn’t holding her and only focused on him. He sat in the hospital bed with me and then Daddy introduced baby Abigail to him. She also gave him a really cool present, so he instantly liked her.
At home, I would say to Devlin, “Abigail needs my help and then I can help you next.” When the baby was calm, I’d tell the baby, “You need to wait a minute so I can help big brother,” so he would feel important.
– Katie Ohrenberger, St. Louis, MO, mom to Devlin (4) and Abigail (1.5)
On Taking Care of Yourself and Your Partner
– Lindsey Nickel-de la O, Sarasota, FL, mom to Evie (7) and Amelia (16 months)
On Bonding with Each Child
– Kate Rogers, Sarasota, FL, mom to Garrett (5) and Grant (3)