Welcoming Baby no. 2

Welcoming Baby no. 2

Camilla is a mum of two girls, her firstborn is 2.5 years old and the family just recently welcomed another baby girl into the fold. Following are a few questions that Camilla answered for Pocketbum on the excitement and inevitable challenges that come with a new addition.

1. What steps did you take to prepare your firstborn for the new family member?

We talked about my tummy getting bigger and that there was a baby inside and we made sure there were no big changes beforehand in her routine.

We read lots of books about families welcoming a baby and my firstborn loved those books. They worked a lot; I think because in the books they talk a about baby’s needs like nappy changing. As a result, my older daughter was not surprised to see the baby feeding and being changed etc. No. 1 has been very welcoming of the baby, patting her a lot and kissing and cuddling her, so reading to her a lot helped immensely.

2. Did you have any particular fears about having to manage 2?

Gosh yes! What to do when the toddler is having a meltdown and the baby is crying and you’re torn between helping one over the other and feeling frazzled to cope in those moments.

Tiredness and my husband working from home was a challenge, as is for many families with the current pandemic. I worried about how he’d be able to manage client calls with the crying. The house doesn’t have a wing that I can escape to, it’s quite hard to keep noise levels down, but everyone is in the same situation and therefore very understanding.

3. Have you kept any of no.1’s toys and clothing for the new baby?

Yes, absolutely everything and as soon as the baby grows out of what she is wearing, I will give away or sell them and likewise with the toys. I barely bought anything new except for Pocketbum and a few other bits suitable for an Autumn baby as my first born is a summer baby. We had a few knitwear and snow suit bits to buy, other than that there hasn’t been anything else.

4. Have there been any unanticipated adjustments that you’ve had to make?

I always knew that I’d have to lower my expectations, but I think in reality it’s a different story. I think that I just need to give myself a break. It’s quite easy to feel awful after a ‘moment’ with my toddler, but all other parents assure me that they too have unguarded moments.

5. How do you handle the varying and often clashing needs of both children?

I don’t think I have a method yet, but if I’m feeding the baby I try to sit with my firstborn whilst she’s drawing, or I will read a book with her. If she’s watching something, I will try to interact with her and talk about what’s happening.

There are times when my older daughter requires a lot of attention and energy from me, but I have to do a nappy change with her baby sister. I make that an activity we can do together, so I will say “come on, I need to do a nappy change, can you get me the muslin?”, so that she’s involved as much as possible. Other methods include asking her to sing a nursery rhyme for the baby

If my oldest is having a meltdown, I just have to put the baby down and address it. Also make use of one’s husband, partner or whoever is in the house, that’s one benefit of this whole Covid saga.

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