My baby was 9 months old when I found out that I was pregnant with number two. After 4 years of trying, numerous rounds of fertility treatment and one round of IVF with baby number one, we were not expecting it to happen so quickly.
Shocked was one of the words that comes to mind and there was another one that came out of my mouth that I won’t repeat here! Not that we weren’t happy, we were just very surprised and I was definitely scared.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to cope with two babies – my first wasn’t even walking at this stage.
So many thoughts go through your head when you are pregnant. Throw pregnancy hormones into the mix and many of these become worries – hey let’s face it sometimes these worries aren’t even rational!
I remember looking at my “baby” and being worried about how I was going to manage to divide my time up. My precious first born was not going to get all the love and attention that she has had lavished on her so far – how would she cope!
But cope she did and so did I!
Here are my top tips for coping with a newborn and a toddler
A Peek-a-Baby wrap is a great way to keep your baby close to you, while dealing with the demands of a busy toddler.
Before bubs arrives be as organised as you can be. Have meals in the freezer, a basket of toys to keep the toddler busy while you are feeding and do your shopping online.
I have a November baby so I made sure I had a lot of my Christmas shopping done and ordered the rest online. Shopping online is a great way to not put any extra pressure on yourself.
Who wants to be carting a toddler AND a newborn around the supermarket!
You also have the added bonus of not having to get out of your pyjamas.
Accept all offers of help
Family and friends often want to help and are more than willing too. It could be hanging out the washing, playing with the toddler or bringing around a meal. If someone offers to help say YES!!!
Do what you need to do to get through the day. If you have to put the TV on its ok. Beans on toast is a complete meal if it needs to be. It's quick and easy and if your toddler will eat it -dish it up. It is hard enough having a new baby, throw a toddler into the mix and you are one busy mama. Some days just managing to have a shower is a big deal.
It’s ok not to be super mum and it does get easier and you eventually find yourself with a bit more time.
Yes, there were tears, from all of us at one stage or another, and from 4.00pm to 6.30pm was hard! This is when babywearing came into its own. I could pop Georgie into her stretchy Peek-a-Baby wrap so that she was snuggled up close to me and 9 times out of 10 she would fall asleep. I was then able to make dinner and feed my hungry toddler.
In many ways growing a family of four was easier than I expected. I was way more relaxed, as the second time around I knew what I was doing. I also knew that each stage would pass and didn’t seem as never-ending as it does with your first baby.
It is only natural to worry about how we will cope but you will and before you know it, as clichéd as it is, this time will have passed, and you will look back on it fondly. (OK not all of it but most of it I do).
You got this mama!