I have a child already so I'm prepared for the second...or so I thought!
George is now 2, and we are expecting our second baby in just 12 weeks time. Crazy where the time has gone already. Whilst we are excited to be a family of four, it is only really sinking in now how close we are to the end. Whilst before I felt completely ready, I keep seeing different posts online reminding me of different things we need to sort before baby is here. 12 weeks sounds a long time but with a 2 year old to chase around and the general challenges of life, it is going to fly by! So, here are some of my thoughts about having number 2 and some of the thoughts and questions I keep asking myself; questions that I would imagine lots of other people think of and worry about.
We have everything we need already.
In short...no we don't! Neither I nor Paul have said much about needing to buy anything for this next one. Up until a week ago, my thoughts were that we have everything from George and haven't got rid of a single thing so we must have it all. However, I recently joined a lovely group on social media who are all due in April 2019 too and they post all the time and thank goodness they do! So here are three things top of my list that I didn't think about.
1) The hospital bag. Now this seems obvious. I need clothes, baby needs clothes (just remembered scratch mittens!), nappies etc. It was the other couple of bits that you only need in and just after labour...maternity pads, breast pads, a nursing bra for feeding, nipple cream. All those things that now having a two year old I had forgotten about. I feel like a first time mum again! Add them to the list!
2) Mattress. A new born baby doesn't move around a huge amount, doesn't bounce on the bed and is only in the moses basket/next to me/ crib or whatever else you choose for a few months so I had completely forgotten about the advice of a new mattress. Part of me thought do we really need to get a new one, but in the grand scheme of things, it's worth getting to put your mind at ease that you have done everything you can to make sure your little one is happy and healthy. After lots of research from the Lullaby Trust, it's definitely worth investing in a new one so we know we need to get a new mattress for the next to me and one for the carry cot too. Add it to the list!
3) Changing mat. Now that George is older, he hates laying down to be changed (potty training is starting this summer!) so we never use a changing mat anymore unless we are out and about. He either stands up or we just lay him on the floor. This is an essential item for a new born...add it to the list!
With my 'list of things I didn't think we needed' still growing, I'm sure there are many more things that we will need to get, so feel free to send me a message or comment with your suggestions too...I am bound to have forgotten something important.
Reusable vs disposable.
This isn't something that I ever thought I would be considering. I am someone of convenience and organisation but equally Paul and I are both savers not spenders and it isn't until you think about the amount of money you spend on nappies and wipes every year that you realise just how much it costs. So, to Paul's 'delight' I have started talking about reusable nappies and wipes. His opinion is it takes up a lot of time doing the washing and there is no way I will keep up; although this just makes me determined to do it (I'm also a little stubborn!) We have bitten the bullet and bought reusable nappies this time. Being Eco is important but that isn't the main reason for doing it. It really is about money. So today, not that he knows it yet, I have been looking into using reusable wipes too! My argument with these is that if I am using reusable nappies and washing those then surely the wipes won't add much more stress as they will get washed at the same time. I think I may have some convincing to do but it's worth a try and I will have to write another blog post in a few months time to talk about whether I have stuck with the washing or returned to convenience! But for now...lets add reusable to the list!
Every parent's worries.
Now to a couple of things that I worry about. I worry about these a lot. Again, I am sure these are concerns for every parent having their second baby or more. We had these concerns before even trying for the second but they soon disappeared with the excitement of a family of four and playmate for George. However, I would say these concerns are beginning to return again.
I have three main concerns: What will George think of baby number 2? How will I still have time for George and me? How will we cope with more things to do and less time to do it?
George is our world; a world which we are fully aware will again be turned upside down (in a positive way) when having baby number 2. But this time, it isn't just Paul and I to worry about. This time there is George. A baby isn't returnable and it will be interesting explaining this to George on the days when he doesn't understand why the baby is crying or why I can't put him to bed that night. It tears me up now when he cries because daddy is doing bedtime and not me...how will I cope watching his eyes sink as I say 'you need to ask daddy.' I know he will be an awesome big brother, the perfect role model and will love them unconditionally but at the age of two, he is going to take some convincing.
That brings me on to my next worry...how will I still have time for George and I? I have asked a few people this and many have chuckled and said 'there won't be time for just you two. Now it will have to be the three.' I don't want that. I know we will make some amazing family memories to treasure but I also want George to still get some mummy time. I want to be able to give George a cuddle whilst the other is occupied with daddy. I want to be able to take George to play football at the park without having to play whilst pushing a pram. I want George to still want to play with me and not always go to daddy because mummy is too busy. And no matter how hard this will be, I will make it happen.
I am determined that George is going to have just as much time with me as the new baby. I am determined to make sure he doesn't feel pushed aside. It is going to be difficult, but it is being strict about it and making time. Daddy wants time with the new baby too so if it means that I can feed the baby and then pass them on so I can go in the garden to play football with George then that is what we will do. Time goes so fast but there is always time for everything if you make it. Which answers my third worry of more things to do and less time to do it. It is about being organised whilst at the same time needing to let some things go. So what if dinner isn't done at precisely 6 o'clock? So what if bedtime is half an hour later on a couple of occasions? So what if we have a PJ day because the washing didn't get done in time because we were out enjoying life as a family of four.
Everyone has new year resolutions and I didn't know what to make mine (I never seem to stick to them anyway!) but now I have one and I am determined to stick to it.
My new year resolution is 'So what? Just add it to the list!'
If you want to find out more about safer sleep, please do visit the lullaby trust website. They have some good advice and support for you with regards to babies sleep. https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk