Tips and products for transitioning from one to two under 2
If you find yourself in a similar situation to mine whereby your next child is arriving sooner than strictly anticipated, I thought I would share some tips, tricks and products that really worked for us to help us not completely lose our minds.
1) Get your child used to the new sleeping situation in advance.
When I became pregnant for the second time we were living in a one bedroom property and so our son was of course still sleeping in our room. We had to ensure that we moved way before our daughter arrived so that there would be no feelings of jealousy from our son about suddenly being ejected from our room.
We also took him shopping for his new room and would present him with two acceptable options for his room e.g. which toy box he should have. This made him feel part of the move and also, I believe, helped him to identify the new space as 'his'. We did not move him into his room in the new property until it was completely decorated.
2) Find ways to minimise saying 'no' because of the new baby.
This was a tricky one. Safety is always an issue when there is a newborn and you don't want to compromise here. That being said you want the new baby to integrate into your child's life as much as possible without affecting your relationship with him especially at such a young age. We decided we needed safe nap options for our daughter and decided straight away that the traditional moses basket would not work for us. We instead opted for the Inovi Cocoon
At the time of publishing the Inovi Cocoon is on sale from £115 down to £92.50. You can check out all the features and colour options here.
The fact that we could spend quality time with our son and he could go and peek at his sister without me worrying about him poking her eye out or hurting her in some way really helped them to bond.
3) Changing bag
There is no doubt that when you have two children under 2 you carry A LOT of stuff. My previous bag had been Skip Hop and I was adamant that I would stick with that brand as I had put that bag through some serious trials and it was still beautiful, just not big enough anymore. After a lot of research I settled on the Skip Hop Grand Central Take-It-All Changing Bag which at the time of publishing is on sale from £85 to £78.75
It looks beautiful, it fits everything I need for a day out with the kids and because of its many compartments I even have a large area where I can keep my things with a pouch for my phone as well! Insulated pockets to the side fit 2 MAM bottles in each easily, more if you ever needed to. Fantastic bag, I adore this brand and would genuinely look to them first for large, fashionable solutions for a changing bag.
4) Get your child involved in caring for your newborn
Ok, we aren't talking babysitting here but getting your toddler involved in bath time, changing nappies by handing you the wipes, kissing baby when she goes down for a nap, little things like this give your toddler a real signal that this little thing really needs looking after. My son has matured incredibly this last 3 months and takes looking after his little sister very seriously. If she cries and he feels I haven't attended to her quickly enough he will drag me to her, if he can reach her he will kiss her and stroke her feet.
That's another thing right there, safe touching zones. As I mentioned in my first point, saying no all the time because of the new baby can cause jealousy and resentment in toddlers, so instead of telling him he can't touch his sister we taught him to stroke her feet and legs so that if he has a moment where he is a bit rough (it happens!) it's not the end of the world. Better her leg than her head!
5) Baby Wearing!
My daughter suffered quite badly with colic and, for a time, I thought I would lose my mind. Genuinely. My son was teething, she wouldn't settle and I felt certain that I wouldn't make it through. Then a friend suggested baby wearing. I was willing to try anything and so I just bought what she had as she kept raving about it. She had the Close Caboo. I cried real tears of joy when I put my daughter in it and she actually settled, it was the most incredible thing. My son wasn't getting jealous anymore because I could go for walks with him again all while carrying my daughter close - exactly where she needed to be at that time.
At the time of publishing the sling is on sale from £49.99 to £43.61.
Since discovering baby wearing I have learned that there are many options and not every baby carrier will work for every baby. I would recommend having a look in your local baby sling library (yes it's a thing!) and trying some out if you can. If, like me, you don't have one near you I can highly recommend this one as it keeps babies legs in the optimum position so that they don't get hurt or affect development, the support on the back makes it more comfortable to wear than some others that I have since tried and it is good for that period just after you give birth where you are larger than normal as your tummy shrinks as the wrap size is generous. For us, it was magic!
**SECRET EXTRA BENEFIT** I kind of used it as a wrap for my tummy as I had a c section with the way I wrapped it. You're welcome :).
6) Baby swing
We can't baby wear constantly, and because my daughter had colic I found that a rocking motion helped to soothe her a lot so we invested in a baby swing. I feel that they are all much of a muchness to be honest but we bought Ingenuity convert me 2 seat candler swing because it was on sale at the time.
At the time of publishing this swing is on sale from £89.99 to £79.99.
My daughter is only 3 months old but these products have been saviours. One thing we did buy that I felt was essential was a Poddle Pod (0-6 Months) . I think, because my daughter had colic she wasn't a fan so this really didn't work for us, however I gifted it to a friend and her son LOVED it. It just goes to show that not every product will work for every baby, we much preferred the Sleepyhead Deluxe for napping.
I hope that has been helpful for you, shop around and see what works for your family but these types of products have really helped us go from one child to two with less stress even with a colic baby. Do you have any suggestions that could help other families? Please leave them in a comment!
I hope this blog post finds you well and, if not, I hope it leaves you better.