When you were expecting your first child, you were worried about being able to handle all of the responsibilities of new motherhood. And now that number two is on the way, you may be feeling anxious all over again. Not only will you have to deal will all of the newborn stuff all over again, you still have to care for your older child, which likely means you'll get even less sleep this time around. If you are preparing for a new addition to your family, you could probably use some tips on how to survive your first night with a second baby.
Delegating some of the household responsibilities to everyone — including your older child — can help free up time for you to tend to your new baby's needs and even find a little time for yourself. And when things get especially crazy, be sure to find time to give yourself a pat on the back to celebrate all of the little mini victories of the day.
Once your threesome becomes a foursome, give a few of these tips a try. Bonus tip: make sure you have plenty of coffee and eye cream on hand for the morning after.
1. Don't Be Afraid To Delegate
Put your CEO hat on and start doling out some of the responsibilities of caring for your older child to others. Let grandma read the bedtime story. Have dad manage bath time. You are going to need to free up as much time as possible to tend to the needs of your new baby — or catch up on much needed rest if the baby is sleeping.
2. Give Your Older Kid Some Independence
It's never too early to begin teaching your older child to do some things on his own or with little help. Whether it's putting on his own pajamas or helping to clear the dinner dishes, start getting in the habit of giving him some age-appropriate responsibilities. It will help lighten your load and give him a sense of accomplishment.
3. Decide On The Best Sleeping Arrangement
If your living space doesn't allow your new baby to have her own room, you may want to have her camp out with you, at least for a while. Having a crib or moses basket in your bedroom can make it easier for you to respond to late night cries without disturbing your older child.
3. Give Yourself Some Credit
Rather than beating yourself up about what isn't done, pat yourself on the back for the things you have accomplished. If you managed to get through the day with everyone still in one piece — including yourself — you should consider that a success. As The Today Show's parenting page mentioned, be sure to celebrate all of the wins, no matter how small.
4. Lower Your Expectations
As your new baby gets settled in to her new home, some things will go according to plan, but a lot of things won't. And you'll save yourself a lot of frustration if you're OK with that. Don't expect things in your house to work like a perfectly oiled machine on the first night. It's going to take time for all of you to find your groove.
5. Soak It All In
Once things have calmed down, be sure to take a moment to let the idea of your new larger family soak in. It may seem now like you'll never get your body or your bed back, but the time will pass before your eyes. Believe it or not, there will be a day that you'll wish for all of the crazy chaos of your life with two littles all over again.