Even though each pregnancy is different, there is one challenge you can always rely on when you’re having your second child – the challenge of caring for your other child at the same time!
When God overheard us say that the 1st child was not that hard and we could handle another one, He uttered – challenge accepted! – Anonymous
If you are expecting and already have another child, then you might be experiencing sleepless nights worrying about how your toddler is going to cope with the new arrival and moreover, how on earth you will muddle through with the needs of one more little baby.
This article talks about certain key issues which I personally went through and found worth giving a thought beforehand:
When is the best time to tell the toddler about the new baby?
The truth is – your child will only have the faintest of idea of what’s on going on as no toddler can actually realise what a change to their life a baby will make until he/she is born. However on the other hand, toddlers are incredibly perceptive, so your enlarging tummy will definitely catch their gaze at certain point – and that’s the optimum time to spill the beans!
Let your child feel the baby inside you by letting them gently touch your tummy, listening to the baby’s heartbeat, say hi to the baby and even kiss the baby goodnight.
Once you’ve revealed your baby’s arrival to your child, frequently mention it without going overboard with too much detail.
It’s important for you to not let your toddler feel neglected. So spend some quality time with them such as watching them play, talking and listening to them, letting them navigate the new baby’s room whenever visitors come and visit. Let your child feel they’re part of the whole process.
What to tell your toddler about morning sickness?
Experts feel that in case you’re among roughly 75 % of women who experienced morning sickness their 1st time, then you are more likely to experience it again. You may want to explain that you are alright and that it’s normal, sometimes this happens to mums.
Following a good diet
A nutritious diet for the baby inside you is something you need to be conscious of even more as your body might be depleted of nutrients, especially in case you’re expecting just a year after your previous delivery.
- Consume plenty of protein (red meat specifically for zinc)
- Daily 3 servings of dairy (at least) for Phosphorus, Calcium and Vitamin D.
- Consume fruits as well as whole grains for energy.
- And of course don’t forget your prenatal vitamins.
Concerns about weight gain
Try to get as close to your pre-pregnancy weight as possible before you try to conceive your second child, this is the best outcome because then you are not carrying extra weight into your second pregnancy.
Also try to get at least 10 mins brisk walk a day which is better than nothing.
Lifting heavy toddlers
It’s fine sometimes to lift your toddler, in case they’re adamant on clinging to you. But it would be better if you asked your partner more often to help lifting.
As the center of gravity of your body shifts during pregnancy, you need be extra-careful about upholding your balance to prevent any falls.
But do avoid lifting, if you’re expecting multiples or in case you have any complications such as preterm labour history.
In case you already experienced a vaginal birth, then certainly some stretching would have occurred. Therefore, in absence of any other complications, your delivery in all probability should be easier and quicker.
And in case you had a Cesarean in your previous pregnancy, you already know what to expect. Always a good idea to consult your obstetrician with any concerns you may have.
How to handle the birth with your toddler
It won’t be easy for both you and your child to remain apart especially when you’re in hospital.
You’ll definitely require someone (friends and/or family) who can take care of your toddler when you’re in labour.
I’m sure you and your partner will want to be the ones to give the exciting news to your child about a new sister or brother, so make sure you let your family and friends know your wishes, don’t let grandma get in first!
Before your toddler comes into your hospital room, perhaps try to ensure that your newborn is in the cot or being held by someone else so that your arms are free to embrace them and both of you can glance at the baby together.
Most fathers feel that they bonded with their toddler quite well when their 2nd baby was on the way. Line up a few little treats for your child whenever she visits the hospital and for at home when she’s without you.
Hopefully these tips have in some way helped you. Do you have any to add? Please share in the comments below.