As you may have guessed. Yes. Having a second child can really be a challenge. Depending on how young your first one is, and how independent they are it can be even harder. I have officially been able to say that I have been part of the “2 under 2” club. Has it been challenging? Of course it has been.
It can be especially challenging to adjust because when you have a small baby, they really are the ones running the show. They do not have any schedule and are basically the boss. For us, we got incredibly lucky that my spouse was able to have used his vacation days as well as with it being the holidays having time off in general that he could use also. This was even more lucky due to the fact that I had an unplanned C Section which I talk about in the birth story for my youngest here.
I primarily took over taking care of the baby the majority of the time due to the fact that I had a C-Section. You can talk about all the challenges that I faced with that here, Not only that, but we were extremely lucky that our son was born at a time my spouse had plenty of time off with the holidays and vacations to help me with my oldest. The real challenges began when my partner had gone to work again. I think by this time you are already used to getting little to no sleep but at least you are in a rythnm.
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In reality, my schedule did not change THAT much. My first son had a pretty normal routine schedule. In terms of waking, breakfast, lunch, nap, supper, bed. However since he has been in his “Big boy” bed he has been up far earlier. Especially on day’s where his dad goes to work because he hears him getting ready. Some days he does go back to sleep longer however other days he does not. So the baby basically is following that schedule. Or he maybe up slightly earlier and we just wait for my oldest to wake up in the living room or stay in bed cuddling.
One of the hardest aspects I would say when it comes to juggling the two different yet so close ages is bottles! My oldest has been so far our of bottles your really forget what they are about. I find for myself though if I am home alone with the 2 of them that I need to split the bottles of my youngest to fit the oldest lunch in the middle. If my youngest is getting fussy and it isn’t quite time for Lunch what I will do is split the bottle. If it is 10:45am (We normally are eating lunch by 11:10am) and he is fussing I will give him half of a bottle and then baby wear as I make lunch. Unless he is sleepy then I will instead put him in his bassinet for his mini cat nap of 20-30 minutes so I have enough time to prepare the lunch for myself and my son, and it is ready to go. It sounds more complicated but if you really dedicate time to watching the clock for a little bit and managing your time it is completely possible to have it effective like this.
That being said, yes there are some days where I can completely have it fit perfectly. Maybe I feed him really before lunch time and it clicks so after lunch is made I just have to feed Vincent (oldest!) and put him to bed and as soon as he goes for his 2 hour nap his brother Felix wakes up, or has been kicking and looking and exploring while we ate. Other times I also will wear Felix and he falls asleep in the carrier, so I put him in his bassinet to sleep and he does so until lunch is over normally too. It honestly can be a really hard thing to judge but sticking to the same schedule is super helpful for us.
Another thing that I personally feel is going extremely well is also the jealousy. I for some reason (Maybe it is a parent thing) thought that my oldest would be incredibly jealous of my youngest. That however is the case to some extent, there is for sure jealousy in the adjusting to having another baby around but it isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I think too as Felix is growing you can tell Vincent is maybe understanding more that he will have a new friend. I try to make a point that if Felix is asleep to not have him contact nap because I want to really spend that time with Vincent. We cuddle on the couch, we play with toys, we laugh and sing songs and guess objects, but that time is for him. When Felix is awake I encourage him to help. He is very curious about diaper changes as well as holding the bottle when I feed him. He also loves to give kisses and hugs all the time as well too. Sometimes they even are slobbery or sticky from something he had ate before.
None the less, I think the adjusting has been going far beyond my expectations. Now are there moments when I want to rip my hair out and both of them are crying and upset and just plain mad for no reason, Absolutely. And I try to manage my time between them as best as I can to console each of them so they know they are loved and important and neither is more so than the other. If that means letting Felix cry for a few moments while changing a poopy bum of Vincent so be it. It has been a great experience and honestly, makes me excited for our next adventure when it comes to kids (Obviously not too soon, I would like some peace and quiet at times!)