Hey, cruncharoos, Daddypotamus here. With 4-6 weeks until Babypotamus makes his/her grand entrance, I’m starting to wonder how this one will be different. The mystery’s gone… I know what having a baby at home LOOKS like. And I’m starting to vividly remember the challenges of getting our Katie girl to sleep. Rookie mistakes and all. But man, getting her to sleep was brutal!
With Babypotamus, we know we’ll do some things differently. There will be no walking the baby to sleep! Mark it down. For the love of all things holy, DO NOT get your baby in the habit of depending on walking to sleep. I can’t think of a more tortuous night time ritual. At the time, we didn’t know any better. All we knew is that we wanted her to go to sleep, and carrying her while walking and patting her on the bottom and making shushing sounds was what worked first.
But by month #2 of re-walking her to sleep several times a night, we were both at our wit’s end. Heather was so sleep deprived she would smack herself into door frames from time to time. It barely seemed to register. PLEASE. NOT. AGAIN.
So, hopefully we will be wiser about which sleep rituals to go with, but now there is new territory: Co-sleeping as a family of four. Will the baby wake up Katie? Will Katie wake up the baby? Will any of us get a good night’s sleep? I’m not going to answer this one, but I’m optimistic.
Tandem nursing will definitely different experience for Heather, but I’m not sure what, if anything, I can do to help out in this department. I don’t know that this will be much of a problem… but I really DO feel sorry for parents of twins or triplets or more. I can only imagine what it must be like to have so many hungry mouths to feed.
Gigi has been a godsend in more than one area. But with a newborn, watching the kids just won’t be an option until the baby’s nursing schedule spans out a bit. And when does that even happen? I can’t remember. So while I don’t want to curse us, I’m guessing our date nights for the next few months will consist of sneaking off to the spare bedroom to watch a movie on the laptop – private enough to get some time alone but close enough for Heather to “be the boob.”
Getting out of the house
Even though the baby will be fine sleeping and nursing most of the time, making sure Katie has a life will be an ever-increasing priority. Trips to the park, shopping, playdates, etc. On some level, I think it’s everyone’s temptation to focus on the baby to the detriment of the older sibling(s). So our challenge will be loving on Katie so much that her heart is always full, no matter how much coddling and attention Babypotamus gets.
One of my favorite moments comes right after Katie has been corrected. She’s so quick to look at me again with admiration and love. She doesn’t feel ashamed or emotionally separated from me. So she and I are hugging and cuddling and tickling very shortly after. I know that comes from the amount of love she constantly receives from us. Her heart is full, and she knows she’s loved. So when we correct her, it’s never a question of whether she’s still loved or accepted. We’ve made it our goal to ALWAYS communicate those things. So it becomes a matter of making sure she still gets that attention. I’ve pretty much settled it in my heart that whenever I see the baby getting lots of attention, I will be holding and loving on Katie so she’s never stuck watching and wishing she could have what Babypotamus gets.
With one child, I can take Katie to Starbucks, the mall, the park, or the dog park for a while and give Mommy a much needed break. Giving breaks has become one of the ways we love on each other. But with a newborn, will I still be able to give her much of a break? I think it’s possible, but I could use your help.
My question to you is…
The baby’s not here yet, and I have no idea how this all fleshes out in the real world. God is faithful to answer our earnest prayers. So I’m confident we can do this. But you have all been such an awesome community of friends that I thought I’d put the question to you. You know, in case I have a blindspot (which we all know, of course, I do not).
What did you find to be the biggest difference in handling baby #2? Or if you’re working on #2, what are you planning on doing differently? But most importantly, what did your husbands do to that was most meaningful and/or supportive during this transition time? Or what do you wish they had done?