Top Tips for 2nd Time Moms

  1. DON’T’ SHOOT FOR 50/50: Many moms of two envision trying to split their time equally between their first born and their newborn. This simply is not a realistic expectation. The reality (and research shows this as well) is that if you spend 20% of the tie with your newborn (mostly feeding, changing, and some swaddle time) and 80% with your older child, no single person if worse for the wear. The older child still has time spent with you and the younger child realistically spends so much time sleeping early on that they don’t know the difference.
  2. HELP YOUR CHILD UNDERSTAND THEIR NEW ROLE: Children don’t understand what it means to be a big brother/ big sister. Even for those children old enough to get excited about wanting another person around, reality is usually not as fun as how they envisioned. Ask them what type of sibling they want to be. Even toddlers can use simple words to express their hopes. Ask, “Do you want to be a silly big brother?”, “Do you want to be a string big sister” Even if they don’t seem to get the idea, it gives them a sense that you care about them and how they want to be. Make sure you let the know its okay if they don’t want to be around the baby all the time.
  3. FIND A WAY TO INVOLVE YOUR FIRSTBORN WITHOUT BEING PUSHY: Your “big” ones are going to see you giving a lot of attention to the newborn. Ask them if they want to help. If they say no, that’s fine. Eventually they will get curious. If they say yes, ask what “jobs” they want. Picking the baby’s clothes out, helping give a bath, and if they share the same room, watching over the baby while they sleep are good examples.
  4. MAKE A TO-DO LIST WITH YOUR OLDER CHILD: If you plan on making “special time” for your older child, try and make it an activity that you do without your younger one. The quality time will let your older child know that they don’t always have to share mommy and daddy. A nice way to get your child involved and give them a sense of control is to have them come up with some activities they would like to do. Make a mommy and —- to-do list and hang it on the back of their door. As you do each activity, let your child cross off (or watch you cross off) the activity. It will help build a sense of accomplishment within them and make your one on one time more special.
  5. MAKE SURE TO GIVE YOUR OLDER CHILD A SENSE OF CONTROL: Like you, your firstborn has experienced a loss of control with the addition of a sibling. One of the best ways to make sure they feel secure and model for them a sense of control, is by asking them how they are feeling about being a “Big Brother” or “Big Sister”. They may say an answer that has nothing to do with what you asked but that does not matter. You have demonstrated for your child that their feelings matter and you care about what they think and feel.