how to manage having a second child?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2007
how to manage having a second child?
8
Wed, 01-06-2010 - 12:38am

My LO is now 19 months old. She was a very high needs baby, and although she is much better now (calm, obedient, and loves to help), she still (1) doesn't play by herself for very long and (2) nurses to sleep, wakes a lot at night, needs me to sleep with her in order to decrease the wakings, nurses back to sleep when she wakes, and is an extremely light sleeper (she wakes when I just change position in bed (despite everything I've tried to mask the sound and movement) and needs to nurse back to sleep). I just can't imagine cosleeping with her and a new baby since I'll have to move around with a new baby.

I am so nervous and scared to have a second child b/c my first was so high needs. I don't know how I'm going to manage their sleep schedules, wakings, and needs. With my first LO, I could nap when she napped. I was pretty much a single parent b/c my spouse works insane, stressful hours around the clock and needs sleep b/c the work is life-and-death. Kinda hard to compete with that...

We can afford hired help, but (1) I don't know what tasks and what hours to delegate and (2) if I delegate too much, I lose my connection with my LO (which I value in and of itself, but also means I start having behavioral problems and I lose my ability to predict or understand the reasons for her behavior). Plus, hired help doesn't parent exactly the way you would want. I would love to have grandparents and aunt/uncle to help out, but they are not available due to distance and their type of work.

Any advice? Thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2005
Wed, 01-06-2010 - 11:44am

Welcome to the board! I've been in a little bit of a situation like you. I fretted a lot about the 2nd baby coming along but it all worked out just fine. I did change the lock on the front door so the 3yo couldn't get out if I fell asleep with the newborn - just in case.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2008
Wed, 01-06-2010 - 4:40pm

You know before Samantha was born I was pretty stressed about how I would handle bedtimes and whether I was going to feel like I was ignoring one child or another. I also really didn't want Dominic to feel that he was being tossed aside since I knew I would be busy with the new baby. Dominic was a high needs baby!!


Well, when Samantha came along it truly all worked out. For one, she was a totally mellow baby (different story now) who fell asleep easily. She napped (unlike Dominic at that age) and was happy swinging away in the swing. She was very mellow so I actually had time to spend with the both of them. They went to bed at different times so that wasn't an issue. I would put one to bed and then have cuddle time with the other.


We got

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2005
Thu, 01-07-2010 - 6:14pm

My first was super high needs.

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Community Leader
Registered: 04-18-2003
Thu, 01-07-2010 - 6:48pm

I remember having many of the same concerns you do about how I would manage a second child.

Gail

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2007
Sat, 01-09-2010 - 12:50am

Thanks, everyone, for your support and advice! I really appreciate it.

I really like the advice on getting hired help for the house instead of the babies. That's much more reasonable and workable for me.

It's helpful to know that so many of you had non-high-needs second babies. The existence of those feel unbelievable to me!

As for my DD being a light sleeper, I've tried white noise machines, and they have not worked. :( We actually sleep on a futon on the floor b/c with the spring mattresses, whenever I move, she feels it and wakes up. Even with the futon on the floor, she wakes when I move b/c she can hear it or feels the blanket move. She just wakes about only half the time that she would wake with a spring mattress.

In reading your responses, now I realize that my main concern is sleep. She's becoming more independent in every way that's not sleep-related. She's potty trained, and she's okay with our sitter. Her behavior is so good and considerate that I can tell her to wait and she will wait patiently, explain that I cannot do such and such b/c I'm busy and then she's like, "Oh, okay," and stops asking or waits, etc. So I know she'd be okay with me telling her to wait or I cannot do something b/c I'm tending to her sibling.

My problem is her sleep. Her sleep schedule varies by +/- 2 hours, for all wakeup and going-to-sleep times. That's kind of a lot of unpredictability. I've been spending 30 minutes to 2 hours getting her to sleep. I'll put up a separate post on this sleep issue for advice. She wakes a lot at night. If anyone else tries to put her to sleep, either the first time for bed or naptime, or during a waking, she just stays up for HOURS, crying a lot at first, then either zombie/bleary or hyperactive the rest of the time. I give up and nurse her back to sleep during those times. My question is what do I do when both the baby and she wakes up at night at the same time?

As for the rush, I'm older, so I need to have the next one soon. I'm already delaying this second child b/c my first one was so high-needs. As for having a second child versus one only, I really really really want a second child. I just want to get advice from BTDT moms on how to make it work.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 01-09-2010 - 8:11pm

I would wait till you feel more ready.

Sarah, mom to Alexis, Samantha and Kayleigh


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2007
Mon, 01-18-2010 - 3:35pm

Thanks for your advice! This was very helpful. All very practical tips, and I started planning and implementing some right away. I'll take it one step at a time to get us ready, and then when we're ready, I'll feel so much better. Thank you so much.

Michelle

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2008
Mon, 01-18-2010 - 5:22pm
You can always rock two at once. :-) It all works out. Don't delay if you don't feel you have the time just because of sleep. It works out!
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