I was very nervous about the birth of my second child. I had heard stories of how the transition from one to two children was much worse than the transition from zero to one. This was hard for me to imagine since my transition from no children to one colicky baby was a rough one. I knew that we would survive whatever was thrown our way, but part of me dreaded the first year of having two children.
I saw friends struggle through the transition. I was one of the last ones in our circle of mom friends to join the “Mom of Two Club,” which meant that everyone else had their hands full with their own children and wouldn’t be able to help me much with my own transition. It also meant that I heard their difficulties and worried about what we might be up against.
Luckily it also meant that I could watch and learn, and see what worked, what didn’t, and how quickly things seemed to get easier.
Luckily I was blessed with a baby who did not have colic and was much happier than my first. And fortunately I had an independent three year old who has a soft spot for his little brother.
I understand that all situations are different, but here are 3 ways that eased our transition from one to two kiddos, and hopefully they’ll help you as well:
Babies love and desire attention. They are adorable, perfect and don’t get on your nerves as much as a toddler can. However, they do not understand you when you tell them that they are beautiful, or perfect, or cute, or amazing. But a big sibling definitely understands.
I made an effort not to praise the new baby too much while big brother was around. And if I did, I included my older son with a lot of – “Isn’t your little brother so cute?” “I have such sweet boys!” comments.
Of course, I always made sure that baby felt loved, and when big brother wasn’t around I gushed about how perfect he was. But it was important not to make my first son feel like he was completely dethroned and second best.