When my husband and I got together, we started talking seriously about what our road to building our family would look like.
We decided on 2-3 kids after a few years of marriage and traveling, back-to-back so they’d be close in age.
Then Fox came along.
He was not an easy baby by any means, with horrible colic until 7 months, moving straight into a horrible toddler phase that made it difficult to show our faces outside of the house.
We knew it wasn’t smart to add to our family when we could barely handle one.
Fox slowly started to come around once he entered into school and his behavior and emotions became easier to figure out and tame. He morphed into this caring, thoughtful, well-mannered child who spent hours trying to figure out how things work and studying letters and numbers on his own accord.
The whole entire mood in our house changed.
For a couple of years leading up to my second pregnancy, Fox begged for a little brother or sister. He wanted a baby of his own and as his schoolmates accrued siblings, you could see his need for another kid in the house growing.
When we finally saw a positive test and had confirmation the pregnancy was sticking, I had an unexpected moment of panic. Everything was going so smoothly — were we about the shake our foundation as a family and mess everything up?
From there I made every effort to come up with a plan to make Fox comfortable with the transition.
Here are a few of the steps we took to make that happen.
Bring a Gift to the Hospital for Baby to Give Big Brother or Sister
We packed a PJ Masks bag with a baby boy doll complete with fox shirt, some Hatchimals, and a ramen set for his dolls to play with. Not only did he feel special that his little brother knew exactly what he likes, but he had some new toys to bring to Gaga and Papa’s house while we roomed in at the hospital.
Set Aside Alone Time with Older Child
There was a noticeable shift between sheer independence to moderately needy when Charlie came home. We satisfy that with extra playtime in the house (family board games and Fox’s favorite: playing tag) and one-on-one outings whether it be free swim or haircuts. It’s important that life doesn’t completely flip upside down and there’s still a few things left untouched.
Don’t Shut Them Out of the Process
Fox was not breastfed and Charlie is, so when he started to see me feeding the baby he had a lot of questions. Since the baby is attached to me feeding around the clock, I did not want Fox to feel excluded. I made the decision that I’d answer his questions honestly and let him sit by me as I nursed, taking the scene in and normalizing breastfeeding in the process. I feel like it’s really helped him a great deal to not get jealous of all the time Charlie gets with me.
Do you have two kids at home? How did you make the transition from 1 to 2 a smooth one?
P.S. In case you’re wondering: here’s a link to Charlie’s super soft swaddle!