Adjusting to Two

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As you may know our little family just added a fourth member when Miss Ivy Corinne was born in late March.  Making the adjustment from one kiddo to two was different than I expected it to be. I can’t say it was easy, but it was easier in some ways than I thought. There are also parts that are hard that I never considered.

I know so many people right now who are expecting baby number two. I want to share my experience of adjusting to two kiddos. The good, the bad, and the ugly! Hopefully this can be helpful to someone, but also serve as a great reminder to me of how this season of life feels.

*Disclaimer* I have only been the momma to two kiddos for 2.5 months so my knowledge is rather limited. 

When I was pregnant with Ivy multiple people said something along the lines of two kids being so different than one, or how it was a tough adjustment and we better be ready. So I began getting a little nervous about how things would go.

I am going to outline the things that have stood out the most to me in this new phase of life.

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|Sleep|

I think I worried most about this because everyone knows you hardly sleep that first few months with a newborn. Ivy is a pretty good sleeper overall, but she is definitely a typical newborn. Unpredictable sleep, unexplained wakings, frustrating nights, and all the rest. She was waking up every two to three hours on the dot the first few weeks so I was getting very little sleep. She has slowly extended her sleep times during the night and now does a six to seven hour stretch (9-3ish), but I’m still getting broken up sleep.

I pictured being a walking zombie and hardly able to function daily during these months. I had trouble imagining how I was going to give Nora and Ivy what they needed on so little sleep. I’m happy to say that I am over two months in and while I am tired everyday, I am nowhere near zombie status. With coffee and God’s grace I am able to power through each day. I now have the girls on the same afternoon nap schedule so I have even gotten a few naps in!

 

|Dividing My Attention|

I didn’t think too much about this aspect because I knew I would figure this out eventually. However, I did worry about how Nora was going to react to no longer being the only kiddo in my life. I pictured her having a really rough time in the beginning, but in all honesty I think I took it harder than she did! I was so acutely aware of how much attention I was showing her. I didn’t want our days to change too much and so I was diligent to keep as much the same as possible.

I’m happy to say that Nora loves being a big sister! She is so attentive to Ivy and really loves to help with her and interact with her each day! I was worried for nothing, but I think part of the reason it went so well is because I worked hard at making the transition as easy as I could.

 

|Expectations|

This is probably been the hardest part for me so far. I never even thought about this before Ivy was here, but I am pretty bad about comparing Nora and Ivy. I find myself expecting Ivy to do things at the same rate Nora did them. This is not healthy for me or good for sweet Ivy.

For example, Nora began sleeping through the night at 11 weeks old. Well, Ivy is almost 12 weeks old and she still gets up once and sometimes twice a night to eat. I found myself getting frustrated and thinking something was wrong simply because Ivy wasn’t doing exactly what Nora did. Nora was also rolling over by this time, Ivy still stays on that tummy and cries! I often need to remind myself that every child is different. Ivy may do something earlier than Nora. She may do things later than Nora, and that’s okay. They are their own unique little individuals and I shouldn’t expect Ivy to be just like Nora.

 

|Going Places|

Wow! I knew getting ready and actually getting out of the house would be a lot of work with two kids (heck, it’s a lot of work with just one), but holy cow! I now have two kids who need a ton of stuff. Two car seats to strap, a huge double stroller to tote around, two lives I am responsible for instead of just one!

It takes a good twenty or thirty minutes to get ready and loaded up to go somewhere. I did my first solo outing alone with both girls (that wasn’t to the doctor) the other day. We went and shopped at Goodwill and drove through Chick-fil-a. It took forever to get ready to go, and the actual outing presented some issues I hadn’t considered (read hard to open a door, push a cart and support a wrapped baby at the same time). But we survived and no one cried, so I’m calling it a win!

The fact that Ivy is still so little makes going anywhere much more work, but it won’t be like that forever. Right now I don’t go out of the house alone with both of them much, and I will probably avoid it for a while longer. I prefer to have my sidekick help me out! 😉

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|Bed Time|

Bedtime has always been a little chaotic. I think that’s just the nature of the beast. There’s a whole routine to go through and we like have the girls down by a certain time if possible. With two kids now we have to divide and conquer. It can be hard to have to figure out who will do what, and more often than not I have to be the one to put Ivy down. I do sometimes feel sad that I miss out on bedtime with Nora more often now. But, I still get to do it a few times a week and since I am home with her I get to put her down for her nap everyday! I know eventually Ivy will move up to a much earlier bedtime and she will go down before Nora. We are just in a crazy phase right now and it’s an adjustment.

|Bath Time|

This is sort of a silly topic to bring up, but it is actually one of my favorite things about having two! I love giving the girls a bath together! It is just so stinkin’ cute and one of my favorite things now.

I set Ivy in her bath chair on the floor and get Nora all washed up first. Then I put Ivy in the tub and Nora plays or helps me wash Ivy. I make sure to have all their stuff laid out and ready and they lay on Ivy’s soft rug in her room and get lotion, diaper and jammies on. There is nothing cuter than a pair of freshly bathed babes!

 

Maybe you are getting ready to transition to two kiddos soon. If so, I hope this gives you some things to get excited for and to be prepared for. I know I will want to read this back someday and remember what this big life adjustment felt like. It’s been difficult in many ways, but also so so good!

 

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