I haven’t checked in here in a while about life with two kiddos! Before having Hannah, I had heard many conflicting things from parents. Some said the transition from 1-2 was easy because “you’ve done it before and you know what to do.”
Others said the transition was difficult because while you knew what to do with a baby, you also have a toddler running around.
We found the latter to be true for us. The transition has thrown us for a loop and I’m just being honest! It has been far from easy. I’m so thankful that Hannah is a chill, easy going baby. I do feel pretty confident in taking care of her, but Camryn has thrown us some curveballs.
Obviously, we tried to do the best we could in preparing her for the arrival of a new baby, a brother or sister. It has taken her a while to accept that Hannah is here forever and not going anywhere. We expected a little bit of a transition and possibly some regression with using the potty, sleep, etc.
I think I just wasn’t prepared for how difficult the transition would be for Camryn. She loves babies so I thought she would be excited. But, the jealousy soon arrived. She would want me to hold her only when I was holding Hannah, or wouldn’t want me to pick Hannah up.
I’ve been doing my best to spend 1-1 time with Camryn, mostly on the weekends when we can go out and do something, which is usually grocery shopping or going to a coffee shop where we can enjoy a big cookie together.
Camryn loves going grocery shopping with me, which I’m convinced is because she can sit in the cart and taste everything we put in it. She’s notorious for opening the berry packages and snacking away 🙂 But, who can blame her?
Now, we’re almost 8 weeks out, and things are starting to get better. Anyway, I thought it would be helpful to share 5 things that have helped ease the transition for us in case anyone who reads this may be expecting a second child anytime soon.
Some of these things are products, and some are just lessons we’ve learned.
I wasn’t huge on babywearing with Camryn. I didn’t really have a wrap I liked. We used the Ergo 360 when she was older, but in the early days, I relied mostly on the swing with her.
With Hannah, things are totally different. She loves to be held so babywearing is essential to have my hands available. Plus, it allows me to give attention to and do things with Camryn when I need to. I purchased the Ergo Embrace and I really love it. It’s more structural than a typical wrap so I can wear her longer, and it’s really comfortable!
I also love the Solly wrap for shorter stints. It’s a little more stylish (IMO) and very soft and comfortable. It’s very lightweight so I like this when it’s hot.
2. Meal Delivery Services
I am still not back to my “regular” cooking schedule. To be honest, I just don’t have the energy or desire to cook a lot. The first 6 weeks we got by with meals from friends and neighbors, freezer meals, and meals from my mom (so thankful she stayed here for two weeks!).
In the last few weeks, we’ve enjoyed a variety of meal delivery services. We have tried a bunch, which has been quite enjoyable. Since you usually get a discount with your first order, we’ve enjoyed trying a bunch! My favorites so far have been Freshly (get $60 off when you use my link) because there is NO hands on cooking necessary, just heat up!
And Sun Basket (get $35 off with that link)- I always think their meals are so tasty and easy to follow.
We have also gotten monthly deliveries of KIND snack bars – their new energy protein bars are amazing. I LOVE the Snack Club so much as nursing snacks because they are easy and protein-rich. Ed loves them for quick snacks on his car rides and after a run.
They really are so easy and it’s much cheaper to just buy them in bulk and have a monthly box of goodies delivered 🙂 It definitely gives us something to look forward to!
3. The “Hand Off”
There’s no way Ed and I would get through bedtime without tag-teaming it. At least not yet. I don’t even think I would feel comfortable putting both girls down solo yet, though I know that time will come. I’m slowly gaining more confidence.
The hard part is that Hannah has no real schedule yet. Her wake time is like an hour, so we eat around that and then sleep. So it generally goes, eat, play, nap, although sometimes it’s eat, nap, eat, play, etc.
Anyway, her bedtime ranges from 7:30-10, and it really has been variable. Camryn usually goes down around 8:30, though we are looking to move her bedtime up as it will start getting darker earlier.
We tend to do a “hand off” for bedtime. For example, Ed will start bedtime with Cam and I’ll feed Hannah (We’re still working on introducing a bottle so Ed can feed her – hopefully soon!), and then I’ll “hand her off” to Ed, and rush into Camryn’s room to read one book and finish off bedtime with her, while Ed will finish putting Hannah down.
It’s not perfect and things are slightly hectic right now but my hope is that things will work their way out soon. And like I said, once Hannah has more of a schedule and routine, I know that will help.
It was survival mode in the beginning and while bedtime is still a MARATHON now, we’re figuring it out. Check in with me in a month and let’s see how we’re doing 🙂
4. Getting Out of the House
I think before having Hannah, we were comfortable with just staying close to home with all of the COVID stuff and who knew what the risks with pregnancy were. We could make entertaining Camryn at home fun, and we would often go on walks in the neighborhood.
Now, we’ve made conscious efforts to expose Camryn to some fun adventures to prioritize her needs. And, Hannah just comes along! We love doing dinner outside!
We’ve done the petting zoo, apple picking, a bunch of new parks, eating dinner outside at new places, etc.
We are very careful and always socially distanced, but this change of scenery game that we play has been very helpful.
It has kept things new and fresh for Camryn, and also allowed us all to get out and get some fresh air. Being cooped in with a baby all day was nice at first, but I started needing some new scenery too.
So, I think this one is good for the whole family’s mental health.
I know it will get a little more difficult once it starts getting colder so I’m glad we have been able to do what we have to this point.
5. Prioritizing Family Meals
This one is so so important to me and honestly, very hard to do! But, we do our best to sit at the table together each night (or on a picnic blanket).
I grew up enjoying family meals with my parents and 3 siblings and we often used that time to talk about our highs and lows from the day.
Camryn talks non-stop, so we use that time to ask about her day at school, what she ate for lunch, what she learned, what she did at the playground, etc.
I want her to have positive memories around the table and with food and even if she doesn’t eat her food (which does happen, picky eating is come and go for her!), at least we are there together enjoying each other’s company.
And also, sitting together at the table, is a break from the chaos, even if it’s short-lived and just for a short short time. We try to enjoy snacks together soon (this toddler snack roundup has many of our favorites).
Will you tell me?
I’d love to know what was most helpful for you in the transition from 1 to 2!