Going from 0 kids to 1 is incredibly different from going from 1 kid to 2. Both have challenges of their own and my hope is to share a few things to make that transition easier for you.
This post is all about the transition going from 1 kid to 2, everything I’ve learned and wish I would have known.
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Going From 1 Kid to 2
Is going from 1 kid to 2 easier or harder than 0 to 1?
When you go from 0 to 1, there are some huge life changes and relationship changes. You have to get far more creative to get out on dates with your husband. Your career may have changed. It takes far more planning and time to go anywhere and you have to work around nap time and babysitters. Plus, it’s much harder to get any time to yourself.
When it comes to going from 1 kid to 2, all those life changes have already happened. You’re at least somewhat used to everything taking longer and never being alone. You have more to juggle between two kids, but moms multitask well and I truly think you will get the hang of things quickly. So, I personally think that going from 1 kid to 2 is an easier transition than 0 to 1 though I know that not all moms feel that way.
How do I make going from 1 kid to 2 easier?
1. Prioritize Your Toddler for Awhile
One of the best pieces of advice I was given when I was going from 1 kid to 2 was to default to my toddler if both kids needed me at once. I remember them telling me that the toddler will remember but the baby won’t and that stuck with me.
This of course doesn’t last forever. They will need to learn that not everything is about them. But at first your toddler will need the reassurance that you’ve still got there back even with this new baby around. This allows your toddler to start to adjust to things slowly and not feel like you’ve forgotten them when the new baby comes home. It REALLY has helped both my toddler and I transition well.
2. Give Your Heart Time to Grow
The absolute hardest thing for me when going from 1 kid to 2 was learning how to love 2 kids at once. At first it felt impossible to love them both as much as I wanted to. I felt as though I had to split both my time and my love between them. But give yourself time and grace. Your heart will grow and change. You will learn that you truly can love them both fully and completely at the same time.
3. Set Aside at Least An Hour of Play Time
When you bring a new baby home and you are trying to balance all your new responsibilities, it’s easy to forget to set aside play time. But your toddler still needs 1 on 1 time with you (probably even more so now). Set aside an hour of the day that you can play together when you are pregnant and continue to set aside that time once baby comes. This will help develop your relationship and communicate to them how much they matter. As an added bonus, I can almost guarantee it will drastically decrease the number of emotional outbursts throughout the day too.
4. Help Your Toddler Gain Independence Before Baby Comes
If your toddler needs potty trained, switched to a big kid bed, or weaned off their pacifier, you’ll want to get as much done as you can while you are still pregnant. My toddler had already gotten rid of his crib and pacifier when my second baby came but not having him potty trained beforehand has been a big struggle. It’s a lot harder to clean up poop and pee holding a baby. So, if your toddler is ready, get the potty training (and everything else) in now!
5. Make Being "Big" Fun For Your Toddler
When I am holding my baby and my toddler wants held, my response is usually, “You don’t need held all the time honey. You’re a big boy.” So, instead of him being sad about being big, I do my best to make being big have fun perks too. He helps me cook dinner, he helps me clean, he works out with me with his kid weights, we do special crafts together, he helps push the shopping cart, he gets to play at the playground, he gets fries at McDonalds as a special treat, etc. He knows his baby sister can’t do those things and suddenly being a, “big boy” gets him excited instead of sad.
6. Learn to Ask Your Husband for Help
I have a hard time asking for help from people and that rolls into my mothering too. Even though my husband is ready and willing to help when I ask, I’ve had to learn to ask for help. I always feel silly asking for help at night when I handle them all day by myself and know that I can. But zone defense gets exhausting so ask to go man to man for a while. And learn to ask for time away by yourself too. Sometimes all I need to reset from a long day is for him to take kids and let me have a shower with nobody waiting in the bathroom or pulling back the curtain to ask me a question.
7. Schedule Time for You
I really do believe that having time for yourself is crucial if you want to be the best mom you can possibly be. This can mean you get out of the house once a week without kids or that your husband watches the kids while you go take a good bath with your favorite show. Your me time is up to you.
We all have different amounts of time to devote to ourselves depending on what stage of motherhood we are in right now. If you are still breastfeeding like I am, it’s very difficult to leave the house for an extended period of time without your baby. But regardless of how busy life is, give yourself a minimum of an hour a week. I suggest picking a day of the week and communicating that with your husband. That way the expectation is already there and you don’t forget to take time for yourself when things get crazy.
Here are 35 Me Time Ideas for Moms to get you started.
8. Wake Up Before Your Kids
I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of moms say this, but waking up before your kids is a total game changer. Do I love getting jumped on by my toddler first thing in the morning, of course! But when I do that every day and I don’t have any time to myself before they wake up, I have far less patience and mental stamina for the day. I can’t lie, I am still working on this one myself. I still give in to the coziness of my bed some days. But the days that I do get up and have time to myself before my kids wake up, I am able to enjoy the day so much more!
9. Get Your Toddler Around Other Kids Often Before Baby Comes
When our baby got big enough to start playing with toys, it hit me that every toy in our house was at one point given to our toddler. They have been only his toys up until this point and now suddenly he is being told he has to share every single day. It’s definitely been an adjustment but he is doing a really good job sharing with her now.
One of the things that helped the most with this transition was having play dates with other kids prior to the baby coming. This helped him learn how to share his toys well with others. So, if you have the space and time to do so, I highly suggest having as many play dates as possible on their home turf so they can start to learn how to share their toys well with others.
This post was all about my best tips and advice to make going from 1 kid to 2 a smooth transition for you and your family! Congratulations on your sweet addition! It will take everyone time to adjust but life is about to get a whole lot sweeter! Don’t forget to enjoy it!
-Beautifully Busy Mom