March 08, 2017

The Transition From One Child to Two

You hear it a lot: when a mother of one becomes pregnant with her second child, often her biggest fear is how will she possibly have enough love for both her children? For me, this was never a question of doubt. I knew I had more than enough love to give two children. Instead, I worried about how I was going to manage a newborn baby and a toddler at the same time. I touched on it briefly in this post, but Sully was a pretty high maintenance baby, requiring me to hold him for pretty much the first year of his life. Of course, as he became more mobile, he tolerated being put down, but the only way I could get him to nap was by holding him or driving around in my car. So in my mind, as I was preparing for baby #2 to come along, I envisioned a second child requiring just as much of my undivided attention and both of my hands. And all I could think of was "HOW?!" How will I cope both physically and mentally with a needy newborn and a demanding toddler?

So that was my biggest fear. We only know what we know, and so for me, I assumed my second baby would be just like my first.

organic cotton elephant safari pyjamas from Finn + Emma
{elephant pyjamas c/o Finn + Emma}

Then Emmy was born. And from that very first day, I knew she was different than her brother. She was quiet and calm, only becoming fussy when she was hungry. I don't think we heard her actually cry until a few weeks after she came home. She literally, ate, pooped and slept. I think of all the times, during Sully's first year of life, where I would hear other mother's bragging about the 3+ hour naps their newborns would take (NOT in their arms) and I would be torn between feeling absolutely jealous and thinking they were big fat liars. I couldn't even fathom what that would be like it was so far from my reality.

I don't for a second regret all those hundreds of hours I spent holding him. Those are some of the best memories I have. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't, at the time, also resent all those "lost" hours. Hours I felt I should be doing something more important - like cleaning, or laundry, or showering, or making dinner. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and I realize now that there was nothing more important at the time and I wouldn't trade those hours spent snuggling my son for anything.
finn + emma organic cotton pyjamas for baby and toddler
matching pyjamas from Finn + Emma for brother and sister
Finn + Emma elephant pyjamas for baby and toddler
Emmy on the other hand, has been a great sleeper since day one. She still sleeps a great deal, both in my arms when I'm able to hold her, or in one of the many baby seats/swings we have around the house. She's pretty content all of the time, and when she isn't, it doesn't take much to soothe her. She loves being in the car and I can take her places knowing she will most likely sleep through it all. She has made the transition from one child to two, incredibly easy for me.

Of course, my transition wasn't the only one in question here. The transition for Sully from only child to older brother was tough at first. I wasn't naive about it, I knew to expect "the worst" and that jealously and an increase in temper tantrums would most likely ensue, but I think a big part of me hoped he would welcome his sister with open arms and that her sudden presence in our family wouldn't be an issue.

When Sully first came to visit us in the hospital after Emmy was born, he was pretty smitten with her, which made me think that he truly was going to be okay with not being the only child. But then we came home and I realized just how much this was going to rock his world. The first two weeks were the toughest and thankfully Jim was home during that time with us. There was a lot of crying, from both Sully and myself, a lot of meltdowns over absolutely nothing, and a lot of jealousy. For those first two weeks, the first thing Sully would say to me when I came downstairs with the baby was "Put the baby in daddy's hands!". I did my best to give Sully one on one time with just me, without the distraction of a nursing baby, and I made sure to do my best at keeping some of his routines intact, such as his bedtime one.

super soft, organic cotton pyjamas from Finn + Emma for you baby and toddler
{elephant safari pyjamas c/o Finn + Emma}

Thankfully, all transitions are temporary. Navigating your new role in a new family dynamic is tough, especially for an almost three year old who is still learning how to express his feelings. I can honestly say now though, that Sully adores his baby sister and rarely shows any jealousy. He hugs and kisses her all the time, asks where she is if she's in another room sleeping, tends to her if she's crying (gives her her soother back), asks to hold her and has even given her a bottle. The incredible, overwhelming feeling of love I get when I see how much he loves her is hard to explain. It's pure and honest, as only a three year old knows, and I couldn't love my children anymore if I tried.
finn + emma pyjamas
matching pyjamas for siblings from Finn + Emma
soft, organic pyjamas for your baby and toddler

And as much as I often wish I could freeze time in these early, tender years, I'm also excited to watch these two grow up together and hopefully become the best of friends. This is only the beginning. And who says you can't dress your son and daughter in matching clothes? ;) It will be a sad day when I have to pack up these super soft, organic cotton pyjamas from Finn + Emma.

Parents - how was your transition from one child to two (or more)? 

Was it easier or harder than you expected?

*Elephant Safari Pajamas c/o Finn + Emma, but as always, all thoughts and reviews expressed are my own. 
Thank you for supporting the companies that continue to make this hobby of mine possible!

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