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Your top tips for soon to be mother of two

  1. #1
    Newbie_hk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Your top tips for soon to be mother of two

    Hello Geomums,

    I'm due in four weeks and have left behind in Sydney a whole group of girlfriends who are mostly mothers of more than one child. As Hong Kong is now my home, I'd like to ask all you mums out there with at least two children....

    What would be the most valuable tip you can share for a soon to be mother of two (I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter)

    If you knew then what you know now (about looking after two kids), what would you change?

    Thanks and advanced Happy Mother's Day to all you gorgeous Mums out there!

  2. #2
    southside852 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    I became a mother of two last October. My older son was almost 3 years old then. When my son was 2.5 years old, the goals I had before I delivered my #2 were:

    1) get rid of pacifier - was a goal for right after we returned from our long trip back from the States. Took 2 nights to eliminate it.
    2) start drop-off classes for him (3 mornings a week)
    3) potty training (I was not about to have 2 kids in diapers at the same time)

    My husband and I then made sure we spent lots of QT with our son....we planned fun weekend little field trips with him w/out our helper leading up to the birth - the zoo, sentosa island, lots of playgrounds and walks together, playdate breakfasts with other friends etc...As for tips - I think it's hard to give b/c every child is so different. My 2nd son is totally opposite of his older brother - no reflux, amazing sleeper, barely cries and is just so easy going. In terms of looking after two kids, having our helper is a great help so I can spend quality time with each one and also with both. I am very aware though of my older one and how is around baby. Now that my other son is 7 months old and is a bit more mobile and active, jealousy has definitely kicked in as the previous months, he would just sleep and eat. I think it's really important to make the older sibling feel included and important. I always use prompts like:

    "can you show your brother how to _______?"
    "Can you help your little brother with _______?.
    "what do you think your little brother would like the red blanket or the blue one?"
    "Do you think your brother can crawl like you can?"

    We do a lot of positive praise for both kids and it seems to work much better than forcing him to help his little brother. He readily helps him and always is affectionate with him.

    Last edited by southside852; 05-05-2011 at 08:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Ap Lei Chau

    I think that nobody is ever ready enough to welcome a second child ! I found the change bigger from having a second child than from having the first one...
    I guess you already prepared your toddler to the arrival of the new baby...
    -I got a present from the baby to my son when she was borned
    - potty trained him, at least during the day
    - read some books about the baby to come in mummy's belly

    On a more practical side :
    - made sure all the clothes were ready, washed etc...
    - all the breastfeeding stuff, bras, cream etc...
    - the birth announcements cards already ordered, just waiting for the D day
    - all the adresses, tel numbers ready for my husband to use
    - enough food in the freezer for my son/husband

    I also didn't register my son at preschool one day per week so I have some time only with him.
    Being very patient with your toddler, who will have to deal with his new role, and you with your hormones and bad nights... not always easy.

    Good luck, and congratulations !

  4. #4
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    South District

    for me i just made sure i read lots of "baby sister" books to my 2 yr old...and started introducing her to the word "little sister" in cantonese so that she would be familiar with the term...kind of said stuff your little sister will be sleeping in your will have a new bed (changed her to a toddler bed) and this is your little sister's favorite blanket (older daughter has one - thought she might be able to relate)...etc. didn't actually buy a gift for her from younger sister though - slipped my mind! also, try to introduce her to more friends with babies / other toddlers so she is used to having another person around playing with her stuff - think that made the most difference as my older one played a lot with her cousins / friends babies and when her sis came home she was very excited to have her very own "toy" and I mean that (younger one 10mths) the older one plays with baby sis like she is a talking dolly! i think now at this point (since younger one is demanding more attention from me) i purposely spend more time with the older one to make sure she is not left out...or i play with them both together (read a book / play a game together - which surprisingly doesn't cause any fights!)

    think it might be a bit easy for me as the first two are both girls so the older one is quite "maternal" in a sense...i guess though that is not a given...I am sure boys can be the same way...and i for one was not very "maternal" as a kid -

    good luck and congrats!

  5. #5
    southside852 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    we read books to my son too about being a big brother, but to be honest, he didn't really get it until his baby brother was born and we pointed to pictures saying both of their names. his baby brother also gave him a few gifts which had little to no effect on him.

  6. #6
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    It has been really fun for us having two children so far. I think it's better than having one, honestly.

    I know some moms have a hard time (feel guilty) with having the second child because they feel things like:

    -the older child is cheated by not getting as much attention from the parents anymore
    -the older child has to grow up faster

    While, having a new baby makes my older son (he is 3 1/2 years old now) seem a lot bigger in comparison, I think that it's really unhealthy to "feel sorry" for the older sibling having to share the parents. I try not to project that attitude at all. Maybe that's because I'm the oldest child in my family. I can relate to the "trials of the eldest" and how having a new sibling can really "rain on your parade" at first so I do have an understanding and compassion for my son but I just keep the attitude that a younger sister is going to be one of the best blessings in his life from here on out and there is no need for pity.

    I read a book (the only book of it's kind I could find) written for parents thinking of having a second child (this was almost a year before I fell pregnant with my second) and it had a lot of practical tips for preparing for the second child such as making sure the first child has a more developed social reach (through school, playgroups etc.) before the second child arrives so that their life remains somewhat stable even though the attention of the adults in the home is scattered. I think that this was the most helpful tip I read.

    It has made my son's adjustment quite smooth (my daughter is 7 weeks old now, BTW). Because he has his "own little life" outside of just family life it makes the day-to-day adjustment of having to share his parents easier on him. He goes to kindergarten half-days, five days/week and also takes sports classes at the YMCA in the afternoons a few times/week. (He loves sports!) He also continues to spend time with his grandparents on the weekend and then during the other days of the week he has special "date nights" with his parents (For example, his dadda will take him out to play basketball and eat sushi once or twice a week or take him on a picnic and hike in the hills). The rhythm of his schedule makes him feel more secure and less fussy.

    Also, he LOVES his little sister and calls her "my BB." He'll ask, "Where's my BB? I want to see my BB." He is always gentle with her and likes to bring her toys to play with or cover her up with a blanket. Recently he has started to help us give her a bath in the evening. His job is to wash her feet (something we know he can do but won't end up pouring water in her mouth etc.). He really feels like a vital part of her care and our family.

    With a little baby to take care of, I don't have the same amount of energy I had before to fully spend on my son but I do make sure we keep a habit--I put him to bed at night. I spend time cuddling with him, talking to him, tickling him and reading to him. It's not a large amount of time anymore but it's 100% quality time and I know my little boy knows he's loved and needed in our family. Sometimes I have to go out of the room to breastfeed the baby and he'll say, "You come back and cuddle me later?" So, this actually teaches my son patience and how to share--he knows he has to wait if the baby needs to be fed but he is adjusting well.

    Having said all this, I think you'll find that how well the adjustment goes depends on many factors--including the personality of your older child. Also, my son was quite mentally prepared for a younger sibling. He already had a relationship with his younger sister long before she was born as he would often lay his head on my belly and try to listen for the baby or even talk to her. Little children are much smarter than we give them credit for. I think talking a lot about the new baby with your older child and just making them a part of the experience in age-appropriate ways (i.e. allowing them to pick out toys or clothes for the baby etc.) is the best way to ensure a smoother transition.

    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #7
    Sazzy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Hong Kong

    Congratulations firstly. So with hindsight, the hardest thing is to keep your first child entertained whilst you are breastfeeding / feeding. As you will remember, you spend hours and hours every day just feeding, changing etc etc. My daughter found this hard as all she could see was me holding the baby all the time and not her.

    1. Make sure that you have one on one time with the first child too and not you and the baby and the first child.
    2. Get them involved and dont push them out. Eg; pass me the nappy - help mummy put the cream on etc etc
    3. I had a mystery box which i filled with different toys every 2 days and she could only play with these toys whilst i was feeding.

    The first few weeks are easier but a point is reached where the first child realises that this baby is to stay and then jealousy can hit. But now the bond and love between the siblings is adorable.

  8. #8
    Newbie_hk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    It's great to hear from those who have been there, done that. I started reading "I'm a Big Sister" to my daughter as soon as I read your replies and it's one of her favorite books now. We're really selling the idea of big sister to her and she's counting down the weeks too.

    I've forgotten how breastfeeding can indeed be so time consuming so thanks for that tip on keeping child no. 1 preoccupied.

    I do agree that at this stage, it's all about quality time, not quantity. I may not have undivided attention all the time for child no. 1 but it's all about being there at the moment.

    Thanks everyone for your tips. I really appreciate it! Only 3 more weeks!

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