The best advice I received as a second-time mum

The best advice I received as a second-time mum

Being a second time mum can feel just as isolating as the first time; there’s more to do, more chaos, less sleep, more mental load.

You might be feeling the exhaustion more this time around, with your energy split over a busy toddler and newborn.

You might be feeling emotionally stretched finding the time for meaningful connection with your first born.

You might be feeling like the help and support time around has slowed down as society assumes ‘you’ve got this’ because you’ve done it before.

You might have had your first baby during COVID, and mourn the loss that first-time experience that you missed out on.

You might not know where to go to find mums who know exactly what you’re going through right now.

You might be worried about how your eldest is adjusting to not having you all to themselves.

There will be tough days. There will be tears (theirs and yours). You’ll question yourself and your choices. But amongst all the challenges, there will be immense love.

Just remember this:

- This is the first-time you’ve been a second-time mum. You’ve never done this before, and you’re doing the best you can.

- There is no limit to your love. Your time might be split, but your love doesn’t halve.

- Every experience of postpartum is different, and even though you have been through it before, it is ok to ask for help and be learning as you go.

Our second-time mums community share some of the most valuable advice they were given: 

 

Here is some advice from our community that helped during the transition from one to two:

+ Special time: Try to find at least 15 minutes of special time to spend with your first born each day, ideally if/when your baby is happily down rather than in the carrier. Baby wearing is by far the easiest option for a hand free nap, but if you can sneak in even 10 minutes time feels more special for the older child if they have undivided attention.

+ Greeting your first born before the first meeting with the baby. The connection with you first reassures the older child that they are still important. This advice helped make a smooth first meeting.

+ Have the baby in a neutral position during the first meeting, such as on a bed or in a crib. This gives comfort to the older child.

+ Don't blame the baby: instead of "I can't, I'm feeding the baby" try something like "I'd love to play with you in a few minutes. Want to read a book together first." This breaks the association with being unavailable with the baby.

+ Make the baby wait if you're with toddler, if it is safe to do so. As long as you know baby is safe, say out loud 'just a moment baby, I'm finishing up with your big brother / sister and I’ll be with you' so that toddler knows that they come first when they need to, and even though they sometimes have to wait, so does the new sibling

+ Narrating their relationship eg. 'see how well your sister can jump? One day you'll be able to do that too. He likes watching you do that, you're so good at it" etc.

Our second-time mothers groups are here to support you; a 10-week course filled with guest speakers to guide you through each week of your postpartum journey, with a focus on sleep, feeding, nutrition, recovery, self-care, relationships and navigating the new you - all over again.

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