When a new baby joins the family, naturally your toddler may have a hard time with the transition. But how are YOU adjusting? Emma Jenner, child development and behavioral specialist, reminds us that “now it is paramount that you think about yourself, as well as the baby.” Here are a few tips for an easier transition for Mom.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps - even if it means asking for help with your toddler.
- Eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Not only will it help you heal from childbirth, but it will give you more energy to take care of both your kids.
- Shower! Making time for a shower can make you feel human again.
- Share feedings. Once breastfeeding is established, pump and allow your partner to take over for a feeding. Your partner will get an opportunity to connect with the baby, and you will get a chance to go out by yourself or get a good nights’ sleep!
- Get outside for a few minutes each day. Everyone does better with a little fresh air.
- Schedule special time with your older child. You will both appreciate some quality time together.
- Keep your older child's routine the same. It's very tempting to keep them home so you can spend time with them or let them get away with things you wouldn't normally as they're experiencing so much change with a new sibling. However, children feel safe and secure with their routine and changing it will only be more unsettling for them and harder for you.
- Go on a date with your partner. Remind yourself what it feels like to be a woman, not only a “mommy.”
When you have a second or a third baby, your love for your children is not divided, it multiplies. Just remember to care for yourself, or it’s a bad equation.
Emma Jenner is a child development and behavioral specialist known for her role as host of TLC’s “Take Home Nanny.” Emma is a formally trained British nanny with over a decade of in-home childcare experience working with families in the UK and across the United States. Founder of the parent consulting service, Emma’s Children, she now brings her expertise to you with her new book Keep Calm and Parent On, (Atria, 2014) a guide to integrating the best approaches and practices from American and English parenting styles.
Taking Care of Mom When A New Baby Joins The Family was originally published on July 1, 2014. Modifications to style, arrangement, and linked sources were made on December 9, 2015.