Babies will only be 17 mos apart! HELP!

miaka

Registered User
Anyone out there have experience with babies closely spaced? I'm expecting my second in Feb and I'm totally freaking out. We don't have a helper and don't plan on one. It's just me.

How do you manage? How do you go out w/ two babies? Anyone try tandem nursing? I'm sure it will be mildly easier once they're both walking and can play together. But in the mean time, any pearls of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. :flower:
 
Seriously, you NEED a helper. I'm sure women have done it by themselves before most would have had family to help. As for me, i would possibly have killed myself without my helper. Seriously.

The age difference in our family is 16 months and whilst the first was incredibly easy as a baby (thus the small age gap - we thought the next would be easy too!) the second has suffered reflux and consequently was in quite a lot of pain for awhile leading to lots of crying, lots of trips to doctors and lots of difficulty with breastfeeding. Not to mention my problems, baby flipping at term forcing me to have a c-section and lots of breastfeeding issues including mastitis, then too much milk, then too fast a supply etc. At 9 weeks we've more or less got it under control but have to use medication for his reflux and I have to breastfeed lying down as that's the only way he will stay latched on. Imagine doing that each time with no helper and a 16 month old demanding attention. What do you do when they are both hungry at the same time and screaming for food?

Then of course even if your second baby is easier to manage than mine your first still needs and deserves attention. Just the fact that your baby needs to feed so much particularly in the early months means life revolves around the baby not the toddler. That's hard for a toddler to understand. What they do understand quickly is that crying gets the baby attention so that's what they should do...

If you can afford even part time help i would get it. You have to remember the overwhelming tiredness, the interrupted sleep etc. It's easy to forget once you've got a toddler that sleeps through the night. I'm exhausted all the time just trying to make sure everyone gets enough attention and enough time alone with me. I know it will get easier but if you are like me and an expat over here with no family help is a must.

Good luck.I suggest getting mentally prepared. I just wanted the baby to come and didn't really think too much about how hard it would be. My biggest mistake was thinking that my second would be as easy as my first.
 
After all that bad news thought I should say that i do look at my boys and think how lucky they are to be so close in age, how lucky i am to be done in such a short time with pregnancies. It will be worth it soon. It will get easier. Or so they tell me!
 
unfortunately, we can't afford a helper. but my husband is great about donig house chores and taking care of the kids when he gets off work. we're probably going to ask my MIL to come and cook. and my dad may be able to get some time off to help as well. my hubby has 2 brothers that live in the same complex and both their wives are stay at home moms ... so they are just a phone call away too. i wonder if that's going to be enuf. i'm still feeling a bit nervous and worried tho. (my first isn't sleeping thru the night yet.)
 
mine are less than 16 months apart. luckily, the second baby girl was very easy, and i put her on the Gina Ford schedule since Day 1, because I needed to know exactly when I had to be here to breastfeed, and when I could spend quality time with my first son and take him out to playgroups and things.

we do have a helper, but she does the cooking and cleaning only, i do everything with the kids. it was great that i could just concentrate on the kids, but it was still really tough those first 6 months due to lack of sleep. but after that when both were sleeping through the night, it was way better, and i could literally feel each day getting easier.

now i think it's so great that they're so close in age, and they really do play together so nicely now (they are 2.5 and nearly 4 years old). but in the beginning, you may need some help, especially when there are emergencies, or if you need to bring the baby in for checkups, will the other sister-in-laws be able to watch your elder one for a while?

as for going out with both, i actually found it easier when the younger one was still in the baby carrier, and i could just hold hands with the elder. but when they both start walking, it's a nightmare!
 
Mine are about 16 months apart.
You will need help. If it's not paid help, enlist that of friends, family, etc.
You will be more tired than you have ever known. Be prepared and ask hubbie to attend to your oldest at night. Consider sleep training between now and the new arrival.
You can wait and see about tandem nursing. I was fully prepared to give it a go, but when I came back from hospital after delivery, she just wasn't interested. You can switch to cow's milk now if you want to wean him/her off the breast.
And when you are at your wits end, remind yourself that the first few months are the toughest and you'll be enjoying a good night's sleep when your friends are all getting pregnant again!
Even with my littlest at 5 months, they are sort of playing together and I get all googly just watching them.
Oh, and we got our eldest a baby doll so she had a baby too. It seemed to work too!
Don't despair. Try to focus on the positives; you are very blessed.
 
you will cope. i know that may not be what you want to hear (it wasn't what I wanted to hear when people said it to me), but it's true. You kind of just take each day at a time.

(it also helps to think there are people out there in a worse scenario than you.....I have 3 month old twins and a 2 year old!!)
 
Miaka, it's good to hear you have so much family close by. Use them as much as you can. As they say, if someone offers help take it. If you will be doing the cooking then cook and freeze now. Go out every day or you will go crazy - as will your toddler. And look after yourself as much as possible. Even a 10 minute bath helps me regain my sanity.
 
Mine are father apart than yours. 25 months. I have no helper and no family nearby. I did take the older one to a sitter 2 days/week for the first 2 months, so I could have some time with the baby alone. My biggest problem was the guilt that I couldn't spend as much one on one time with the baby, and the guillt that I couldn't spend as much one on one time with the 2 year old. It is only recently (they are 1.5 and 3.5 now) that Im over that.Keep in mind all the benefits that having a silbing brings a child. You have lots of amily nearby, so I think you will be quite fine. Practical advise that I have:

I 100% childproofed the main area of the house so there was not one thing I had to worry about when feeding the baby, or if I had to leave the room to attend to the baby. Feeding the baby is the biggest challenge because, the older one will play quite fine alone, until you feed the baby, then wants attention. I could leave him alone in the amin living area, or his bedroom with peace of mind.

I made all big changes well before baby came, out of the crib and into a different bedroom when I was 4 months pregnant. He already slept through the night, although once baby came he did start waking up agian for awhile.

As far as tandem nursing goes, My son had weaned when I was 4 months pregnant. When baby came he was very jeolous of me BF and would try to rip the baby off of me. I didn't want to tandem nurse because I thought it would be too time consuming feeding both of them. I was told to just let him try and he will probably only want to once. I was quite sure he would resume nursing a lot so I didnt'. I think this was a mistake, and wish I had let him nurse again. I think it would have helped the jeolousy thing a lot. The second baby nursed very quickly and less frequently than the first, so I didn't nurse nearly as much anyways. Nursing 2 would have been fine.

Let your house be a mess.


Over all the second is easier than the first because you know those early weeks and months don't last forever, and your life will eventually get more organized. Nowat 1.5 and 3.5 it is much easier.
 
Aussiegal, thanks for sharing. I've tried to imagine what it would be like with 2 kids so close together in age, my first is 14 mths old now and I am expecting my second in Feb2008, so that makes them 19 mths apart. My husband agreed to hire a full time hsekeeper but he did mention that there are many people out there who have managed without one. Even now, my toddler is slowly getting adjusted to playing a bit more on her own compared to a month ago (I was giving her a lot of attention and as she wasn't walking then, I had to carry her quite a bit until my obgyn warned me to stop and to go on bedrest for a week). I remember someone said "no 2 kids are the same".
Miaka, u're lucky to have a supportive husband (this is something I cherish about mine) and also families living so close by. U can always count on them and on ur good friends !!!
I'm planning on the 2 kids sleeping in different bedrooms as my toddler is sleeping through the night (started when she was about 4-5 mths old) and I don't want the crying baby to wake her up.
I've noticed that the toddler needs to get out of the hse everyday even for just 10 minutes ........
 
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