Do you know what’s funny? My most popular post by far on this entire blog..in years of blogging is my post on 4 month sleep regression and 19 week wonder week from back with Olivia! When I check my google analytics, usually once a month it is the highest visited post, month after month. Sinc we’ve done this baby thing a whole two times, I thought I would share the changes from baby 1 to baby 2, how sleep was different this time around and what changed. Sleep is a very important thing. With two kids and jobs and everything else, you can imagine how hard it is to come by some nights.
The difference with one kid to two kids is that…when you only have one kid, if he or she is sleeping…then you can sleep. With two kids, if one is sleeping, the other one may not be. When Mila was born, she was a great sleeper from the start, but we had a bunch of sleep troubles with Olivia then. Both girls are/were very happy babies. We lucked out that they barely cried, didn’t have a difficult newborn stage with either of them and they both just had very pleasant dispositions.
I hate comparing them, but I think sometimes it’s helpful for moms to read what it was like to have two kids at the start. I have gotten a lot of questions about what it’s like to go from one kid to two kids. Honestly, I think it was easier going from 1->2 than 0->1 .
The sleep thing:
With both girls I was always conscious of having a schedule. Both times we went by awake time and it has been very, very helpful. Both girls were good nappers from the start. We used rock n’play, then the swing and then crib. Napping really was never a problem, I’m not totally sure why? Maybe it’s because I stuck to the schedule? Olivia took longer to get in the crib. Mila, it wasn’t a big deal, but I made it out to be one because Olivia had a harder time with it.
Honestly, life goes so fast the second time around, that this time around I forgot to make changes like extending her awake time, or getting her out of the swing sooner until I was like WHAT IS GOING ON? Mila was taking the SHORTEST naps ever for almost two weeks…and then finally I realized she wasn’t comfortable in the swing anymore. I put her in the crib…and back to long naps she went. Kind of a mom fail to not realize what was up, but…at least I figured it out eventually, right?
Olivia needed cry it out. She was getting up a million times a night. We tried everything. Mila has only gotten up one time a night since she was born. She has gone through weeks where she’s slept through the night and then gone back to getting up again. Overall she’s just a really good sleeper…but things have been a bit different this time because they share a room.
Room sharing is overall fine. I do wish they had their own rooms though because if Mila starts stirring in the middle of the night, we will get her fairly quickly because we don’t want Olivia to wake up. I’m mostly sure if we let her fuss for 10 minutes or so she would go back to sleep, but on the nights we have done that Olivia wakes up. And then Mila is sleeping and Liv is up…which goes back to the always having one child up a night thing. One day they’ll have their own rooms. For now, Liv loves sharing with her sister.
A few things that have helped the second time around:
Being less stressed about sleep. We knew that she would sleep eventually so our over all outlook was more relaxed. With Olivia, since she got up so much we just thought she would never sleep.
Knowing that the baby stage is so fleeting. This kind of goes back to number one, but when you realize that it all goes so fast, it doesn’t seem so serious. Now, I know I also say this with a good sleeping baby.
Having more help and splitting time. I know this isn’t everyone’s case, but since Dan is home more now, I am not alone with two kids for 12-13 hours a day. If this wasn’t the case for us, I would have gotten a sitter just to help out 2-3 times a week for a few hours. When I got one for Olivia, I waited until she was 1.5 years. WAY too long. When I hired one, she only came 4 hours a week, but it made ALL the difference for me! I HIGHLY recommend getting a sitter even if it’s just for you to go to the food store!
Talking to other moms more. I did this a little bit the first time around, but really, you need to get some mom friends. It can be hard, but join a local facebook group. Go to meet ups. Get out there and get a support group. Venting and complaining to your husband is NOT good enough. Find other moms in the trenches with you!
Having two kids isn’t for the faint of heart. For us it was pretty easy in the newborn stage, and then got challenging again right before every development. (Before Mila started sitting up, before she started crawling, before she started pulling up.) It’s defintely cyclical, which is good because you know the hard phases don’t last.
4 Month Sleep Regression: This didn’t really happen for us this time. The biggest regression Mila had this time was right before she started crawling around 6 months. She wanted to crawl so, so bad and she was getting up twice a night. She was just over-all frustrated she couldn’t move yet. It passed when she started crawling.
Highs and the lows:
Low: Getting two kids out the door is infinitely harder. One is pooping, one is about to. Two sets of clothes, toys, diapers, etc.
Low: Food shopping. How do you ever do a full food shop? We’ve managed it a handful of times with Olivia walking next to me and Mila sitting in the cart, but for the first 6 months this was nearly impossible to do.
Low: Cleaning up after dinner was hard for a good 7 months. Mila and Livi have just started “playing” together so now we can finally clean up after dinner together as opposed to waiting until after they went to bed.
HIGH: Siblings. Ugh. The love is incredible. I wasn’t prepared for them to love each other SO SO SO much, SO early. Olivia will do ANYTHING for Mila.
HIGH: They are getting more and more into playing with each other. It is SO fun to watch.
HIGH: The love. Yes, it deserves two HIGHs because it is so incredible.
HIGH: Figuring out a lot sooner that I can’t do this parenting thing without a lot of help. No one is reading your mind, if you need time alone or with your husband, ask or hire someone to watch your kids. You HAVE to take care yourself AND you’re relationship to be happy and a good, effective parent!
If you’re in the baby trenches, just keep looking up. It goes so, so fast.Mom talk: When you have 2 kids, one is always awake! Click To Tweet
Mom talk: What’s life like right now with your family? Remember you’re not alone!