A couple months ago I scheduled today to be the day that I review all of the advice that I received regarding Hadley becoming a big sister, and I’m not sure if the timing is perfect or terrible. We’ve had a helluva week around here with a very specific attention-seeking action, and it came to a head today where we’d had enough and I brought her to the doctor to eliminate a specific health issue as a potential cause. Sure enough the doc confirmed this is all behavior related, so we’re trudging through it. It’s easy for us to draw a correlation between meeting little sister and getting daddy home, but this attention-seeking action could also just be something she’s going through simply because she’s the glorious age of 2.5. Whew, buddy. Parenting feels heavy sometimes.
A couple weeks before I had Sadie I wrote a post where I gathered the advice I’d received regarding how to help Hadley transition to her new role as a big sister. Here’s how that advice was actually used or not used when push came to shove and I became a mama to two!
Give Hadley some type of gift at the hospital to celebrate her “promotion” to a new big sister.
About a week before Sadie’s birthday I ran to Walmart to grocery shop and decided to browse the toy section. Hadley spotted a water table in its box and reached for me to get her out of the cart so that she could look at it closer. She usually doesn’t gawk at specific toys in the store, so I was intrigued by how interested she was in the water table. Since I didn’t have a specific idea about what to give her in the hospital as her big sister gift, I decided to make this it. Jamie and I planned to give it to her the day that we came home from the hospital so that she would be distracted while I recovered and tended to Sadie, but we ended up giving it to her the day before we went in to be induced. Two months later and she’s still obsessed with it. $45 well spent!
When Hadley comes to meet Sadie, make sure Sadie is either in her bassinet or in Jamie’s arms so that Hadley can come running into mine.
We actually followed through with this one. I sat in bed and Jamie held Sadie beside the bed as Hadley came in. This all fell during her nap time, so she was super cranky to begin with. She didn’t run to me like I expected, but she did come over to check out the IV in my hand. Jamie handed Sadie to me, but Hadley didn’t really care. Truthfully, she didn’t really care to check out Sadie until our second day home from the hospital. I think she was on grandparent overload and loving all of their attention (all four were in town), so caring about us and her new baby sister were the last things on her agenda.
Check out a slew of books from the library about babies and being a big sister, and be intentional about reading them with Hadley every day.
We didn’t do this one like I planned, but I don’t think it hurt Hadley’s adjustment.
Create an area that holds diapers and wipes for Hadley to grab from when she wants to “help” with changing diapers.
I haven’t done this specifically, but I usually invite her to come “help” me change Sadie’s diaper. She uses the foot poof in Sadie’s room to stand on and watch.
Try to set aside the same time every single day that’s just devoted to Hadley and Mommy time.
Way easier said than done! Haven’t done this either, but I don’t feel like Hadley has been lacking in attention from me at all. Admittedly the first 3-4 weeks I focused almost entirely on Sadie as we got situated with each other and figured out breastfeeding, but since we’ve been back in Kansas Hadley has had my usual attention.
Let people help you.
It’s been incredibly humbling how much I’ve needed the help offered by my parents, my sister, and my mother-in-law while I waited for Jamie to get home. I needed each of them, especially during a rough first two weeks and then again during the mastitis episode. I also had MOPS friends offer to bring food, and I graciously accepted the first time they offered. For some reason in the past I’ve had a very hard time accepting help and hospitality from others (I think I struggle with others inconveniencing themselves for me), but I tried my best to accept the help when others genuinely offered. I’m so glad I did. It made the last two months much more manageable and enjoyable. I hope I’m able to repay the favor to my loved ones someday.
If your heart is aching thinking about your oldest child having to share you with your new baby, read this. It’s resonated and calmed thousands of hearts and gone viral many times because it’s just so darn relatable!
Also, here are five things I wanted to do differently with my second baby.
Want to explore a whole slew of motherhood posts? I’ve been blogging since my oldest was seven weeks old, so I’ve shared the entire journey! Click here.