If you’re a first time mom or if you’re expecting your little one, you have to read this! I don’t want you to feel the same way that I did.
I am a mom of two. I am a mom of an almost 2.5-year old sassy little girl and a 5 month old extremely calm and easygoing little boy. My son Rocco was born exactly 1 month before my daughter’s 2nd birthday, which means shit went down hill after that.
When we welcomed Rocco home, Julianna showed many signs of jealousy and/or signs of the popular “terrible 2’s”. I’m not sure if it was the combination of the two, but it made my life somewhat difficult as I adjusted to the new normal of having 2 kids.
Having an active toddler and a newborn baby is not easy.
Trying to figure out our newborn’s sleep schedule was challenging at first which gave me a lot of stress and anxiety. I was extremely sleep deprived and overwhelmed which for that reason, I began having signs of postpartum depression/ baby blues. My mother in law was with us for a little over a month when Rocco was born to help us out with Julianna while I took care of the baby. My husband helped out as much as he could as well. However, getting used to the new routine and setting up schedules for the baby normally takes longer than 3 months. You have to keep in mind that babies have no sense of day and night since they’ve been in a womb for approximately 9-10 months. This means that they were in a dark environment for that long. As a mother, you have to teach them to recognize the difference between day sleep and night sleep.
I began working on this constantly, strictly, and religiously.
This is what I did to help my son recognize the time of day. I created a day routine and a night routine so he knew exactly what to expect next. For example:
1) To help him realize that it was time for a nap, I would follow a series of steps that would be completed in the same order and time. First of all, I would keep the house extremely bright throughout the day so he knew it was day time. I kept the blinds up at all times and lights on as well. So when it was time for his nap, I would pull down the curtains of the room that he would be sleeping in, change his diaper, put pants and socks on, turn his sound machine on, give him a bottle, and put him down to sleep.
2) When bedtime was approaching, I would begin closing down the blinds and dimming down the lights to create a more relaxing and calm environment. For bedtime, I would give him a bath, put his pijamas on, put his swaddle on (tightly), turn his sound machine on, give him a bottle, and put him down to sleep. I always made sure that he was well fed before bedtime because it helped with nighttime wakings. Babies at an early age usually fall asleep when they’re feeding, so I always made sure to wake him up so he could drink his full bottle.
The difference between the two routines is very clear. Not only is he getting a bath before bed, but he’s also getting swaddled to feel the security that he needs while sleeping. My son was a great learner. He was sleeping long stretches at night since he was 2-3 months. Sometimes he would wake multiple times in one night which is completely normal, but overall, he was and still is a great sleeper. Once he turned 4 months old, my husband and I decided to move him to his own room and to his own big boy crib. Once we did, he slept even better!
Consistency is the key!
In the meantime, I was dealing with tantrums and attitudes that lasted short but painful months. Once Julianna realized that Rocco was here to stay, she began being more affectionate towards him and began having a more mature approach towards everything. I made sure to involve her in everything that I did with him so she felt like “the big girl in the house”. I believe she adjusted really well.
My next mission was to teach Julianna to be quiet while Rocco was taking his naps or while I was putting him down. At the beginning she would loudly barge in his room as I was feeding him to put him down. I began teaching her to be quiet while she was there and she understood the concept perfectly. She was so stealth that my husband and I were in shock with her behavior. She now respects Rocco’s nap time and sits quietly in the living room watching cartoons.
Unfortunately, this post is too long to be explained in one part; therefore, I encourage you to stay tuned for the second part of “Motherhood Unlocked”. I’ll be providing more interesting facts that I didn’t know; including a chart that saved my life!
How did you adjust to having kids? What were your daily routines to make things easier?
I’d love to read your comments below!
Have a beautiful week!