I'm almost ready for baby #2 to arrive, a few more months. So I was on the lookout for books about growing families. I didn't find much. Here's what I came up with though.
I had a difficult time finding books about having a second child. I came up with three, all written in the 90s, so slightly older, but still great information. If anyone knows of a more current book please let me know.
And Baby Makes Four - Welcoming a Second Child Into the Family by Hilory Wagner
-Prepare baby #1 by reading about babies and what babies need, talking about how a new baby could never replace your firstborn, etc.
-Know that your first child will be affected by the second baby... it's just the truth of how it will be. Your first child may have difficulties sleeping or going to bed, especially if baby #2 is crying and waking him up in the night.
From One Child to Two - What to expect, how to cope, and how to enjoy your growing family by Judy Dunn
I really liked this book. It's older, but great information. I really liked that at the end of the book is a long section about as the two children grow older. So far I've only wondered about what it's going to be like the first few days and months when we bring baby #2 home... how my firstborn will react. I had not considered that my first child may react differently as baby #2 changes and develops into a moving, talking little being that isn't going away. It was interesting to read these passages.
Twice Blessed - Everything you need to know about having a second child - preparing yourself, your marriage, and your firstborn for a new family of four by Joan Leonard
This book starts out on page 1 - "Just when we thought we were finally getting the hang of it. Our stretch marks have started to fade; we've packed away our nursing bras and maternity clothes. Occasionally, we made time to shave our legs, pluck our eyebrows, moisture our neck, paint our toenails. Our face was beginning to lose that deer-in-headlights look of perpetual panic. Our body - well, although it never actually went back to its old tight self, at least it was beginning to go back a little bit. It even looked as if we might be having sex with our husbands again on a somewhat regular basis. Some of us were at the point where we could sail past the diaper aisle at the local supermarket. Or have a few free hours during preschool. Or even full-day kindergarten. Others were not only back at work with solid child care but proceeding nicely on the fast track to promotion. And sometimes... sometimes we actually slept through the night.
"Just when things seem to be returning to normal, boom - we decide to do it all over again. Even those of us who had horrendous labors and whose first words after giving birth were, 'Well, I'll never go through that again!' end up changing our minds."
A great read! Good chapter on preparing your marriage, and "when I first realized we were a family of 4" with real accounts from parents with two children.
Overall what I found out from these books is that you can only prepare so much for a second child. Your firstborn is going to react how s/he is going to react, despite what you do ahead of time to prepare. There are some good tips - like having first child help prepare the house and have a baby doll of her own to play with and to talk about the baby growing in mom's belly - but overall, it will be what it is when baby arrives. There is no use stressing over it - despite that most moms do. Life changed drastically with baby #1... we cannot expect just because we have been parents once before it won't change again. These are different circumstances, different players now with first child around and at a new age. Just be patient and roll with the changes, is what most of these authors suggest. Good advice! Now, if only I can take that advice myself!