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Friday, June 24, 2016

from 1 to 2: caring for #1 while you are in the hospital

It's so overwhelming at times having a first baby, everything is so new. But I found with having the second child, there were ALL these things I had to think about that I never considered with #1. It started with the first doctor's appointment... we had to make sure it was during our workday because our child was at daycare and we weren't telling yet. Things you don't think about!

This is the same when you're heading to the hospital to have #2, what happens to your first kiddo? When I asked Mommy Stories moms they all had a variety of responses.

Here is who they left child with:
  • in-laws 
  • parents 
  • #1 at normal daycare routines during day and family picked up in afternoon
  • family, friends, siblings stayed at parents house
  • husband went home at night
  • a nanny
Note: I think it's SO important that your partner stay in the hospital with you when you have #2. I know it's so hard to manage that and rely on family members to take care of your big kid, but you NEED each other and that bonding time is so special with the second baby. Once you're home it's all hands on deck, tag team, one person on toddler and one person on baby. Typically it's you with baby and your partner with toddler at home. So the best bonding time and help to you is those first few days in the hospital. I think it's great to have your partner there. Also those with a c-section, you can barely move! It's nice having someone in the room to give baby to you when needing to feed, etc. The second time around the nurses don't bug you as much as the first, they think you're a pro, so having your partner there is helpful. 

Other tips for preparing to leave first kiddo at home while you're in the hospital include:
  • Putting a note on the fridge with details of how to put child to sleep, when they eat and how much and ideas for food items they enjoy, how the car seat works in the car, when they typically wake in the mornings, routine ideas, etc. It's OK to go overboard on this list, write it out - it'll make you feel better. 
  • Put important phone numbers on the fridge.
  • Set out the outfit you want your big sibling to wear when meeting baby at hospital. 
  • Go grocery shopping a few weeks before due date to ensure food your child likes is in the home. 
  • If sending your child to someone else's home, pack a bag with her favorite items like books they like to read, stuffed animals, etc. to make it more comfortable.
In the end, realize that you can't control or prep for everything - and that ends up being OK. The night before I went into labor with #2 (two days before scheduled C-setion) I had one last load of laundry to put away in my son's room so he had plenty of clothes while we were in the hospital. Well, that night I had cramping and was home alone and could not lift the bucket up the stairs. So I sat on the couch and figured "I'll get to it tomorrow." Well, we had baby "tomorrow." I also didn't get to write down a list of favorite foods and things, because I'd planned to get to it. 

And low and behold my baby boy was totally fine and content and happy and cared for while we stayed 4 days in the hospital with #2! Your friends and family will take good care of your big kid. I promise. And you'll be home in NO time.  

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