When I first found out I was pregnant with my second child I was ecstatic. And then I was terrified. How would a new baby change our family dynamic? How would my daughter accept the new baby? Raising one kid is hard enough, am I able to raise TWO responsible human beings? Some articles/friends/blogs will tell you that once the baby was born, love took over and all of that fear melted away. I’m not that person. I’m here to tell you that all of those fears were valid, and now, at five months in, I’m experiencing how hard these changes actually are. Don’t get me wrong, there’s love, but with that there is challenge.
I realized that my fears were not unfounded the very first day he was born. We were at the hospital, revelling in the fact that our son was here, but also missing our daughter, who was staying with her grandparents. She came to visit daily, to meet the baby and to get some Mommy and Daddy time in, but already it was different. Things were different. Luckily she accepted and loved him right away (after getting over the fact that he wasn’t a girl) and never once asked to send him back. Once I got home from the hospital and began recovering from my c-section, again, challenges arose. I could carry the baby but I couldn’t carry her. I could breastfeed the baby, but not her. I wasn’t able to drive so I couldn’t take her to places we had gone just the week before. This was hard on both of us.
Sleep deprivation was the next hurdle. You go through those crazy newborn days with your first, and then your promptly block them out of your mind forever. I forgot that newborns scream when you change their diaper, when they ride in the car, when they wake up, when they go to sleep, just about around the clock when they are awake. And even though they nap a lot, your first child no longer does so there is little time to “sleep when they sleep.” But, eventually that newborn settles a bit, you power through, you curse a lot, and although you don’t completely get over it, you get used to it.
I’m a person that thrives on routine and have consequently created a daughter who is the same. One thing I can tell you for sure about your baby; he won’t care about your schedule, and my son was no exception. This has taken a lot of adjusting (and relaxing) to just go with the flow when we can. But some things (like school drop off and pick up) are not flexible, and working in sleep around these hard deadlines has also been taxing. The golden rule to ‘never wake a sleeping baby’ has been broken many times already, sleep often has to happen on the go, and sometimes we all pay the price. This is still a challenge for me every day, but the best way I’ve learned to deal with it is to ask for help. It truly takes a village and right now my tribe is picking my kid up from school while the baby naps.
In general, most things about our family dynamic have changed, which, is really to be expected since our family itself has changed. Dinner time is often disrupted by the need to rock or put the babyto sleep, and many times I miss out on eating with my family altogether. Bedtime with my first has changed and revolves around when the baby falls asleep and whether or not he stays asleep. Arms are always full, and you forget what it is like to do things with two hands. Weekend outings and activities are shortened or skipped because it will run into nap time(s) so our family time together is definitely different. There is more screen time and less lap time, more chicken nuggets and less organic vegetables, more netflix nights than date nights.
But, just when I’m ready to call it quits, to give up on motherhood and curl in a ball, something shifts- be it perspective, sleeping patterns, developmental leaps- change happens. And it becomes easier. And you start to settle into this new normal, this new dynamic. And even though the hard times are still hard, the good times come more often and the love continues to multiply. And the realization comes that this new dynamic will continue to shift and change, there will be peaks and valleys, but in the end, you’ll forget about what you used to be, just like you forgot about those nightmare newborn days. And you’ll hold on with your full arms and your full heart and wait for it to all change again.
Katie is a new mom of two and will be sharing her experiences in parenting a toddler and a newborn though this series “New with Two”.
We all make New Year’s resolutions and we all try really hard to keep them… but when you have a baby that makes it extra tough.
Here are the Top 10 New Year’s resolutions that people make and some suggestions on how Snuggle Bugz can help you keep them.
1. Keep Fit and Healthy: The number one New Year’s resolution that people make is to keep fit and stay healthy. If that’s on your list, Snuggle Bugz can set you up with a jogging stroller so that you can include baby while being active.
2. Get Organized: From your nursery to your playroom, Pehr storage pints can help you keep all your baby products and toys nice and organized. Or if it’s your car that needs some tidying up, Snuggle Bugz carries several types of backseat organizers for your bottles, toys and more!
3. Learn Something New: Want to learn something new this year? We’ve got one for you… how about making your own baby food? It’s a breeze with Beaba’s Babycook, a compact countertop appliance that functions as a steamer, blender, warmer and defroster to prepare fresh, healthy meals for baby.
4. Stop Procrastinating: Are you dreading the challenge of potty training your toddler? Not to worry, if that’s on your list of to-do’s this year, Snuggle Bugz has a lot of potty products to assist and our blog on “Potty Training Essentials” has some helpful tips!
5. Quality Family Time: Family time is special time especially when the little ones are young. Janod has some cute, simple toys that make play time with baby fun for you and them.
6. Read More: Is reading more on your list of things to do in the New Year? If so, why not read more to baby. Check out Thomas Allen’s new line of “Indestructibles!”, baby books that don’t rip/tear and can even be washed in the dishwasher or washing machine.
8. Spend Less, Save More: If your New Year’s resolution is to save money make sure to check out our Snuggle Deals page and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for information on upcoming sales and promotions.
9. Travel More: Do you want to travel more this year? Travel with baby is easy when you have the City Tour stroller. It is lightweight and it folds small enough to be carried in its backpack-style travel bag that comes with it.
10. Get more Sleep: New Year’s resolution or not, who doesn’t want more sleep! If you need some help getting your baby into a good sleep routine, check out Snuggle Bugz’ Blog series “Sleep Tight” by Alanna McGinn, founder and certified sleep consultant of GoodNightSleep Site. Like us on Facebook to receive notifications on when Free In-store Sleep Clinics are happening at local Snuggle Bugz stores near you.
Kids are wonderful for a lot of things, but as travel companions they leave much to be desired.
We just got back from a 10-day trip, and while I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, I am here to tell you that traveling is not easy with an 11 month old.
Our 15-hour travel day seemed an awful lot longer accompanied by our sleepy, but nevertheless lively, son. We missed many naps, throwing any semblance of predictability and schedule out the window. The mornings, which used to be my favorite and most relaxing part of vacation, started around 5am most days. Yup, 5am. On vacation!
Traveling as a family is a whole lot different than traveling as a couple. We do a lot less hiking, snorkeling and general exploring, opting instead for long walks, pool time and even one trip to a local zoo. Unique hostels have been swapped for practical condos; economical buses and trains, for pricey (but convenient) rental cars.
But please, don’t for a second think I’m complaining. I love my son and I love taking him with us to see new places. It’s a chance for the three of us to enjoy time together free from chores, errands, work and the distractions of day-to-day life. The memories we’ve made on vacation are ones we’ll cherish forever.
People are always telling young couples to get all of their traveling done before they have kids. By all means, travel as much as you can before introducing kids into the mix, but please don’t call it quits the moment you become parents. If you loved traveling before kids, then let me encourage you to find ways to keep traveling with your little ones. It’s not easy, it’s not convenient, but it is worth it!
Here are a few things I find make the trip go that much smoother:
- Lots of snacks in portable containers
- Travel high chair
- Sanitizing wipes
- New, never-been-seen-before toys (small and quiet are best for planes)
- Hat and sunglasses (ya, they look goofy but it’s worth it)
- Long-range baby monitor
- Compact stroller (see my City Mini GT review)
- Travel play pen
- Ground-level accommodations where hubby and I can enjoy the sun/sand/pool/etc while Grayson naps
What do you do to make travel more manageable with kids?
Our boy’s names are Kellan and Myles. You may not like either and that is okay, it doesn’t bother me. I have come to grips that not everyone will like my child’s name. Yup, I am sure someone said “what were they thinking naming him that??” To be honest I do not like choosing names – it is the one thing Adam (hubby) and I both struggle with…do we go trendy? Classic? Unique? Will it work when they are older? Can you butcher it? Is it easy to pronounce? Does it work with our last name? Does it work with other siblings? Bah! There are so many things to consider when naming your baby.
I also find that there is a lot of pressure – this will be their name for life! We are making this decision for them – Gulp!
So where do you fall??
Are you a people-pleaser name chooser? – Not wanting to offend anyone you go safe and name after family members?
Follow baby name books faithfully? Trust the author’s opinion on what is cool or uncool.
Childhood name hog? Go with the name that you scribbled in your highschool agenda. All your friends/family know this is your name and wouldn’t dare steal it!
Name eliminator? Find out the sex and delete half of the battle.
Name over-thinker? You can’t sleep at night; your baby has been named and renamed about 100 times by the time he/she is born.
I am a name procrastinator, over-thinker with a dash of people-pleaser. I never liked the name Kellan. Adam really did and he said if I could come up with one that I liked more we would use that name. Obviously I didn’t find one and by the time I was 9 months preggo ‘Kellan’ grew on in me….and now I love it. It suits him to a tee. We are bad with nicknames and I thought Kellan was pretty nickname safe but we do call him Kelstar, K-master & Kels.
When it came to choosing Myles we procrastinated. We were still brainstorming during contractions and had a vote with our midwives post-delivery whether we should name him Gavin or Myles. Myles won. I am so happy we chose it and I like how Kellan and Myles work together.
Another name tester Adam and I do is pretending that we have that name. Our conversations go something like this:
Lydia: “Hello my name is [insert girl name here]”…….
Adam: “well, hello my name is [insert boy name here] so good to meet you”………
If it feels awkward we know that it’s off the list!
How did you choose your little ones name?
I LOVE the Bob Strollers. I have had my Bob Revolution for a couple years now and have loved it since the day I brought it home. I was heading to the cottage, and I couldn’t imagine taking any other stroller to cottage country’s rocky roads. I would settle the kiddos into the stroller (back in the day when there were just two Snuggle Kidz) and go for long walks, although I do clearly remember telling myself that I HAD to have the Bob so I could jog for the week. Well, out of pure laziness I didn’t actually go jogging…. but we did have many berry finding, turtle gazing, rock skipping adventures while on our lazy walks.
I was reminded today when our family decided to go to the Maple Syrup Festival , how much I truly enjoy pushing this stroller. As I saw many people struggling to get through the muck pushing their strollers, I moved through the entire area, mud, slush and snow with ease. I was also able to fit through the doorways to the pancake house, which answers the regular question I get, on if it actually fits through doors. Yes it does!
But… the most exciting part of this post is that Bob has released a new stroller this year. Well, not a new stroller but they have taken their current series of strollers and improved on them incredibly!! All the little things that I thought,” this stroller is great, but wouldn’t it be better if……. “
- They have created a much improved car seat adaptor (old one was a 30 step process to build!)
- They have added significant padding, along the back, in the seat, and even along where your child’s calves touch
- They have also added a board that gives increased support in the back of the seat.
All of this while keeping their already top features, huge canopy, great suspension, swivel front wheel that can be put into a locked position, and so on.
So, if you are looking for a great stroller, whether you are looking for jogging or just one of the best all terrain strollers, you will not be disappointed with the Bob series.
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