- You won’t have any more special time to spend with your oldest. This one is huge! As soon as I saw the positive line on the pregnancy test when my baby was only 1 year old- I started to cry for this exact reason! Yes, it might take time for you to come out of the newborn haze and spend some special time with your oldest again. But hey, newborns sleep- A LOT. I’ll often ask my oldest what she wants to play with me once I’ve fed and changed the newborn and she’s nice and settled for a nap. Whether it’s running out for an ice cream, reading a book, playing in her sprinklers, or building some play-doh shapes- we have a little bit of time every day that’s just the two of us still. Don’t worry.
- They will NEVER sleep at the same time. As it is with anything in parenting, things are always shifting and changing. This includes bedtime and nap time schedules. Of course you will have those days where one woke up right when the other went to sleep and one kept you up all night long, but this will not be all the time, and it won’t last forever! I sleep way more now with two than I slept the whole time my oldest was under 10 months. Even if a no-sleep phase is lasting longer than you want it to, it WILL NOT last forever. Don’t worry.
- Will I love my second one the same way I love my first? It’s just so insane we even worry about this but it happens! It’s only because it’s hard to picture feeling the immense love you feel for this new baby you haven’t met when you have been getting to know and fall in love with your toddler since the moment they were born. Here’s the thing- first baby or tenth baby- they are still your baby. The moment you meet them, you’ll know you feel exactly the same. Don’t worry.
- I won’t get the same bonding time this time that I got with my first, because I will be too distracted by my toddler. Of course this is not a distraction you had to worry about last time. Every day with your firstborn was uninterrupted cuddles, bonding and being in your little newborn bubble. Well, your toddler WILL pop your newborn bubble that’s for sure. But just like you will still find balance to have that special time with your older child, you will find the same thing for your newborn. Maybe your toddler spends the afternoon with dad or Grandma, or takes a good, long nap. But at the very least, when your toddler goes to bed at night, you have those middle of the night times together. Yeah, you might be exhausted. But try to take at least one moment every night just to snuggle them close and enjoy that peace and calm where it’s just the two of you. Don’t worry.
- My toddler will hurt the newborn accidentally or on purpose. My babe is not necessarily rough or violent, but every toddler has the capacity for this behavior at any moment. I remember feeling so much anxiety about random things, like my toddler throwing a toy at her little head or running on the couch and stepping on her. Your toddler will quickly learn, this little baby is not to be played rough with. Maybe you have to yell a few times when they are flirting with disaster, but they will learn. And on some very hyper days, you’re just gonna have to play offense all day. 🤷🏻♀️ Don’t worry.
- My toddler will not adjust well to this big change in our family. I was so worried my older daughter would become super jealous of all the attention the new baby would get, and that she would stay super attached to me. She quickly figured out that she just needed to rely more on daddy for every day things and let mommy breastfeed and care for baby sissy at times. Like everything else, this could take time, or they could take right to the big bro/sis role from day one. Either way, DON’T WORRY mama!
Wow. The last two weeks have been a total whirlwind! But this is definitely a time of life I never want to forget!
What can I say about this girl? She has adjusted to being a big sister like a CHAMP! I am blown away by her, to be honest.
I was so worried that she would be jealous or rough with the baby. She has been a super generous helper and so gentle with baby sissy. She acts like her little sister has always been a part of her family and I’m so proud of the big girl she’s becoming.
She loves to give baby sissy toys and headbands and bring me diapers and wipes, and even water while I’m breastfeeding! Every night she asks to say night-night to baby sissy, and every morning she wakes up and asks where she is. I can’t believe the capacity for change and love Ellie has at such a young age. ❤️
Ember has been a little dream baby! She is so mellow and cuddly! She is a little champion sleeper. At two weeks old she is still sleeping through the night. (Although I rouse her once in the middle of the night to feed her- per doctor’s instruction.)
The only problem we have is that she has a lip and tongue tie like her big sister, which is making breastfeeding a little harder. For a while, I could only get her to take pumped bottles. With lots of patience, we have gotten to a point where she can latch every time. It has been slightly exhausting, because I feel constantly worried that she wasn’t eating well enough. Tomorrow we have a consultation with the doctor who corrected Ellie’s lip tie, and we will decide if Ember’s needs corrected as well.
After a difficult pregnancy and being so sick during labor, I’m still just over the moon that she is here with us- happy and healthy.
I am blown away by how quickly my body has recovered the second time around. The labor process may have been more difficult this time, but the recovery has been SO much smoother. My body seems to just remember how to heal. The pain and soreness wore off in a matter of days this time instead of weeks.
I am mentally recovering a little slower than physically. Even though I generally feel happy and blessed to have these two beautiful girls, the postpartum hormones have made me more emotional than I’d like to be. It’s usually happy tears I’m crying, but I still wish I wasn’t this emotional! I can tell already that life with two under two will be difficult. However, so far those super stressful “they both need me at the same time” moments that I thought would happen all the time have been pretty few and far between.
I feel so incredibly lucky to have these two. Overall, this time period has been filled with lots of happiness, love and cuddles. What more can you hope for with a newborn in the house?
Flatlays and white backdrop photos are one of the biggest trends on instagram right now. When posted regularity they create a great, bright aesthetic to your page that draws people in.
I’m too big on outdoor shots to stick exclusively to an exclusively indoor, white aesthetic. However, I still love the way the look as an addition to my page anytime!
I’m going to share my tips on one of my latest photo projects to help you achieve that look for yourself!
If you’ll be photographing a newborn, or flat laying products I’d recommend buying a photo backdrop online. Here’s an example of one from amazon.
If you’re into family lifestyle shots or have older kids, shooting still in front of a small backdrop won’t be best. We got a great fluffy white comforter that has been great for these types of photos.
I love to use my Nikon for these photos to ensure I get crisp photos. If you’re using an iPhone, turn up the sharpness when editing.
Run into Hobby Lobby or Michaels if you need some easy photo props to add. I love to buy the wreaths or anything floral whenever it’s on sale so that I always have some cute things on hand to throw into a photo!
Make sure you are directly centered above or in front of your subject.
If shooting a sleeping newborn/child add all props quietly around them once they are asleep. If the child is awake, have your area ready and be prepared to take your photos quickly so as not to irritate them.
You’ll also want to (attempt to) remove unwanted distractions like lumpy blankets or binkies.
The quickest, easiest tip to instantly improve your photos without an app is to make a few adjustments in your photos app.
First, adjust orientation and cropping so photo is straight, and centered.
Second, turn up the shadows! Instantly lifts your photos brightness without washing out the subjects.
If you need any blemishes removed or lumps/wrinkles blurred out, I would recommend editing with the (free) Airbrush app.
These type of photos don’t need any heavy filters, that will just distract from the white aesthetic you’re trying to create.
Instead focus on adding clarity with sharpness, brightness with shadows, and saturation if more color is needed.
I hope that this will help you all to create some great photos!
Ellie- Everything about this age is my favorite thing yet. I can’t believe how much more personality she comes up with every single day.
Ever since we sleep trained her she does a solid 10-12 hours per night and a 2 hour nap during the day. The good sleep has helped her keep growing well, and to lower the amount of fits she was having a couple months ago. She eats NONSTOP! She decided she didn’t want to breastfeed anymore about two weeks ago, and hasn’t asked for it or noticed it was missing from her day at all.
At her 15 month well-check the doctor was blown away that the amount of words she says is at almost 30! He said the average is between 4-6. Not only is she so smart and talkative, but also extremely friendly. Strangers can’t help but smile and wave and say “hi” and “bye bye” back to her when she walks past them.
She’s an absolute dream. She becomes more of my best friend every day. She pretends bumping her sippy cup into my face while she drinks is an accident, and then laughs super hard when I say, “HEY!!” She lifts up my shirt whenever she’s on my lap and kisses the baby in my belly with a big, loud “MWAH!” Every night before I put her in the bath, I used to sit and breastfeed her for a couple minutes. But now, while we wait for the bath to fill up, she snuggles into my chest and lets me cuddle and rock her.
Mama- Physically, I am beginning to feel better. The morning sickness at the beginning of this pregnancy had me saying, “I literally don’t know how many more days like this I can take.” Now, I only get occasional sickness. But generally, I feel a strong fatigue that can be hard to ignore some days while wrangling a toddler.
Cravings this pregnancy- sausage, bacon, jerky, cheese-it’s, mint flavor, and extra SOUR sour candy!
My feelings have been a little bit overwhelming some days at this stage. The pregnancy hormones contribute a lot to the emotions I feel over Ellie quitting breastfeeding. I struggle with wrapping my mind around how I will do this all with two babies.
I also struggle with a guilt over getting pregnant again so soon. Pregnancy made the taste of my breastmilk change, which led to Ellie not wanting it anymore. But more than that, I just want to really be present for each stage she is in. Some days I feel like being sick/fatigued/pregnant hinders that now, and that it will only be worse once the next baby comes. I know that my hormones make me think too emotionally about this, but it still isn’t something I can change.
But still every day- Ellie never fails to bring a hundred of the most heartfelt smiles possible to my face, and to keep me trying to be my best instead of giving up.
Bed time routines add another thing to your already jam packed to-do list as a mom. If you’re like me, by the time the clock strikes bedtime- I AM DONE. I want to be in bed, laying down, with no more toddler climbing on me.
But here’s the thing- it is SOOOO worth it.
If you’re having trouble getting yourself to put in the extra time and effort to create a bedtime routine consistently, think of it this way. Any of the extra effort you put in before bedtime ensures that you put in less work in the middle of the night, and get a fuller, longer, more restful night of sleep. And so does your baby!
If you can’t already tell, bedtime routines are just my favorite thing in the universe. Even on nights where my little one seems wound up and not ready for bed at all right before I start the routine, it has never failed that by the time I set her in her crib she’s 100% ready to drift off.
As soon as I started this routine at around 10 months old, my daughter has slept through the night 10-12 hours. Combined with our gentle sleep-training method (see last post How to get your Co-Sleeping and Codependent Baby to Sleep Through the Night) she even learned how to soothe herself back to sleep if she awoke crying in the night. It’s saved me countless middle-of-the-night visits to her room!
Here is a detailed description of Ellie’s nightly routine.
Step One. Breastfeed.
If breastfeeding, it is vitally important not to breastfeed them to sleep. It creates a dependency on you to fall asleep, and if they awake in a place different from where they fell asleep it will always startle them. I had breastfed her to sleep for her entire first 10 months of life so imagining changing this was just crazy to me. But again, SO WORTH IT.
-If you are not breastfeeding, just make sure they have their bottle, water, or a snack right before you start the routine instead of directly before bedtime.
Step Two. Get their room ready.
I make sure her lovey is in her crib and a pacifier is nearby. Then, I turn on her night light and white noise machine. Now the room is all dimmed and ready for us to come in to get dressed for bed in at the end of the routine.
Step Three. Bath and Brush Teeth.
Ellie’s pediatrician recommended nightly baths for her eczema, to help remove the dirt that collects on her skin every day. Ellie loves bath time and it reminds her that she needs to start getting ready for bed. Also luckily, Ellie loves teeth brushing. (Maybe in part to her cool electric toothbrush with Paw Patrol characters on it!)
-If baths have never been associated with bedtime for you, or you don’t usually bathe every single day- still consider adding this step. Having a solid routine with a few consistent steps to it signals your child that they need to wind down for the day.
Step Four. Lotion, PJS, and a song.
Lastly, I lay Ellie down on a furry rug in her room. While lightly singing a song, I dress her in a night-time diaper, put lotion on her, a little bit of essential oil for sleep on her chest, and one for teething on her jaw-line. Then I wrap up my song, button up her pjs and give her a big hug and kiss before laying her down. She watches me leave the room, and quietly turns on her side and falls soundly asleep.
It may be a lot of work, but it is also some of my sweetest, most cherished time with her. It is nice to relax, wind down and get ready for bed together. And best of all, it is followed by 10 beautiful, glorious hours of uninterrupted SLEEP.