This can be really hard, though, when you are nursing those sleepy newborns. It takes pretty much all of your focus and energy to keep that baby awake and taking a full feeding. Those older kids also quickly realize that when Mommy is nursing, she is tied down. It is a perfect time to try those things you have always wanted to do. Brayden is a very obedient boy, so that lasted all of a few minutes, but it can be a point of stress for you as you are juggling more than one child.
This is part of life with a sibling. You learn to wait for attention and your wants and needs to be fulfilled if the other sibling has more pressing needs. You learn patience. This is a harsh reality for the oldest child when the second child first comes home. But they learn and all survive.
I scheduled Kaitlyn's nursing schedule so that Brayden was only with us for one feeding while my husband was not home. Here is the breakdown:
- Kaitlyn's first nursing: I chose to wake Kaitlyn up 30 minutes after I got Brayden up. I got Brayden up and fed him breakfast before I got Kaitlyn up to nurse. By the time Kaitlyn was born, Brayden would watch TV if he had some toys to play with also. That was his TV time for the day. I sat in the room with him and nursed Kaitlyn while he "watched" TV. He was a big help and would run and get stuff if I needed him to, such as diapers, burp rags, etc.
- Kaitlyn's second nursing: Brayden was in independent playtime.
- Kaitlyn's third nursing: Brayden was down for a nap.
- Kaitlyn's fourth nursing: Brayden was still sleeping. He slept for 3-4 hours, so I fed her as soon as he went down and then right before he got up.
- After that, DH was home so I didn't have to worry about juggling the two.
At first, Brayden and Kaitlyn rarely saw each other because of the way her waketimes lined up, but it has been fine. I was able to have a lot of one on one with him and also with her. They are great friends now and haven't suffered at all for it. A baby that young isn't terribly interesting to a 22 month old boy anyway.
Now, I could have gotten her up before him and had all feedings alone. I didn't do this for several reasons:
- Kaitlyn had reflux. Because of her reflux, I needed to keep her upright after a feeding. This would have been harder to do while getting breakfast ready for Brayden.
- I wanted Brayden to learn. I wanted him to see that there was another person deserving and needing of my attention. I wanted him to learn to share Mommy and have patience. He was able to slowly get used to this and had no resentment or jealousy of Kaitlyn in the least.
- I like to do baths in the morning. I like to bath my kids in the morning, so I was able to feed and bath Kaitlyn in the morning since I wasn't getting breakfast together for Brayden.
Here are more posts on siblings:
- Babywise With Baby Plus Older Child: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/babywise-with-older-children.html
- Sibling Playtime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/03/sibling-playtime.html