Then I got pregnant with my second baby. And SO MANY PEOPLE said "well you can kiss that schedule goodbye with two kids." So I proved them wrong. Baby 2: Babywise Baby 2. Then I got pregnant with my third and again laughter and jokes about scheduling being impossible with a third baby. And here we are. Baby 3: Babywise Baby 3.
I think the reason people assume Babywise scheduling isn't possible with multiple children is because we do tend to "slack" more the more kids we have. You have to! Your life can't revolve around one child because you have more than one child. I'm here to say though that you don't have to veer off course just because you have more than one child under your roof! I'm living proof of it :)
Here are 5 ways to Help Break Through the Misconception and Make Babywise Possible with Multiple Children:
1. Focusing on the newborn is crucial: I am a firm believer in revolving life around a new baby as much as possible in their first year of life (I wrote a post on it here). Is that tougher with older children at home? Yes. But is it possible? Also yes! By focusing on the needs of the baby the whole family sacrifices for a little while but the whole family will reap the benefits as well! Being consistent is SO crucial to set up success for sleep training. It's important to have naps at home in the crib as much as possible and to have them at the appropriate times for your baby's age. While pregnant I recommend stocking up on FUN activities to do at home for the older siblings. New movies, new games, etc. this makes the sacrifice of being at home most of the day easier to handle for everyone!
2. Follow Order of Priority: Multiple children can make you feel torn into many places at once. The hardest part for me when I added more babies to our family was that "guilty mommy" feeling that I couldn't be everything to everyone. Sometimes multiple kids will "need" you at the same time. It's a constant balancing act of which need needs to be met first. Always follow the order of priority. Sometimes that means the baby needs to fuss for a few minutes because older brother HAS to use the potty and that's more important in that moment. Sometimes it means older brother has to watch some extra movie time because the baby has to be fed on time.
3. Create Schedule to Fit Unchangables: Babywise isn't about revolving your life around a schedule. It's about creating a schedule to fit your life! Older kids often have set schedules that you can't change. School drop-off. School pick-up. These things you have ZERO control over. When you create your baby's schedule be sure to revolve it around those unchangeable things. If you are pregnant and see an opportunity to change the unchangeable to better fit life with a new baby that's great too! Maybe it's not the best time for the older children to play a sport. Or maybe it's a good time to ask for help getting the older children to and from school. Thinking and planning ahead can make the baby's always changing schedule during the first year flow much smoother with the unchangeable parts of the day!
4. Following the Clock is OKAY: Having older kids with unchangeable scheduling means that you can't always watch for signs of sleepiness or let the baby sleep an extra 15 min if they took longer to fall asleep. Sometimes you have to live by the clock and that's okay! My oldest had half day school when I had my second baby. He HAD to be picked up at noon everyday and we wouldn't get home until close to 12:30. It was tough to keep her awake in the car! Rather than using the pick up line I'd park and walk in every day to get him to help keep her awake. Sometimes she'd fall asleep anyway and I'd just have to adjust the schedule from there the rest of the day. It was a struggle for me mentally to feel like she NEEDED to be in the bed but couldn't be because I had to pick up my son. She adapted though and ended up being on a more clock-driven schedule that worked out great for her!
5. Allow for More Flexibility: When you only have one child it's EASY to have everything at the same time every day. Children thrive on structure and a first born can have it as much as they desire! When you have another baby the baby has to be more flexible, but so does that older child. When it came to solids I couldn't feed my 2nd baby her solids before picking up her brother from school. She'd nurse at 11 then we'd have to jump in the car to pick him up and she couldn't have her lunch solids until we got home at 12:30 and nap was a 1! It was not an ideal schedule situation but it had to be the way it was and you know what? It worked out FINE. Just like it worked out fine that my first born had to learn to wait later in the mornings for breakfast. I had to nurse baby sister right at 7 which is when he was used to getting up and eating first thing. He had to be more flexible on mornings when Daddy wasn't home to get him his breakfast and learn to wait until I was done nursing. Having some flexibility in your day (even when it's kinda forced flexibility!) is beneficial to everyone as it helps all your children (and yourself!) to learn to be a little more easy going.
Seeing the benefits of Babywise with my first child made me so passionate about implementing it with consecutive children. Many people assumed I'd become more slack the more kids I had but I actually got more "hardcore" for each newborn that has entered our family.
Yes, Babywise with ONE baby is tough. Babywise with multiple kids is tough too! But it's hard work that has huge rewards. It's do a-able and it's worth doing!
Additional Posts You Make Like:
- The Myth of the "Perfect" Babywise Baby
- Managing Multiple Babywise Schedules
- Putting Baby First During the First Year
- Busy Bag Ideas to Keep Toddler Busy
Be Sure to Follow Me on Facebook and Instagram to see a real-life look at a Babywise Family!
This is the final day of Babywise Friendly Blog Network Week and our topic on Babywise Misconceptions! Be sure to go back and visit all the bloggers from this week :)