As my husband and I prepare for the arrival of our second child (a boy!) this summer, I find myself thinking about how different it will be compared to when our daughter was born.
With my daughter, we came across Attachment Parenting (AP) as we started exploring different ideas around giving birth and caring for newborns. Many of the AP practices were things we already planned on doing — such as natural birth and extended breastfeeding — and others evolved naturally once we became parents, including cosleeping, babywearing and gentle discipline. This time around, we plan on doing things similarly albeit with much more confidence in our decisions after seeing how well it worked last time.
However, I can’t help but wonder how it will work with more than one.
I think it’s extremely important for the initial bonding that we are physically attached to the baby. This part, I’m not worried about. I practically lived in my wrap with my daughter and don’t expect this time to be any different. I am also a stay-at-home mom, which gives me the freedom to feed on demand and hold off on any set schedule.
The part that I worry about is staying attached with my daughter. I think it’s equally important that our daughter not feel slighted by this new little addition. I want her to continue to feel attached to both mommy and daddy. She will have had almost 2 ½ years of undivided attention and will now be sharing the spotlight, so to speak. We have been prepping her for his arrival for a while now and she seems genuinely excited about being a big sister. She can rattle off a list of things she will be in charge of as the big sister – getting diapers and wipes, singing to him, helping with bath.
What I don’t think she is prepared for is sharing my time. She has always been a pretty independent kid but I wonder if that will change when she is not the only one anymore. How will she react to me breastfeeding the baby all the time? If I’m wearing the baby, will she want to be carried?
I know these concerns are not limited to AP parents, I imagine every parent has similar thoughts before welcoming another child into the family. My hope is that AP gives my husband and I the guidance needed to foster a connected and close family, no matter how large it grows.