If you missed it, my sister had her second child about a month ago— that’s my new niece Neve with my proud two-year-old nephew Jack up top. Neve should feel very lucky to have my sister as her mom because my sister is not just a great mom, she’s got a doctorate in school psychology with a focus on early child development, and watching her parent is pretty impressive. That’s why we call her Dr. B around these parts.
As part of my partnership with Lily Jade, I decided to gift my sister one of their convertible diaper bags. Then I forced her to leave her house with both kids for a morning stroll— a task that is not nearly as easy as it used to be!
I asked Dr. B a whole bunch of questions about how it’s been going from one kid to two. Since she has always given her two-year-old Jack so much focused attention, I was curious how she was feeling now that she has to split her time.
Dr. B said it’s going better than expected (she found going from 0 to 1 a much bigger lifestyle adjustment), but said her biggest challenge has been “giving Neve the attention she deserves while trying to make sure that Jack feels as loved and important as he was before.
Is having a newborn easier or harder than you remember?
“Both. I don’t worry nearly as much about Neve’s schedule as I did with Jack and I know what I’m doing this time around, but it’s hard not having any time to rest or do stuff around the apartment unless they both miraculously nap at the same time.”
How has Jack reacted to Neve so far?
“I cherish the bond that I have with Jack and I was so anxious about how he would feel about a new baby. I was pleasantly surprised by how well he adjusted! Jack’s love for his sister and attempts to interact with her has made everything so much easier and more enjoyable for the whole family. Jack says, “I love you baby Neve” multiple times a day, tells her how cute she is, kisses her, and makes up songs about her. At first I thought this might be his way of getting positive attention from me, but after a month, I see that he really does love his sister. It is so sweet to see him develop his own bond with her.”
HOW DOES IT FEEL NOT BEING ABLE TO GIVE him YOUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION?
“I feel very guilty when both of them need me at the same time and I have to make a choice about who to attend to first. I try to make time for Jack when Neve is sleeping and incorporate him into the activities I do with the baby, which has helped… but he still has his moments when he only wants me to do things for him even though there are many other capable family members or friends available to help him.”
How is Mikey (my brother-in-law) doing with everything?
“He is adjusting to having a wife who can be as demanding as his children at times. He enjoys getting more one on one time with Jack and loves when Neve sleeps on him while watching football so that he can relax and appear to be helping out. In all seriousness, he is an amazing father and a much better husband than I am a wife. He does all the food shopping and cooking and will try to get home in time to put Jack to bed, stay up with Neve even after a very tough and long day at work, and agree to do dance parties with Jack as early as 7am while I’m nursing.”
What’s the hardest part about leaving the house with two kids?
“It takes twice as long and is sometimes not possible. If we have plans to go out, I usually have to start preparing hours in advance to make sure everything goes smoothly. I have to find time to get myself ready, nurse and burp Neve, and get Jack excited and ready to go. The other day Jack really wanted to go to the park but Neve was not happy and by the time I got her settled it was already too close to nap time and I made the decision to stay in. I felt horrible. On a positive note, I think the lengthy process of leaving the apartment has made Jack much more patient and understanding.”
What’s it like being out and about with them?
“I haven’t been able to go very far from our apartment if I am on my own. In the beginning, I didn’t attempt taking them both out unless it was a short trip around the block. Now that Neve is a bit bigger and more predictable, I’ve been brave enough to attempt some longer trips and activities within a 5 block vicinity from our apartment. I usually take the stroller and Jack stands on the ride along board. When I take Jack to school, we take the bus and I put Neve in a carrier. I am still not courageous enough to attempt a taxi ride with both of them on my own or take them out to a restaurant.”
How do you like your new diaper bag?
“I never purchased a real diaper bag when I had Jack. Instead I used a backpack because I thought it was easier to carry when we used public transportation. I was always envious of other mothers who had stylish diaper bags! I’m very excited that the Lily Jade Madeline bag looks stylish but can be worn as a backpack, a shoulder bag or cross-body, all of which come in handy depending on the situation. It has a small pocket in the front so my metro card and keys are easily accessible. I like that the insert comes out which makes it easy to organize and clean. I can also take the insert out and use it as a regular bag when I return to work in two months.”
What are your diaper Bag MUST-HAVE ITEMS?
“Wipes, pacifiers, snacks, an extra change of clothes and a changing pad.. I like that the Lily Jade changing pad is very compact. I like to have a few small toys available for a quick distraction to prevent meltdowns on long lines or at restaurants. And I usually carry a cold pack with fresh snacks and milk. It’s nice that the bag is spacious enough to fit my cold pack so I don’t have to carry around an extra bag.”
What’s been your hardest moment since Neve arrived?
“I think the hardest moments were in the beginning when I was homebound with Neve, nursing on demand, and still recovering. Our family and friends were kind enough to take Jack out during the day and keep him entertained so that I could rest and be with Neve. Although I was appreciative of the help, I was hormonal and worried about how Jack was adjusting (he was fine!), and couldn’t help but feel a bit left out while stuck at home.”
What’s been your best moments since Neve arrived?
“There was one day when Neve was very fussy for longer than usual and nothing I tried seemed to soothe her. Jack was being incredibly patient but I was worried that all his positivity about his new sister could change at any moment. The next thing I knew, Jack was playing his guitar and singing a made-up song about how his baby sister cries when she needs something. I couldn’t help but laugh— he was coping with with Neve’s fussiness much better than I was!”
What is one piece of advice you would offer a mom currently pregnant with her second child?
“Accept help from family and friends. Doing everything on your own is nearly impossible. Before your new baby arrives, have family members spend one-on-one time with your first so he is more comfortable with them after the baby arrives. This will give you a break when you need it. And if that fails, hand over your baby and spend time with your first child to give them the one on one attention they need. This will help prevent some of the inevitable negative attention-seeking behaviors that all children exhibit when your attention is on the baby.”
GIVEAWAY: LILY JADE DIAPER BAG OF YOUR CHOICE
If you’d like to win a Lily Jade diaper bag so you look at least a little stylish while you’re lugging your kids around town, just enter the Rafflecopter below. You must subscribe to both Lily Jade and Mommy Shorts to enter. Plus there’s some opportunities for extra entries!
Winner will be selected on November 16th. Good luck!
Winner update: Congratulations Malori Rosario! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your Lily Jade diaper bag.
This post was sponsored by Lily Jade, but all thoughts and opinions belong to Dr. B.