Monday, 14 March 2016

Planning for Hospital When You Already Have a Little One at Home

For Mother's Day this year, one of my presents from the hubs was Coping with Two by Simone Cave and Dr Caroline Fertleman. Friends recommended their Your Baby Week By Week and we found it so useful that we'll, no doubt, be dipping into it again second time around as I've definitely forgotten much of what to expect with a newborn! 
I must begin this post by confessing that I haven't read any other baby books. I've tried but I just don't have the attention span, yet I love reading and (obviously) care about our babies' well-being! I've started a couple and found them too long-winded and preachy, but these are easy to dip into and incredibly reassuring.

Coping with Two is, so far, largely common sense and that's my kind of language. One of the many useful recommendations from Cave is to be prepared. Uh-oh! So, at 34 weeks, we've begun getting things in order; it's a massive improvement on last time when we had nothing ready for Charlie's premature arrival! I wish I was exaggerating, but the hubs spent a full afternoon the day after C was born with the manageress of our local Mothercare getting everything we needed. And FYI, being disorganised wasn't the worst thing in the world, so don't panic if that sounds like you; that's what the internet is for!
So, back to getting ready for bubs no.2. Our main concern is how to make sure C's taken care of when the time comes for us to rush to hospital, especially if that's in the middle of the night like last time. Luckily, our parents are wonderfully supportive and have bought up 8 children between them so we have no worries there! But, both sets of grandparents live an hour or more away, so we've enlisted the help of friends close-by who are prepared to be disturbed at night and sleep in our spare room until they arrive in the morning. That way C can sleep through and nobody's struggling to get him back to sleep. You can't expect everyone to be around all the time though so, worst-case scenario, we have the travel cot ready along with C's overnight bag in case we need to drop him at another friend's house. Bubs no.2's due date being Easter, we've got dates of family and friends' holidays stored in our phones so we know we've got all eventualities covered (*crosses fingers*).
We'll have a small age-gap between our two; C is 14 months, so he's still at home with me in the day and his routine is something I know backwards. He's a really easy baby and we've always taken pains to keep his routines flexible to help him (and us!) be relaxed. Nonetheless, the last thing you want for your child or those kindly taking care of them, is for this to back-fire and be a stressful experience, so I've typed up all of his feeds/routines and stuck it on the side of the fridge. It includes nap times, toys that always keep him occupied, details about where things are, the lot. Perhaps a tad OTT, we've also got it on e-mail so we can ping it to whoever might need it and there's a copy in his overnight bag too.

I cook most of C's meals now, but the reality is that it's time-consuming and we don't want to burden whoever's looking after him even more with fiddly meals or remembering to defrost those I've batch-cooked so, in this week's supermarket shop, I added some ready-made meals and formula. Plus, two of C's favourite lunches are super easy: dippy egg and soldiers or cheese on toast. On the housework front, we've been taking extra care to make sure that we keep on top of things and everything's washed/sterilised/organised so that, when the time comes, we're less-likely to be worrying about where his beaker is!
I'm sure there will be plenty of surprises, despite the prep, but at least we can take some reassurance from the fact that we've dealt with the things we have, at least, a little control over!

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