1 Year Old – Retrospective & Looking Forward
Well, we did it! My daughter is now a year old, and if you’ve been keeping up with my 365 Project, you’ll see she’s already walking, talking, and learning how to play soccer. Now that I’ve finished up the utterly fantastic Having a Happy Baby Course and Successfully Raising Children Course at my local Church of Scientology, I figured it was a good time to sit down and do a little retrospective on what went well, and what could use improvement, seeing as we have another one on the way.
These two courses have provided such a great way to sit and inspect what Kat & I have been doing as parents, what we’ve been doing well, what we’ve been doing well only because of sheer luck, and what we need to put attention on improving as time goes forward. As so many people who have been there have told me, it’s such an entirely different set of challenges that one runs into as they transition from a year old into the 2-3 year old band, and again as they move up into being 4 year olds. Just a different game alltogether.
What I’m really interested in is successful actions that people have had in dealing with two little munchkins at once – as Mackenzie is going to be 18 months old when Codename: Whopper Junior is born this coming January. Anyone else have kids about that far apart? How did you deal with it?
2 thoughts on “1 Year Old – Retrospective & Looking Forward”
Hi Tad, Very excited for you guys to have your whopper junior!! I have 2 girls, 14 months apart, so absolutely I do have experience with this!!
My tips are: get the 2nd baby on a good sleep schedule right away, as soon as possible, and get the 2 of them napping at the same time to the best of your ability. Obviously not possible the first few months, but after that it is.
I did a combination of breastfeeding and barley formula with both my girls and this worked out great, both have been great sleepers. Chloe and Katie are 3 and 4 now, and sleep on the same schedule, and share a bedroom. You guys are going to have a blast and Mackenzie will love being a big sister.
The first few months will be very difficult so do your best not to snap at each other, and be really high ARC to Kat as best you can all the time, because it is hard for the body to recover from a pregnancy and delivery while already caring for a toddler. All the best to both of you, you will be great with 2. – Leah
I am so incredibly excited for you!
I must say that having 2 kids is amazing while also being very challenging. Daphne and Cyprus are 27 months apart. I think that the closeness in age will benefit you in the future while being a bit of a challenge. Honestly, Daphne is a tough child. I don’t mean that in a bad way. She is incredibly sweet and loving but she is also very dynamic. She wants things her way and like her mama, will do anything to get them how she wants them. Though these traits will serve her VERY well as an adult, they are challenging when she is 3 and hasn’t yet formulated a method of communicating that doesn’t involve just screaming. At 3 and a half it means that she is just now coming through to the other side where she is able to communicate patiently and calmly what she wants.
Luckily, Cyprus is very easygoing and laid back. This is actually an advantage to me as a parent because he is so easy to get along with and teach things but it is not a great life skill because he essentially gets bowled over. Whenever we play with other kids he usually ends up being sit on, hit or bitten. He has never shown an inclination to do any of those things back, which I admire, but it often makes him the target.
I have had a particularly challenging time adjusting to having two kids. As a baby, Daphne would get set aside while Cyprus got to be nursed, put to sleep, played with, etc., and she didn’t like an intruder in her space. She kind of made it her personal mission to try to see him taken out in one way or another. They have finally learned to interact a lot better and the problems only come to Daphne not wanting him to play with her toys. We solved that by giving her her own space to keep her things and play with them (her room) and if she leaves anything out in his reach (or the door to her bedroom open) it is an invitation for him to play with things. He can then take something and play with it and she can get it back when she is done. This works pretty well.
Daphne doesn’t seem to duplicate the fact that when he is crying it means that it is a sign that she needs to stop whatever she is doing. She will hug him and hold him tight and try to show him her love, which to her is a positive thing and to him is a death grip. These things are still working out.
Effectively, I have a system. We generally leave the house to do activities together every day to play. We go to the park or the swimming pool or somewhere fun. The kids get to play together and enjoy the activity at their own action level. We generally spend some time with a friend who has kids Daphne’s age. That keeps her happy because she can communicate and play at her own level. That gives me time to play with Cyprus and keep him happy.
When it comes to being at home, we cook dinner together and try to do as much together. Or, Daphne plays while CYprus helps or Cyprus plays while Daphne helps, it works out. When Jared is done working, generally, I keep the baby and Daphne gets her daddy. I was attached to Daphne when she was a baby, she slept with us and we went everywhere together, it was pretty amazing. The baby pretty much took up all my new attention, so it gave Daphne and Jared a moment to spend time together and adore each other. I think it has worked out well.
I keep telling myself that it will never get more difficult than it is now. Soon, the kids will be able to play together on a level of parity freeing up some attention units on my end. If another baby were to make an appearance, at least they would have each other.
Kind of long, but I wish someone had told some of these things.