You Already Have an Infant, Thank You
It took Amanda Griffith, of Norton, Massachusetts, seven months to get pregnant the first time, so she stopped taking her birth control pills when her daughter was 6 months old, figuring it would be a while before she conceived again. A few weeks later, Griffith learned she was expecting. Although overjoyed, she was also overwhelmed. "I had no idea how I'd handle two little ones," she says.
While close-in-age babies require many of the same things (bottles, naps, Mommy's kisses), they usually need them at different times, which can leave you feeling frazzled. Luckily, you can ease some of your anxiety before Baby arrives, says Wittenberg. "Find a moms' group, join an online parenting community board, or stop any mother you see who is handling her young children well, and ask for very specific advice, such as, 'Do you still take your oldest to toddler classes if the younger sibling needs a nap?'" Wittenberg says.
These veteran moms will likely have insight about issues you haven't even considered. For instance, a friend who also had babies back to back suggested that Griffith let her children nap on staggered schedules so she could connect one-on-one with the baby who was awake.
"Even bite-size amounts of special time can provide the connection your child needs," Wittenberg says. So take advantage of a few of the five- and ten-minute pockets you have throughout the day to play peekaboo rather than peek at your Facebook page.
And above all, go easy on yourself. "I'm far from perfect, but both my girls know they couldn't have a mother who loves them more," Griffith says.