Being an Attached Parent to two young children

A - posted on 02/17/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I’m looking for support and advice from other moms who have been there done that and understand AP.

I have a 21 month old son. We found out recently that I’m expecting baby #2 and I’m concerned about how I will care for two using AP.

My main concern is night time. My son wakes up several times at night to nurse back to sleep. He can roll over and put himself back to sleep (we cosleep btw) but 50-90% of the time (depending on the night) he needs a nurse to go back to sleep. I’ve tried some gentle methods recently since I’m pregnant and worried, such as not nursing unless he asks and cuddling him back to sleep instead, and I’ve tried moving him to his side-car crib next to our bed. Neither have shown any improvement and I know in my heart he’s not ready for night time weaning or moving into his own bed.

I just don’t know how his routine is going to fit with a newborn. Theres the logistics of the sleep arrangements, and I worry I’ll get one child to sleep just as the other wakes to feed. If I have to tandem nurse at the same time at night I’m not sure how I’ll be able to sleep.

I would feel guilty if I didn’t apply AP to the newborn, or if I stopped using AP with my son. When I first had my son I didn’t even know what AP was, and I tried putting him on a feeding schedule, letting him Cry it out in his own crib, etc. My life was a disaster until we started practicing AP and its been a blessing. I just don’t know if I can do it with two. I’m trying not to stress, and tell myself maybe the new baby will be less needy than my first or my son will mature before the baby gets here. But the doubts still keep coming!

How did having two children effect your AP style?

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I have a 26 month old daughter and a 5 month old son. We co-sleep with both of them. I tandem nurse as well. I had the same concerns you do when I was pregnant. I talked with my midwife a lot about nursing both kids at night and I decided to night wean my daughter when I was 7 months pregnant. I realized that my daughter had to be able to let my husband sooth her at night because the newborn was going to need to take priority for nursing since that is his only source of food and my daughter, although she loved nursing at night needed to be able to be soothed in other ways. I am so thankful I did that because my son was born and a nursing fiend! He nursed every hour until about a month ago and I just would not have been able to nurse both at night. I also should have prepared my daughter better for the first 2 months because I ended up sleeping in another room with the baby while she slept in a separate room with my husband. That was the hardest part for her and me. Now we co-sleep with all of us and it works pretty well. We basically have a wall to wall bed and my husband sleeps between my daughter and me because we don't want her to roll on the baby. She has a deeper bond now with her papa and loves her baby brother. I found it not too hard to apply AP to our son since I have to wear him all the time because I need my hands free! I find it harder to give my daughter what she needs. Its hard but we are starting to get the hang of it :) Just follow your heart and be gentle with yourself.

Wolfmama - posted on 04/21/2011

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I only have one son but a friend of mine practices AP as well and she has two boys (ages 3 and 1), the youngest is also a high-needs baby. She co-sleeps with the youngest while the husband sleeps with the toddler on another cot to allow her to tend to the baby. She baby-wears often and ensures that she spends some quality mama time with her eldest to keep him from getting jealous. AP is about adapting tot eh needs of your children. Just trust your intuition and try different things until you find something that works for you. There is no all or nothing mentality, find ways to stay connected to both your children , even if it is done differently. Good luck!

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