Concerns having kids 20 Months Apart

Since finding out about this pregnancy my mind has been fluctuating between denial and silent freak outs. Our boys will be 20 months apart, which puts us squarely in the newborn + still pretty young toddler department. As such I have a few concerns and doubts running through my mind about have kids 20 months apart:

Will my toddler be potty trained by the time baby is born?

There’s potential for yes, but from many real life friends I’ve heard that 22/23 months seems to be a magical time for getting this done. As such, if it’s not done beforehand I’m not sure I’ll be up to it with a 2 month old around.

Will my toddler be ready to transition from his crib to a bed?

If yes, will we just remove a side of his crib to use as a toddler bed, or move him to a full size bed? This of course will determine whether we need to buy another crib.

Will my toddler be ready for some kind of day care?

I’m thinking a part time solution could give me some “easier” one on one time with my toddler, but it might also be harder having to leave the house according to a schedule!

Will we find help?

While there is no shortage of people wanting to work, it’s not easy to find someone reliable, someone I can comfortably leave with my kids. But, M is scheduled to be in a surgery rotation when Baby Boy 2 is born and if we don’t get some kind of help I’m going to have serious problems handling both boys on my own all day, every day.

How will I handle our visitors?

The hardest time I had with my first baby during the first two weeks, was dealing with the barrage of visitors. Well meaning as they might be, all unsolicited advice, requests to hold the baby and general take over of my living room was really hard to deal with when I was sleep deprived and trying to establish breastfeeding. Will my toddler be able to distract them enough?

Will I have enough quality time with my toddler?

I remember so many hours of nursing on the couch when he was a newborn that I’m afraid that while I’m bound to the couch with baby, my toddler will get a little lost. He’s such a cuddle-bug that I worry about not being able to give him that attention he craves.

Will I be able to give baby the stimulation he needs?

With my first I could devote my undivided attention to him. I was hyper aware of every mini-phase he was going through and able to put my full energy into stimulating him with educational and developmentally appropriate activities. Will I be able to do the same for baby 2 or will I be too distracted in toddler-world?

Will we have breastfeeding problems again?

I’d like to think that with over a year of experience, it should be easier, but a newborn is a newborn and he’ll have to learn too. I put this in the category of expecting the worst and hoping for the best.

Will baby be a fussy baby?

My baby boy was not the best sleeper and not a great nurser for quite a while, but he was very calm and to this day has a great easy-going temperament. Is it karma that I should get a fussy one next? I also have a total unproven theory that winter babies are fussier.

And also:

Will the pregnancy go smoothly? Will baby be healthy and happy? What kind of birth experience will I have? What hospital will I deliver at? Will I keep my same doctor? Lots of unknowns as I think about a VBAC but wait to see how things progress.

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