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Saturday Review: The Second Baby Survival Guide by Naia Edwards. Review & giveaway

When I had Tilly my overiding feeling, aside from pure, unmitigated love for her was the dreadful anxiety that I was ‘deceiving’ Eliza in some way. Sharing my love with another little person didn’t seem possible. You see after my rocky start with Eliza we had bonded in such a powerful and all consuming way, there seemed little chance of anyone else having a part of my love. But happily, Tilly did. She had a great big massive chunk of it and I realised that love is a bottomless resource, it just goes on and on and gets bigger and bigger. There’s no finite amount.

I took an NCT refresher course which was brilliant because I met the most wonderfully, supportive and genuinely lovely women who were all going through the exact same emotions. We are still extremely good friends. That was probably the most useful thing I did, next to spending lots of time with my sisters and my friend Lucy, quizzing them about coping with more than one child.

But there were no books on the subject. It was extraordinary that for something so common no one had really tackled the subject exclusively. The second child came up in many other parenting books, but I didn’t want to read those again. They were responsible for making me feel like a total failure as a mother the first time round because Eliza never did anything ‘by the book’.

If Naia Edwards’ book “The Second Baby Survival Guide” had been out then I’m sure I would have devoured it.

Eliza was 18 months when Tilly came along, it was like having 2 babies, neither could really do anything for themselves and I was permanently torn between their needs.  Eliza normally won since she was at risk of hurting herself more often. You need eyes in the back of your head with a toddler right? Naia tackles this and many other issues such as how to deal with breastfeeding jealousy, what sort of activities to do with both children, how to make both children feel special.

There’s also some practical advice such as which buggy to use, a tandem or an inline (one in front of the other like Phil & Teds). I chose an inline and when Tilly was tiny this was brilliant because Eliza couldn’t lean over and poke her as she did in the tandem I borrowed. She also suggests getting a baby carrier or sling, another thing I found incredibly useful in the first few weeks.

The only thing I wish this book did was focus a bit more on such a small age gap, there is an assumption that your toddler has some understanding of what’s going on, and mine didn’t really. Also the jealousy section is excellent, but for me and possibly for you the jealousy comes later (now that Tilly is so mobile and able to ‘steal’ Eliza’s toys) so just bear that in mind, as the advice is excellent but you may need it a bit later on.

The section on returning home and the first few weeks is brilliant, so too is the section about sleeping. I found this the hardest bit to navigate. Eliza was in a good bedtime routine, so where did Tilly fit into that? How did I get Tilly down and then have time for a bedtime story and cuddles with Eliza. Naia gives helpful advice on all these quandries.

I have 2 copies of this brilliant book to give away to any mums who are expecting their second or anyone who has a toddler and a small baby.  Just email me saying you’d like one [hollyward (at) itsamummyslife (dot) com] and I’ll choose the winners at random, your book will then be sent directly from the publisher.

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Comments

  1. I realize this is an old post, but I appreciate you spotlighting the book. It sounds like a must read for those of us expecting babe number two. Thanks.

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