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Let me start with a “not-so-cute" story. My friend had just given birth to her second child. One day she was in the restroom. She overheard her 3-year-old whisper to his friend,“Mama is in the bathroom, let's put the baby in the dog house."

A second pregnancy may come with the familiar feeling of, “I've done this before" except with one additional new worry: How will I explain to my older child that someone is coming along who will ultimately change our lives as we currently know it?

Here are a few tips I hope will make this major milestone in a parenting life a wee bit easier.

1. Breaking the news

When do I bring up the big topic? Around 12 weeks is an ideal time to share the news. For toddlers less than 2 years old it is okay to delay the news until the third trimester, as they will not be aware of what is happening until the tummy grows.

The older kids need to be prepared earlier. Break the news gently. Make sure both parents are present, if possible. You can say “Mama has a baby growing inside her. You are going to be a big brother/sister."

Be prepared for three different kinds of reactions because curiosity is different in different minds.

  1. Absolute disinterest. This doesn't mean your child hasn't understood what you said. It just means he needs the situation to be more tangible before he gives it any importance.
  2. Range of questions. How are babies born? Did you swallow the baby? Be calm and answer all questions thoroughly.
  3. Sadness. If your child is sad on hearing the news tell her/him it is okay to be sad. If you acknowledge their feelings it is easier for them to accept it and be more open it with you.

2. Show and tell

Children love hearing about their newborn period. Take them back to those days. Show them their old albums and videos to explain how babies behave. You can say “See how Mama always held you, Mama will also hold our new baby like that." Take them to see other little babies so they start interacting with other babies. Read them age-appropriate books about newborns so they know what to expect: crying a lot, pooping a lot, and sleeping a lot. Always use “your little brother/sister" while referring to baby #2.

3. Include your child

Make sure your first child is a part of your pregnancy at all times. Include them in picking names and decorating the nursery. You can take your child for the scans to hear the baby's heartbeat. You can even make your child talk to your tummy. All this will make the birth of a new child an exciting reality for him.

4. The hospital stay

The days you are in the hospital and your older child is at home is crucial in the formation of their opinion on the younger one. Explain to them how it will be, who will take care of them, who will sleep with them, etc. Make sure their routines are followed.

The first visit should be with family only. Make sure someone else is holding the baby when your older child walks in. Introduce the younger one to the older child and cuddle them together. It is a good idea to have a gift ready from baby #2 for your older child. It could be anything from a Big Sibling t-shirt to a Big Sibling soft toy.

5. Happy homecoming

Homecoming is another bridge you have to cross. Again, see to it that someone else is holding the baby so your hands are free to hug and cuddle your first one.

If your first one has to sleep in another room or another cot, make sure this transition is done way before your delivery.

Do not schedule anything new like toilet training or childcare at this time. Remember, your first child's emotions might be in turmoil and following an established routine is the best way to deal with it.

6. If you're breastfeeding

Your child will be very curious about breast feeding and this is also the time when most tantrums are thrown because you will be having the new baby for long lengths of time without being able to cater to the older one. Explain the process of breastfeeding. You can involve the older one in getting the pillow or assisting with changing the diaper and make sure to schedule some interesting activity during your breastfeeding times.

7. Visitors

You can pre-warn most visitors to include the older child in their conversation. Most thoughtful visitors will also get gifts for your firstborn. If at all someone says, “What a beautiful baby," be diligent about saying something like, “Yes, now we have two beautiful babies." Your firstborn should not feel alone during these times.

8. Regression

It is normal for a jealous older sibling to start regressing to gain attention. Thumb sucking, toilet accidents, nightmares may all restart. Remember these are all temporary. Be empathetic but firm about rules. Keep telling them about the “big child advantage." They are older, so they can eat ice-cream, play in the park, etc.

9. Allow frustration

Expect tantrums and tears. Say “I know you feel it would be better if your little brother wasn't there. I know you feel Mama doesn't love you but Mama loves you so much." Give words to their feelings. Make it easier for them to share it with you. Praise good behavior at all times and ignore tantrums.

10. Time alone

Having another child is not about dividing the firstborn's allotted love. It is about giving them more. Make no compromise on having time alone with your older child. It could be buying groceries, taking them to their favorite restaurant, or bedtime story telling. Make sure baby #2 is nowhere around during these precious moments. Encourage your child to share their feelings with you all the time.

11. Help

Finally, don't hesitate to ask for help when needed, accept help when offered and offer help when required.

All this may seem overwhelming, but from someone who has “been there done that" with two little mischief makers and seen hundreds of women doing this as a pediatrician, let me tell you: It's all worth it.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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With two babies in tow, getting out the door often becomes doubly challenging. From the extra things to carry to the extra space needed in your backseat, it can be easy to feel daunted at the prospect of a day out. But before you resign yourself to life indoors, try incorporating these five genius products from Nuna to get you and the littles out the door. (Because Vitamin D is important, mama!)

1. A brilliant double stroller

You've got more to carry—and this stroller gets it. The DEMI™ grow stroller from Nuna easily converts from a single ride to a double stroller thanks to a few easy-to-install accessories. And with 23 potential configurations, you're ready to hit the road no matter what life throws at you.

DEMI™ grow stroller
$799.95, Nuna


2. A light car seat

Lugging a heavy car seat is the last thing a mama of two needs to have on her hands. Instead, pick up the PIPA™ lite, a safe, svelte design that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (not counting the canopy or insert)—that's less than the average newborn! When you need to transition from car to stroller, this little beauty works seamlessly with Nuna's DEMI™ grow.

PIPA™ lite car seat
$349.95, Nuna


3. A super safe car seat base

The thing new moms of multiples really need to get out the door? A little peace of mind. The PIPA™ base features a steel stability leg for maximum security that helps to minimize forward rotation during impact by up to 90% (compared to non-stability leg systems) and 5-second installation for busy mamas.

PIPA™ base
(included with purchase of PIPA™ series car seat or) Nuna, $159.95


4. A diaper bag you want to carry

It's hard to find an accessory that's as stylish as it is functional. But the Nuna diaper bag pulls out all the stops with a sleek design that perfectly conceals a deceptively roomy interior (that safely stores everything from extra diapers to your laptop!). And with three ways to wear it, even Dad will want to take this one to the park.

Diaper bag
$179.95, Nuna


5. A crib that travels

Getting a new baby on a nap schedule—while still getting out of the house—is hard. But with the SENA™ aire mini, you can have a crib ready no matter where your day takes you. It folds down and pops up easily for sleepovers at grandma's or unexpected naps at your friend's house, and the 360-degree ventilation ensures a comfortable sleep.

SENA aire mini
$199.95, Nuna


With 5 essentials that are as flexible as you need to be, the only thing we're left asking is, where are you going to go, mama?

This article was sponsored by Nuna. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.

Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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