Sunday 15 September 2019

10 things Kate needs to know when going from one tot to two

Kate Middleton and Prince William leaving hospital with George in 2013
Kate Middleton and Prince William leaving hospital with George in 2013
Kate Middleton with her baby George. Yesterday the palace announced that she is expecting her second child
Prince George of Cambridge
Kate Middleton and Prince George last month at the polo
Prince William and Kate Middleton holding Prince George after his Christening
Kate Middleton arrives to Westminster Abbey for her marriage to Britain's Prince William in central London.

Sarah Chalmers

After it was announced that Kate Middleton is expecting her second baby, Sarah Chalmers offers her top tips when it comes to coping with two children.

1 You can't retire to bed for nine months

Kate Middleton with her baby George. Yesterday the palace announced that she is expecting her second child
Kate Middleton with her baby George. Yesterday the palace announced that she is expecting her second child

A first pregnancy is a novelty and a time when an expectant mother can indulge herself. When you're facing morning sickness, back-ache, interrupted sleep AND the demands of an energetic toddler, your confinement will be anything but relaxing. Buckingham Palace officials have already confirmed that Kate is again experiencing the extreme morning sickness she suffered with Prince George, hyperemesis gravidarum, but her duties must go on.

2 To push or not to push

No one expects no-nonsense, super-fit Kate to have anything other than a normal delivery, unless a C-section is required for medical reasons, but how she will transport Number Two will be more intriguing. Second-time mums with a small age gap between their young - Prince George will not yet be two when his sibling arrives - must decide whether to opt for the dreaded double buggy or hope their toddler will be able to walk alongside. The third option is the buggy board, akin to a miniature skateboard, attached to the back of the pram for George to ride on. You save on the cost of a new buggy, but the unnatural angle you walk at to avoid banging your ankles on said board can lead to back pain, especially if you're tall like Kate.

3 Separate bedrooms or all in it together?

Kate Middleton and Prince George last month at the polo
Kate Middleton and Prince George last month at the polo

Space is unlikely to be an issue at either London's Kensington Palace, with its 20 apartments, or 10-bedroom Anmer Hall in Norfolk, but Kate and William will still have to decide whether to berth their youngsters together (when the newborn reaches six months and sleeps through the night) to aid companionship and bonding, or separate them in case one wakes the other.

4 The name game

Prince William and Kate Middleton holding Prince George after his Christening
Prince William and Kate Middleton holding Prince George after his Christening

As a general rule of thumb, the more children you have, the fewer name options at your disposal. As there is still a fairly high chance the new baby could one day be King or Queen, only sensible monikers will be considered - and anything already bagged by Zara or Peter Phillips (Mia, Isla, Savannah) is out.

5 Breast or bottle?

Breastfeeding second time round is not a given. It is understood that Kate breastfed George, so she will know what she is doing. But the sleep deprivation and hours required to breastfeed when your first-born is little more than a baby make many second-time mothers reach for the bottle out of practicality.

6 When to tell George?

Kate Middleton arrives to Westminster Abbey for her marriage to Britain's Prince William in central London.
Kate Middleton arrives to Westminster Abbey for her marriage to Britain's Prince William in central London.

Small children have little understanding of time and expect everything immediately, so there is no point telling him too soon about the "baby in mummy's tummy" as he will expect it to arrive, a fully formed playmate, before the credits roll on The Night Garden. But he will have to be told far enough in advance to lessen the shock of his newly demoted status.

7  Look what the baby brought you!

Most parents opt for a present "from the baby" to soften the blow of displacement for their first-born. In George's case, of course, this could be anything from a pony to a castle.

8 Rock-a-bye-baby

Kate Middleton and Prince William leaving hospital with George in 2013
Kate Middleton and Prince William leaving hospital with George in 2013

When Number Two arrives, not even a Royal mother can clone herself - so if Prince George is still being rocked to sleep in Kate's arms, now is the time to stop (ditto using a dummy or a bottle before bedtime). If you keep babying the firstborn right up until the second arrives, he will resent the newcomer even more as he can see his position being usurped.

9 Second baby, not second best

Be careful not to cut too many corners with the second-born, as you may be quizzed later by a competitive child demanding proof of equal devotion. So if you photographed the first nap, first solid meal and first tooth of child Number One, you'd better do likewise for Number Two.

10 Just what we wanted!

Speculation will be rife as to whether Kate and William, having already produced a son, might be secretly longing for a girl (not least because Kate told well-wishers before George's birth that William was hoping for a girl).

If they have one they can smugly trill "One of each!". If they don't, they should also have rehearsed a credible reason for why they were "hoping for another boy". Either way, the British people will be utterly delighted.

Irish Independent

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