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Anyone breastfeeding a newborn AND have a toddler to entertain?

(24 Posts)
DeMaz Wed 02-Apr-14 16:03:34

I'm finding it incredibly difficult.

I EBF my DD1 for a year. After a tough start, I enjoyed the whole experience and wanted to give DD2 the same. However, feeding on demand and trying to look after a toddler is proving to be a bit difficult for me. I can't seem to spend any time with DD1. I try to read with her and play with her while I'm nursing but it's exhausting. Taking trips out is also very difficult as DD1 plays up a lot of the time and DD2 hates her pram! So all I get are two screaming little ones and one very harassed mother!

I just wanted to know if there were other ladies in the same situation as me and what you did/have done.

Thanks x

janmk Wed 02-Apr-14 17:46:13

yes i posted earlier....not sure i have the staying power.....i only planned to feed colostrum so have done more than planned. already doing some mixed feeding. There are obviously lots of mums on here that do cope but i am not sure it will work for me. dd1 is 22 mo and challenging....hopefully u will get some good ideas from other posters but u r not alone smile

DeMaz Wed 02-Apr-14 18:53:30

Thanks Jan,
Always good to know I'm not alone with this! I'm sure with a 22mth old it's even more challenging.

janmk Wed 02-Apr-14 20:27:39

how old is yours ? i guess it is take one day at a time.....i have pretty much decided to switch to ff....a weight off my mind...but could wake up feeling differently again x

wrapsuperstar Wed 02-Apr-14 20:30:00

I will be EBFing a newborn in June with a toddler who will be nearly two and a half. At the moment, DD is not much for solo play and needs a lot of attention and input!

I have been given the idea of a 'nursing basket' filled with special little toys/activities that can only be got out when baby is feeding. Things that either toddler is happy to do completely on their own or with minimal input! No idea if it works in practice or not yet, but might be worth a go?

TribbleWithoutATardis Wed 02-Apr-14 20:32:11

How old is dd2? I'm a year into feeding my second, I'll be honest. I set my standards very low and comforted myself with the thought that neither would remember much about the early months. We watched a LOT of cbeebies in the early weeks and then did a lot of toddler groups in the mornings. I'd say for us we hit our stride at around the four week mark and things were defiantly better by six.

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Wed 02-Apr-14 20:32:54

I did, 18 months ago when dc2 was born dc1 was only 15 months, very hard at the start but got much easier as dc1 got older and understood and cuddled in with us, brought me books to read while bfing and could hold a conversation a bit better

makeminea6x Wed 02-Apr-14 20:33:17

Am bf a 12 WK old, DD is 25 months. My tips would be: relax rules about TV temporarily, buy a sling, exercise toddler as much as possible, forget all but essential house work. Oh and routine. Am bit crunchy but a simple routine helps me a lot.

Not yet but am currently PG with my second and my DD will be 21 months when I have it. Am going to do the nursing basket thing and just hope things go ok. shock

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 02-Apr-14 20:37:50

It is really hard work. DS1 watched an awful lot of Cbeebies when DS2 was a newborn.

He used to bring a book and sit with me and we would read while I fed DS2, and I would try and spend some one-to-one time with him when DS2 napped.

If going out is hard at the moment then don't worry about it, do you have a garden that your eldest can play in? I used to sit in the garden feeding DS2 while DS1 ran about and played, it was easier than trying to get organised to go to the park.

The phase will soon pass and you'll be feeling much more confident smile

gilliangoof Wed 02-Apr-14 20:39:44

We do jigsaws, drawing, play doh, painting etc at the table whilst I bf. Also read a lot on the sofa. Bf doesn't need to interfere too much with your toddler's day.

enormouse Wed 02-Apr-14 20:47:19

I have an 8 week old and a 2.5yr old. It has gotten easier in the last week or so when I can roughly guess when DS2 is due a feed. I start DS1 on an activity he can do by himself on the floor (Lego, trains or a puzzle etc) and make sure his drink/ a small snack is on a table he can reach and then settle to feed DS2.

If he wants he can come sit next to me and chatter and I have a box of books for him to read through.

If all else fails there's cbeebies and dvds.

Like the pp said, routine is good but I'm only starting to get back into mine and its made the toddler a bit easier to handle.

wafflingworrier Wed 02-Apr-14 21:12:26

I mixed fed my second and have a 20 month age gap between my two DDs

I bought a "baby" for DD1 to feed while I fed DD2, she liked pretending, also had that baby's cardboard box+blanket (ie "bed") plus mini pram in one corner, so she could tend to her baby when I had to tend to DD2.

I found reading books whilst feeding DD2 v.stressful, but some people manage it. to be honest, I just accepted that DD2 would get less attention, I figured she won't remember, whereas DD1 WILL.

TV
this book is great, you don't need to turn the pages all the time but can sit and chat about everything you can see on it (I propped it up on a recipebook stand whilst breastfeeding DD2)
www.amazon.co.uk/Biggest-Word-Book-Richard-Scarry/dp/0007526962/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396469292&sr=8-1&keywords=biggest+word+book+ever

I also did a mix CD of "imagining" songs that i'd play whilst breastfeeding. I did the dances a few times with DD1 then after a while she could do them on her own whilst I sat feeding and talking her through each step. sounds a bit lame I must admit but an example of a song would be the song from swan lake, DD1 started off curled up then gradually flapped wings, pretended to fly, soared, then came back down and then went to sleep. the song is about 5 mins long so it worked well.

also, buy cheap plasters, line up your toddler's teddies prior to a feed, hand toddler plasters, instruct them to be a doctor and walkdown the line of toys saying "this one's got a broken arm, this one a broken leg" etc then leave toddler to have fun covering them in plasters.

wafflingworrier Wed 02-Apr-14 21:16:40

I didn't mean that post to sound like I've got it sorted, just to share a few ideas that worked for me.
It does get easier. honest!

DeMaz Wed 02-Apr-14 21:41:10

Oh wow, thanks so much for your replies and ideas. I'm so pleased Im not alone. My DD1 has just turned three. She will begin nursery in September but until then I'm trying to figure ways of keeping her entertained. CBeebies really is our friend at the moment but I was giving myself such a hard time about her watching too much TV. So pleased I'm not alone on that front either.

I think I'm finding it a bit of a struggle because she is slightly older and we have read her 100's of books a million times over, done all her jigsaws, painting, drawing, crafts etc. I'm putting so much pressure on myself to introduce new things.

Wafflingwarrior, your post didn't sound like you had it sorted and I love your ideas. I think DD1 will love the plasters! Thanks so much.

Thanks again everyone. Really appreciate your ideas but above all its great to know others are in a similar situation.

wafflingworrier Wed 02-Apr-14 21:49:03

the guilt! the GUIIILT! :D no, please don't feel guilty about TV, you are giving your child a playmate for life. that is worth a few months of down-time.

another thing that worked for me was to hide a lot of DD1's teddies before a feed and have her try to find them using a torch "on safari", and also a den using a blanket over our table, so she'd "go camping" under it with a picknick while I fed sitting above her.

ok over and out!

SerenaJoy Wed 02-Apr-14 22:05:46

I let DS1 stand on a chair at the kitchen sink, fill the sink with water and let him play with cups, bowls, colander, measuring jug etc. Keeps him amused for ages, and I can feed DS2 while I stop him from climbing in supervise.

Other than that - CBeebies is my best friend. Don't feel guilty - they won't remember this stage, but they will have a sibling for life.

PastaandCheese Thu 03-Apr-14 08:58:39

I have a 2 year old and a 4 week old. We watch too much CBeebies. We compound this by buying CBeebies magazine on a Wednesday to cover off a couple of feeds.

My only saving grace is she goes to nursery two days a week where she doesn't watch any! I decided to keep her going a few days while I'm on mat leave and it is really helping! Hats off to you for coping 5 days a week OP.

I find sitting on the floor with my back against the sofa feeding DS is a good position for playing with DD. We like jigsaws, colouring in and Happyland from this view.

I'm trying to encourage DS to have a feed at the table whilst DD and I eat lunch but so far he just screams through the food preparation bit as he doesn't like to be kept waiting. <sighs>

My main problem is how to feed when out and about and ensure DD doesn't run off. To date being trapped in a high chair being fed biscuits in a cafe has been my only solution. That can't be right can it?!

I asked a friend to watch her at the end of a toddler group yesterday as she can open the door onto the street if she so chooses. Of course she sat by me like an absolute angel making me look like a paranoid liar when I had commented that she might see feeding as a chance to bolt.....

PastaandCheese Thu 03-Apr-14 08:59:48

We love 'washing up' too SerenaJoy.

enormouse Thu 03-Apr-14 10:40:41

To go with the washing up, I let DS1 sort the cutlery after its been through the dishwasher. He enjoys it and I get to have my cutlery put away.

DeMaz Thu 03-Apr-14 11:01:22

Thanks so much everyone. I'm so pleased I posted. Ok no more guilt about CBeebies ��
We've also done the water and washing up and camping.

PastaandCheese, I have to give my DD1 biscuits if I'm out and about too because it is the only way to silence her if she has a screaming fit (which at the moment is ALL the time)
Enormouse, I like your thinking ��

Thanks everyone .

Sid77 Thu 03-Apr-14 15:06:38

Another CBeebies fan here! My 6 mo DS2 will only nap latched on, so we save up tv and have an hour and a bit in the afternoon. DS1 (3.6) gets some downtime and baby gets his milky nap - and I MN! For general feeding, DS1 is much more tolerant if we are out, playgroup, park, cafe or if we are at home he seems happier if I feed while sitting on the floor. I think this makes him feel part of it. Love the comment above about having a sibling for life smile

AuntFlossy Thu 03-Apr-14 18:51:23

I'm doing it for the second time!
My son was 2.5 when DD1 was born. She was a very demanding nursling and fed pretty much continuously throughout the day. The only time she went down for a sleep was in my arms or in a sling. I won't lie it was completely draining but I made sure I got out and went to baby groups religiously just so I could get us all out of the house.

I'm now doing it again with 2.5 year old DD1 and my now 11 week old DD2. She is also a demanding nursling but now I have an even more demanding toddler! DS was a breeze compared to DD1!

I'm dealing with tantrums galore, a baby who doesn't like to be put down, hates the pushchair and extremely sore boobs!! Yes my sanity is wafer thin.

My only advice is eat plenty of cake, get out to places where your toddler can run free with minimal help from you and don't have unrealistic expectations of what you can achieve every day.

Some days just getting dressed is an achievement!

DeMaz Thu 03-Apr-14 19:08:33

Thanks so much.

Sid77, whenever I get an incredibly rare moment of toddler AND baby napping, I should, realistically sleep too but I also end up on MN.

AuntFlossy, hats of to you! I don't know how you're doing it! My DD2 is exactly the same. Hates being put down, hates her pushchair and makes getting out of the house that little bit harder! All I get is a screaming baby and frustrated toddler!
The whole cake thing is definitely a must in this household!

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