Did you stay at home with TWO children?

(36 Posts)
Cbell Sat 09-Feb-13 20:18:03

DD is 2 years old. Baby number two due in 5 months.

My daughter starts nursery the beginning of March which is earlier than I'd originally intended (was thinking 3 years) but with a new baby coming I thought it best to get her settled in. However, I am having second thoughts about the nursery place (is too little/ what if she hates it/ what if she's sad..blab blah). I'm thinking the good stuff too but I am naturally anxious.

I'm wondering what it might be like to stay at home with a toddler and a newborn. I don't have family in the area so no extra support. Have you stayed at home with TWO children? How did you manage? Advice needed...

NatzCNLS Sat 09-Feb-13 20:42:44

I did, DD2 came along when DD1 was only 16 months old. Nursery had never even entered my thought process when she was born, my HV suggested nursery or pre-school when DD2 was 2yrs 3mths as she felt she would benefit from it. I loved having both the girls at home, but DD1 was getting bored. She started pre-school the following month and although she cried when I left her, she would settle within a couple of minutes and have a great time. I on the other hand would be sat at home cradling my 1 year old sobbing my heart out with guilt... hmm

She only went two mornings a week and loved it, even more so when her sister joined her the following year.

When DD2 was new born, I included DD1 with everything (no big tasks, just pass mummy the nappy, lets cuddle whils we feed baby etc) she didn't always want to join in but she loved having a baby sister to 'look after'. She was just a baby herself so it may be slightly different when your little one comes along as your DD will have a better understanding of what is going on.

I loved having my girls home and held off sending them more than 2 mornings for as long as I could, but had to increase it as they got closer to school age to help them get used to being away from me for a few hours each day. They are both at school now and I have DD3 at home with me now. Am not even applying for her pre-school placement yet as she is only a year old, but I will send her back to the one my elder DD's went to.

See how you feel when baby arrives. DD1 will probably enjoy some time with other children, and could give you a couple of hours to relax with baby

Cbell Sat 09-Feb-13 21:17:08

I'm anxious about starting my DD at nursery after the baby is born incase she associates the two events. As in, she's being sent to nursery because of the baby.

I am chasing myself around with this because I don't think I want her to go to nurser yet but I am terrified about being at home with two children full time with no support.

I have identical gap between my 2, had been working pt after DC1. I had toddler DS at home with me after DD was born as I thought I shouldn't send him to cm if I wasn't working. I also have no family nearby.

After 3 months I did send DS to his old cm 2 monrnings a week as I needed a break. Wish I'd done it sooner tbh. The way I thought about it was that if I'd had an eager granny round the corner I'd probably have had a similar amount of help. As I didn't, I paid for help (nothing to feel guilty about)

DS was fine, he was with familiar person and went out to groups with cm.

I am at home with two now. Dd1 was 2.9 when dd2 was born. I take dd1 to on average three playgroups/home school groups a week, dd2 has always come along and slotted around what we have been doing. Getting out of the house helps and staff at my local playgroup are very helpful in watching one child while you change nappies/do a trip to the potty. Dd1 will go straight into reception aged 4.

The most invaluable thing for me has been a good sling (stretchy wrap at first now Manduca carrier). It enables me to have my hands free to run around with dd1 and was great when dd2 was little as I could do housework without her screaming when put down.

The second most invaluable thing now dd2 is older is my playpen, it allows dd1 to play for some of the time without dd2 trashing her lego building/train track etc... And I don't have to worry that dd2 has got one of dd1's tiny toys in her mouth when I am doing something else.

I too included dd1 in everything, she helped with nappy changes and I bought her a baby doll so that she could pretend/copy.

There are hard days when they are ill for example, but they will spend so much time away from me once they go to school that I try to make the most of the time I have with them in these early years.

PearlyWhites Sat 09-Feb-13 21:37:01

Partly, my youngest two are 6 and 24 months dd3 goes to nursery three mornings a week.She loves it and I feel I need the time alone with the baby and to get some housework done. Am also disabled and take very strong painkillers so I need a bit of a "break". When I have them both together I try to get out of the house as much as possible as dd3 gets bored when I am constantly feeding ds.

PearlyWhites Sat 09-Feb-13 21:38:01

Meant to add dd3 started nursery a few months before ds was born.

yy sling is invaluable when managing a toddler and newborn.

steppemum Netherlands Sat 09-Feb-13 22:24:08

I was at home with 2. but I have 3. Ds started school just as dd2 was born, so I had to do school run and then have 2 at home. It is fine. it is normal. In fact it is fun.

If you want/need to send her in to nursery, fine, but none of mine started nursery at 3, they started at 3 1/2, the year before school, and then they only did 3 mornings rising to 4 mornings. They don't need to be in nursery at 3 unless you want they too. Lot sof nice time with them at home pottering with all the things you can do with them.

To be honest, I would rather be at home with a 3 year old than a 1 year olds. I always think we send them off to nursery just when they get fun ot be with!

I totally agree Steppemum!

DS (just three) started longer sessions at preschool in January. Lots of people have exclaimed about how much easier it must be to have just DD (17 mo) at home and I have to admit that I have said to most of them that it would be far easier to have the three year old at home and the 17 month old at preschool! blush

MoleyMick Sat 09-Feb-13 22:42:42

I started my DS one day a week a month or two after dd was born, because I thought he was ready for it (2.2) plus it was good for him to get away from sleep deprived mum and squawking baby! He was used to lots of trips out, to playgroup etc and while we did still do that, he was bored at home a lot cos I was sometimes preoccupied with the baby. He loved it and after a few weeks he started going two days, and now that I'm working part time, he does three.
It also gave me a break and the chance to cuddle dd nonstop for a day or two without feeling guilty!

wiltingfast Sun 10-Feb-13 00:06:13

21m between mine. Went to parents' house as we used my mat. leave as an opp to do huge renovations and save on rent (by me being ay parents' house and dh staying in our house).

It was awful. I hated it. My folks still work so on my own with them all day. My dad used to get home around 5 and take eldest out for awhile. Just found it really hard work to manage their needs and keep things calm. Found it really dull to have to ft focus on just keeping it all going, rather than pottering about cooking dinner or whatever. Was wrecked all the time.I guess I didn't have a great handle on managing them and felt inadequate that it was all I could do to manage 'em at all! It did improve massively when I got back home and eldest went back to our cm. And even more when the younger one became mobile. I find them v easy to cope with now (almost 2y and 3.5y)

Depends on the kids tho too. My 3yo is much harder work than my 1yo.

FrankWippery Sun 10-Feb-13 00:19:38

My oldest two are 11 months apart, so I had two at home. DS is 23m younger than DD2, so I had those two at home together too for about 6 months before DD2 started at nursery.

It wasn't particularly difficult and, frankly, I actually preferred it when the girls were on holidays tbh, as it was much easier than having to get up, dressed and out to drop the girls by 9am.

They were very easy children though, and were very happy rolling in mud in the garden, pausing only to eat, drink or wee. They're now 19, 18 and 16.

Now, 13 years later I just really have one at home (DD3 who is 4) and can look back with awe at how the fuck I managed anything with three under 3 grin

Queenie72 Sun 10-Feb-13 09:24:12

I did it and am still here to tell the tale !! Is quite hard work, ds1 started nursery 2 mornings when ds2 was 7 months , he is 1 now. Didn't feel comfortable sending him too much earlier ( he was 26 months when ds2 born) but think it was hard cos ds1 was quite jealous !! Now though they have a lovely relationship and now ds1 goes 3 mornings so I get some one on one time with ds2. I felt bit guilty that ds2 didn't get as much one on one time as ds1 but that is how it goes and I take him swimming and to music now! Where I live it seems quite rare , I stopped working and a lot of people worked so kept on their childminder or some nursery days when they stopped for dc2, but for me I didn't want to feel I was sending ds1 off because of ds2 ( but then my default setting is guilt since becoming a mum!!!!) I say do whatever you feel comfortable with. Now I am through the sleep deprivation and early months I am so proud of the relationship my 2 boys have and I have with them. I say do what feels right for you x x

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 10-Feb-13 09:29:59

I've had two at home, it was fine. Never even considered putting the eldest in nursery when youngest showed up. You just sort of adjust to it.

Queenie72 Sun 10-Feb-13 09:30:21

And I agree with frankwhippery , at our nursery they only did 2 1/4 hours j until they were 3 so the thought of gettin them both ready and out of he house by 9 for under 2 hours at home with dc2 once we took travel t

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 10-Feb-13 09:31:50

To be fair though, DS1 started nursery (preschool five afternoons a week) five weeks after DS2 was born, so I had a mix of both. I enjoyed having them both home, but also realised having a 3.3y gap between them helped a lot. I didn't have the same pressures that having two close together would create.

Queenie72 Sun 10-Feb-13 09:32:02

time into consideration just didn't seem worth it. I too felt I wanted to make the most of ds1 and its true 3 years olds are such a joy , so funny and good company ( with the occasional strop!!!)

crazycrush Sun 10-Feb-13 09:36:27

Whether kids like going to nursery or prefer to stay at home really depends on their temperament... But two years is not too early to start nursery, I think at that age she understands that "mummy is always coming back", that also might be a good mantra to start for her it will help her settle.

Also if you have a new baby and a toddler chances are you all will benefit more if the toddler is in nursery (obviously don't do full days 8-6pm)... But if you can get mornings for nursery only that would be ideal. I think going just two days a week is also more complicated for the child in terms of settling in.

It will also help your toddler to deal with having a new sibling if they have a life outside their home (friends at nursery etc).

Good idea to start nursery next month... In fact perfect timing.

I have three kids (5, 3 and newborn) but haven't tried staying at home full time with them...

Good luck!

ProfYaffle Sun 10-Feb-13 09:39:25

My dd1 was 2.9 when dd2 was born. She'd been in nursery from 6 months (I initially went back to work, gave up when dd1 was 13 months but kept her at nursery) I found it a lifesaver.

Like you I have no family support locally and nursery was the only help I had, I think I would have gone bonkers without it.

Everyone's different though, depends on you and your dc. Nothing wrong with giving it a go and seeing how it works out.

Honestly it's fine! DD1 was 2 when DD2 was born, first 6 months at home with them both, then DD1 started part time nursery. When I had DS, DD1 was 4 and doing 5 half days at nursery and DD2 was just 2 and so at home for 6 months until she started some part time nursery and DD1 started reception. The worst thing was all the school runs! Sometimes we just all stayed at home when I simply couldn't cope with the here, there and everywhere! Good sling vital, pram or buggy can be a real pain when you are chasing after a wilful toddler, both hands free of a sling makes life much easier.

That said, both my DDs started part time nursery at 2.6 and totally loved it, so since your DD will be that sort of age I'd say why not give it a go. It is nice to have some time with just the new baby and allows you a bit of a rest from the mayhem....

yellowsubmarine53 Sun 10-Feb-13 22:03:47

I have some friends who stayed at home with 2, although they hadn't gone back to work after number 1 so had a good, local network built up, and all had some sort of family help.

It depends on your particular circumstances and what sort of children you have, I think. My dh was working full time and doing a course on top, so all childcare including weekends fell to me. We had no family around. For me, my 2 year old dd continuing to go to nursery for 2 days a week when ds came along gave me a break from having to prepare her meals, tidy up etc and a break from someone following me around going 'Muuuuuummmmmmmmm' all day.

estya Mon 11-Feb-13 09:37:29

I agree with lots of people above. A sling is vital. I'd suggest a stretchy wrap (moby/kari-me etc). You have both hands for DC1 who'll suddenly need your attention and reassurance more than ever and DC2 is just happy cuddled up to mummy.
After 2 week's paternity, DH went back to work and I put the baby in the sling and pretty much carried on as before.

Flisspaps Mon 11-Feb-13 09:40:19

I am at home with two. DD was 2y 1mo when DS appeared.

I found it far easier than being at home with just DD when she was a baby. I had a faint clue of what I was doing this time round. YY to a stretchy sling though, mine has gone walkabout and I wish I knew where the bugger was, DS and DD have been ill this week and it's been one of the few times I've worried about managing!

mindosa Mon 11-Feb-13 09:42:16

I did and its absolutely fine. I went back to work after 9 months though. My DD was in montessori 2 half days a week (age 2)

Its really not that big a deal, tiring yes but totally manageable

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