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...

AngelDog Wed 13-Feb-13 21:16:31

I'm at home with a 4 m.o. and 3.2 y.o. and it's bearable. smile

I'd never manage get out of the house for nursery, and DS1 would hate it. A sling is your friend. Definitely fill your freezer ahead of time if you can.

LingDiLong Wed 13-Feb-13 21:08:32

In the nicest possible way, I think you are massively overthinking/over worrying about having 2 children at home. What makes you think it would be so impossible? Obviously there'll be an adjustment period and I can understand you being daunted but your OP reads as if you think it's not going to be manageable at all.

ellesabe Wed 13-Feb-13 19:41:15

I stay at home with my two. Dd1 is 2.3yo and dd2 is 3 mo.

It would never occur to me to put dd1 in nursery. I love being af home with them both and it isn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. It obviously has its moments but we all find ways of coping don't we?!

Cbell Wed 13-Feb-13 13:30:38

Thanks for all of your replies.

We had our first settling-in session at nursery yesterday. DD loved it but whats not to love, lots of new toys, mummy at hand a a nice lady giving her a lot of attention. I realise it wont always be like this.

I'm going to continue with the settling-in but honestly I think I'm just waiting for one indicator that she's not happy and I'll back out...

Maybe I need the reality of a new baby to make nursery more appealing. Also I think she'll get her 15 hours free next January so I'd only be at home FT with two children for 4-5 months. My hesitancy is clear confused

BarbarianMum Wed 13-Feb-13 12:25:48

I did. Ds1 was just 2 when ds2 was born.

It was hard work for the first couple of years. Going out places saved my sanity - the park if the weather was nice, playgroups or friends houses (or they came to us, of course) - anything to avoid it being just the 3 of us in for the whole day.

Pre-school came into it when ds1 was 3.

Softlysoftly Wed 13-Feb-13 10:40:48

Ha typing with toddler and baby on knee so terrible!

Softlysoftly Wed 13-Feb-13 10:38:57

I had dd2 when dd1 was 2.8yrs. The first 4 we spent at home from september she went to preschool 3 sessions a week. She adores it and is nice to have the time to focus on dd2 or get stuff done.

The first 3 months I found unbelievably hard as dd2 was never settled would not lie down in anything ever not even a sling sad but now it's amazing and they play together (only 8 months! ).

I would say that kids are amazing and adapt quickly. I went through all the angst of thinking dd1 would be jealous of the time taken from her but she never flinched and loves her sister, can't remember her not being there.

Do prepare, so cook and freeze 100s of meals now. Get lost of stuff that you can do with toddler while holding/feeding baby such as jigsaws, games (monster bingo is good), colouring and wipe clean workbooks plus crayons/pencils, books, and films + pop corn and blankets on the sofa (makes it more of an event than just tv). Keep a stock of new toys "don't have to be expensive) hidden for desperate times when you just need older one happy/distracted.

I would also consider the pre school it is really nice for them to make friends at that age and its only 2.5hrs so bit like an all day nursery.

NaturalBaby Tue 12-Feb-13 15:00:38

I stayed at home till ds3 was 8 months old. I did nearly loose my mind though. Ds1 was happy to be at home till 3, ds2 needed nursery/preschool at 2 1/2. I'm glad I had days where it didn't matter if we didn't go anywhere, we didn't have to be anywhere at a certain time, they all slept (me included) pretty much every afternoon.
Don't underestimate how much time you need away though. I thought an hour 3 times a week would be enough. No where near.

issimma Tue 12-Feb-13 13:39:52

dd (2) goes to nursery 2 mornings a week. Getting there is a military op, but then ds (12 weeks) gets 1 to 1 time for cluster feeding, and if he sleeps, I can too (dd rarely naps).

IrnBruTheNoo Mon 11-Feb-13 12:10:23

I'd think it would be more stressful doing a nursery run with two small DC, surely? Agree with you merci.

mercibucket Mon 11-Feb-13 09:48:52

i found it easier to stay at home than do a nursery run!

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

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!

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.

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.

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....

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.

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!

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!!!)

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 09:30:21

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 09:29:59

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 09:24:12

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

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

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.

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