Dreading having newborn and toddler(40 Posts)
I'm almost 32 weeks pregnant with DC2. I already have 19 month old DS who is an angel and a devil on equal measure.
I found the first year of DS' very difficult. We have no family nearby (a 7 hour car journey or a plane journey away) and tbh, the very minimal interaction they have had since DS was born has been more stressful than assisting.
Anyway, in 2 months, I'm going to have another one and I'm absolutely dreading it. I feel so awful saying that, and I love feeling it's little kicks etc, but I just know that it's arrival will herald a major upheaval and I honestly don't know how I'm going to cope.
DS is very hard work and always has been. He's not going anywhere. It's going to be him and another potential him. I can't deal with 2 of him (or worse!).
I know I'm pregnant and hormonal but I've spent the last few days in tears just thinking about it.
I suppose the fact that no one has sugar coated how shit it will be isn't really helping.
DH works long hours and is as hands on as can be, but ultimately it will be me, DS and the baby all day every day.
I should say, we go out to groups every day and DS does go to nursery 2 mornings a weeks (thank god!).
I suppose I just need some reassurance and tips for coping please.
And also some tips for dealing with sleep deprivation (and associated grumpiness!) with a toddler!
Hi, sorry, no tips for you as I only have one but we are just starting to try for another and I feel like you. I am terrified about how I'll cope!
I have already decided that co-sleeping with the next baby will probably happen - anything to get some sleep!
Watching with interest to see what other tips people come up with. Congratulations on your pregnancy by the way!
I had 2 , 16 months apart.
Having your second is a different experience in itself than having your first. This time around you know what to expect and what to do (nappies, bf,bottles etc)
My biggest piece of advice for anyone in a similar situation is get a double buggy, get a routine and get out at least once every day.
I found mine regularly nodded off in the buggy and I could get a quick coffee in peace somewhere or just some peace and quiet!
And a routine will help you know where you're up to each day.
It can be hard at times (or at least I found it hard...sorry) but with each day it gets easier.
And you'll prob have to put your foot down and tell your DH what jobs you need him to do before he goes to work and when he gets home. The DC are both of yours. You are not a childminder and a maid.
Good luck to you, having two together so young is also great when they get a little older as they'll play together nicely (most of the time)
Oh and dealing with the sleeplessness....power nap. Drink a coffee, set your alarm for 20mins, make sure your DC are safe, (in cot, asleep, etc) and just lie down and close your eyes for 20 mins.
Use CBeebies to your advantage.
It takes a bit of getting used to having power naps but they made a huge difference to me. I can nod off when I want within minutes now and my youngest is now 3!
There's a bigger gap between mine, 4 years. However, I found going from 1child - 2 a doddle, so much easier than going from 0-1.
I was in a very similar position to you, when I had ds2 - no family locally, and ds1 was 21 months old.
As Peace says, it is very different second time around, because you will be far more confident in handling a tiny baby, and doing all the things like nappies, feeding etc.
I also found that, over the 22 months of ds1's life, I had got better and quicker at things, and had learned which corners I could cut, and what things made life easier - and this helped me to fit the extra work of a new baby alongside the work of having a toddler - if that makes sense.
When ds2 was born, and ds1 met him for the first time, we made sure there was a little present (a toy car, if I remember correctly) in ds2's cot for him to 'give' to ds1 - that smoothed the way a bit.
I quickly learned how to tuck ds2 under my arm to breastfeed him (and when I had to give up bf-ing, to hold him in one arm, with the bottle in that hand) so ds1 could sit on the other side of my lap, with my other arm round him, holding a book in my other hand, so I could read to him whilst feeding ds2 - so he felt he was getting attention then as well.
Don't worry - you will cope just fine. A lot of what you are feeling is fear of the unknown - and when the baby arrives, you will find things going much more smoothly than your anxiety-fueled fears are telling you, and you will wonder what you were fretting about. But it is perfectly normal to fret about this - honestly!
I think that the change from having no children to one child is a MUCH bigger leap or culture shock than the change from one to two, or even from two to three - when ds3 was born, ds2 was 2 and ds1 was 4 - which was a very scary prospect, and I did fret about it before he arrived - but it was fine.
And all three have done OK (they are 23, 21 and 19, one has a degree and a full time job and the other two are at university) so I must have done something right!
i agree with Ludways - going from 0 to 1 is waaaay harder than going from 1 to 2. I now have 3 under 5 and it can be tough but it's not impossible at all. and you've done the hardest bit - figuring out what to do with a newborn. you're an old hand. nothing will ever be as scary again.
definitely power nap - i once read that it's the falling asleep that's refreshing, not being asleep, which is good as you'll probably get woken up straight away.
make use of local cafes with kids areas or sure start centres. once DC1 is busy then you can have time with DC2 or, if they're asleep, have an interrupted thought to yourself. socialise with other mums - it's a great source of support.
the first few months won't be too bad as the baby won't be doing much and DC1 probably won't be interested in them. It's when they start crawling and grabbing toys that it gets tougher. so you need to get tougher too: have consistent discipline for DC1. make sure he has his alone time with you and his dad too. routine is a lifeline and even more so when another one comes along.
sleep when you can. sod the cleaning. buy ready meals. it won't be forever.
as the kids get older, they'll start to play together and this helps a lot. giving a kid a sibling is the best gift.
and remember, it will pass.
I've said it before but I really think the expectation is worse than the reality!
My first two are 25 months apart and yes it was full on but continue going out every morning, and try to coordinate naps a little so that while your toddler naps, baby and you can too!
Be prepared - get bags packed night before , make sure fridge is stocked (popping to shop becomes a bit harder)/and make sure you're up and ready for the day before DH leaves if possible.
Lots of easy/ready/takeaway meals to start with and accept that you'll prob watch more cbeebies than you're comfortable with!
I am on day 3 of having my now 4yrold, 2yrold and 7week old all by myself for the whole day and measuring my success by the "all fed - none dead" yard stick!!! Prob jinx it but so far we've exceeded my expectations in that we've had a little fun here and there too!!
Good luck. X
I like the "all fed - none dead" yardstick, Cantstop!
On my first day home alone with ds1 and ds2, I was feeling preeeetty smug by mid afternoon - everyone had been fed, including me, no-one was crying, everyone had had a nap (including me) - and then I realised that ds1's nappy hadn't been changed since first thing that morning!
Luckily it was only wet - but it was so wet it was dangling to his knees! I felt like such a neglectful failure of a mother. But as I said earlier, he's now 23 (well, nearly), and has a degree and a job, so he survived my parenting!
Dammit - just realised middle child has gone down for his nap wearing nappy I put on this morning at 7am! (But he has had lunch and is breathing so...)
I have a 2.6 year old ds and a 11 month old dd, so a similar age gap. We have good days and bad days, but far more good than bad! Stuff I've found helpful:
-sling. I know it's a bit of a mn cliché but I found my Caboo really useful as dd was so content in it.
-Phil & Teds, I love this buggy and it's done hundreds of miles in the last 11 months. Sometimes we just go for a long walk in the morning and it's good for ds to have the option to get into the buggy.
-Toddler groups, I only go to one very regularly but it has been totally invaluable. As we'd been going for a while I knew lots of the people there and they were happy to keep an eye on one dc whilst I changed the other.
-Keep everything simple, food, housework etc. Get on line shopping delivered, take aways if necessary. Don't make anything harder than it has to be.
-If you can, invite friends over to you, especially if they have a toddler too. I had friends round at least once a week as was easier than getting both of mine ready and out when dd was little.
-Co sleeping. I know it's not for everyone but we've Co slept with dd (woo scared to with ds!) and it has helped us all get more sleep.
For what it's worth I found being pregnant with a toddler harder than having a new born and I love the age gap. You never have to have your first child again and it will be easier this time. Even the bits that are harder (dd was actually a more challenging baby) you are so much more aware that it won't be forever. Dd's first year has gone by astonishingly fast.
I'm 37 weeks and have a two year old, although almost 3 so a bigger gap than you. I'm also terrified as I got anxiety when dd born as it was all such a shock. Hopefully past experience will mean everything more relaxed. The massive life change already having happened. Encouraged by comments here anyway.
Wow thank you! You've all really cheered me up, I'm so grateful! I'm a bit of a slave to the routine anyway as DS is a bleeding nightmare without structure (and I need it to know where I am in the day!) so I'm pleased that hopefully the first few months won't be quite so muddled!
I'm praying for an easy baby. DS forgot how to naps at 3 weeks old so we had many, many unhappy hours of screaming (and that was just me...). I want to 'do it right' this time, and not have that, but I suppose I have to accept that it's all about getting through the day!
I'm also my own worst enemy as I am very hard on myself and get very fidgety in an untidy house with piles of clothes and no dinner cooked, so I will really need to get my act together in that regard.
Ps absolutely loving the mottos, perhaps I should print them out in very large writing!!
Pps I often forget about nappies and I've only got 1...!
I'm unhappy in an untidy house too, you'll find a way to get everything done after the first couple of months
I've got 21 months between my 2 and I remember posting on mumsnet when I was pregnant asking for all the positives of having 2 under 2! Got some lovely replies which I bookmarked and looked at throughout by pregnancy - DD is now 10 months and they make each other giggle which is amazing. DS also told DD he loved her "so much" this afternoon which melted my heart. Granted, he was squashing her as he said it,but still....
There are tough parts of course but I've got the routine down now and things are much easier as they grow.
The CBeebies story time app is great - I used that in the early days when feeding DD.
Keep going to your groups. People are always v willing to hold a newborn when you need to deal with DS!
And finally, my DS can be a handful too. I found the book "no bad kids" by Janet Lansbury really useful. It's a bit "American" in places but the advice in there has changed the way I interact with DS for the better
Masses of luck!
Thank you! Any chance you can link me your thread?? I feel I might need so positive reminders in the coming months!
I'm so glad I posted now, I feel a lot more positive.
Don't panic. I have a 16 month age gap and my toddler is currently 19 months. She is wild. My baby is chilled, super chilled. It's nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Having two doesn't test me nearly as much as my toddler by herself tests me. Just ride out the tantrums and take it one day at a time.
Continue to get out of the house every day and make tiring out your toddler your mission in life. Also invest in a baby carrier or sling. It has made my life so much easier!
Also to echo another comment co-sleeping will help you get much more sleep and help keep your sanity in tact too.
You'll be wonderful! Have no fear
I have an almost 2yo and a 2 wk old. My 2yo was and still is very high needs. I suspect many would view 2wk old DD as fairly high needs too (doesn't sleep in a crib/wants frequent boobing/likes to be held a lot) however I have found it so much easier this time. Bf was easier, I haven't battled about the crib and just cosleep/feed laying down so we all get sleep and wear her in a sling as much as possible. FH not back at work yet so I may feel differently then but it has been much easier and more relaxed than I thought.
My youngest is 11 weeks and my oldest has just turned 2. It's honestly not that much more difficult watching two. The only tricky bits are sometimes when BF the 11 week old the 2 year old will act up for attention and the 2 year old can be a bit rough when trying to play with the 11 week old. Other than that it's all good. I got one of those pouches, find it easier on my back than a sling. You'll be fine, honest.
Here you go OP! (Under a prev username) www.mumsnet.com/Talk/parenting/2240740-Pls-tell-me-lovely-things-about-having-2-under-2
Two kids is waaayyy easier than being pregnant with a toddler. I've loved it. If you can afford to up your nursery hours for the first few weeks whilst the feeds are endless that would give you a break too.
I'm six weeks in to having two, with two and s half years between them. It's sooooo much easier than being pregnant with a toddler! I sleep better now and got into a routine with baby so much faster than I did the first time round.
I've found it easier to set up safe spaces for baby in most main rooms: co sleeping crib in my bedroom, swing in kitchen, play space in living room, so that I can pop baby down quickly wherever I am in the house. Use the car seat in the shower room so toddler can't get baby and I still get a decent amount of time to wash! Similarly having packs of wet wipes/nappies in baskets everywhere!
When baby sleeps I make sure I give the toddler a huge amount of attention to try and get some good behaviour when baby wakes.... It's mostly working!
As previous posters have said- so much easier going from 1-2 than 0-1! Hope this helps ease the worry!
Also I found having nursery hours at the end of the week helpful as it gave me something to aim for if I had a bad Monday or Tuesday!
I have a 2 year gap. I can only reiterate the advice to get a double buggy and agree with the sentiment that having a newborn and toddler is easier than being pregnant with a toddler.
I made sure I had a bouncy chair upstairs and downstairs so I always had somewhere to stow the baby if DD needed me.
Mine are 4 and 2 now and
mostly the best of friends. I can't believe DS is the same age as DD was when he arrived. He still seems like a baby to me but I know I treated DD like she was older than she was when he arrived so try not to forget your DS is still a baby too.
Honestly - you just cope. I've got 11 months between my two, DD1 is not an easy personality to cope with (very very demanding, never shuts up, if there's a boundary she WILL test it repeatedly - she's lovely really) and DD2 is a completely different kettle of fish - so sunny natured and easy going (she wasn't an easy baby though but is a lovely toddler).
I did end up with PND with the second but I'm predisposed to that anyway (have depression on and off constantly through my life) and now the kids are 3 and 4 they are soooooo close it's lovely to see - although I do often feel tag teamed by one very effective little duo at times!
People love being prophets of doom - the GP receptionist who told me how sorry she always felt for those with two little ones when I was booking in for the midwife with my second being one really pleasant incident - but it's bloody nice now that all the nursery parents are having their second and looking totally fucking knackered with the shock of a newborn again to know that I'm done with all of that and didn't really have that whole shock to the system bit since we were still on baby footing anyway!
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