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19 mth old & newborn - coping strategies??

(11 Posts)
CJ2010 Tue 16-Aug-11 19:28:27

Hi, I've just given birth to DC2 and reality has now set in. DC1 is having major tantrums and I'm struggling to divide my time and meet all their needs. How can I occupy Dc1 whilst feeding/changing DC2? How did others of you out there cope?

Advice / tips gratefully received!! TIA.

Rubyabcd Tue 16-Aug-11 19:41:11

Congratulations, you're a brave woman, I have a fourteen month old and am contemplating trying for another, will be interested to see what others post!!
Sorry I'm not much use, find it hard enough entertaining fourteen month old!!

MooseyMoo Tue 16-Aug-11 20:34:08

My 2nd is due in November and DC1 will be 18 months. Am interested in what other people say but I have a few ideas/suggestions:

Could you include DC in the nappy changing getting her to hold wipes or nappy? Might be to young for this tho?

Whilst feeding, maybe you could put tv on or music. Maybe sing a song which DC1 knows the actions to and baby will enjoy.

After feed or nappy change, make sure you have play time with DC1 so they are not feeling left out.

MynameisnotEarl Tue 16-Aug-11 20:44:04

I had 16 months between two of mine and I found what worked best was not expecting anything 'grown up' from the older one.

Treating them both like the babies they were worked really well.

Having two in nappies (washable!) wasn't really a problem and I didn't start potty training the older one until he was good and ready. Lots of cuddles and stories and telly at feeding time helped too.

I had a twin buggy for them and used it until DC2 was nearly 3yrs old and they just got too heavy to push around. For going on buses, I used a sling for baby and buggy for older one.

I removed all ornaments and breakables from public rooms, put catches on cupboard doors, fixed a stairgate and fireguard and generally child-proofed the whole house so I could sit, relax and enjoy my DCs.

They have always been very close - almost like twins really.

Gumps Tue 16-Aug-11 21:04:29

I have 19 months between ds1 and ds2. To be honest I look back at those first 6 months and it was a blur but ds2 was a horrific sleeper and had silent reflux. Still can't have been that bad as dd due any day now!
I kind of agree with what mynameisnotearl said. When ds2 turned 19 months I cried my eyes out when I realised how much I had expected ds1 to be 'grown up' when he was so little. Spend as much time and lavish attention on dc1 as you can. Dc2 will love a cuddle from anyone but only mummy will do for dc1. Try to make dc2 a person as soon as possible so dc1 appreciates they have needs to. My dh was brilliant at this and always made sure if we we playing games that ds2 had a turn and that he 'rode' the bike ect.
I remember dh going away with work for 2 weeks when ds2 was 6 weeks old and ds1 choosing that time to go mental. The rage and the tantrums were unbelievable and I cried every day. However they stopped as soon as they started and it just seemed ds1s way of letting all the frustration of a sibling go. It was never directed at the baby, only me.
My two are the best of friends and have been for a long time. A small gap is wonderful and once dc2 is in the mix, life is much easier as they are close enough together to share the same interests. I now have the issue of the separation anxiety as ds1 is starting school.
Enjoy watching your children bond as siblings. While it may seem hard and you feel guilty for the upheaval in dc1s life, you have actually given them the best gift ever.

tostaky Tue 16-Aug-11 22:29:52

i have 16 months between my two boys... honestly, getting out of the house was my solution... going to baby group every mornings and to the park every afternoons, meeting other mums friends, give lots and lots of cuddles to DS1...
It gradually becomes easier and when DS2 was 7-8 months i really saw a shift and i started o relax much more.
Now that DS2 is 1.5 tantums are starting but DS1 unerstands much more and talks, do things, help me etc... it is great!!
(so great we are considering #3!!)

good luck o you!

CJ2010 Wed 17-Aug-11 09:23:22

Thanks for all your messages, they have given me hope!! Had a bit of a wobble last night.

Pkam Wed 17-Aug-11 09:45:56

I have 15 months between my two DDs and have just one thing to add to the excellent advice above that really helped me - I used to put DD2 in a playpen with her playgym thing and toys etc. This meant I could occasionally leave the room/go to the toilet/do the washing without worrying about DD2 playing with her too enthusiastically (she was very keen on her new sister). I used this until DD2 was fully mobile at 8months and it was invaluable!

Good luck and enjoy them both!

donteatyourteawithnoknickerson Wed 17-Aug-11 15:25:51

18 months between my DDs - best thing to do while having to change/feed DC2 is to be prepared! There is nothing in the world that will get you organised like a small age gap! I used to make sure DD1 had juice, clean nappy, a couple of toys, a picture book, fruit to snack on etc before I would even attempt to sit and feed DD2. I do think that DC1 has to learn to share you from an early age and that does involve tantrums and suchlike, but it does calm down.

Other advice is to keep going with your head down - it's very hard (sometimes i think it's harder than having twins - not that I have ever had twins lol) but worth it. Try to cherish the time they are babies. I have very few memories of DD2 as a baby and that does sadden me - time really does fly, mine are 6 and 7 now smile

Good luck!

trixie123 Wed 17-Aug-11 16:23:33

21 months between my two. I'm afraid we do tend to resort to the TV fairly often if DS is pestering for attention when I need to feed DD (3 months now). He will sometimes just read his books etc and some things I can play with him at the same time but the TV was useful especially in the very earliest weeks. Also agree that you should not leave them alone together. DS loves his sister and is always trying to hug and kiss her and shove her dummy in her mouth but has no conception of "gentle"!

Twit Wed 17-Aug-11 16:34:36

I have 19 months between DD and DS3 and agree that treating them both as babies helped me with any expectations WRT DD. I also made sure that DD was settled in front of the tv with a snack, drink and book at feeding time so we were all in the same place. Then when DS3 was asleep play with DD. I loved the fact that DD used to sleep in the afternoon and that if I was lucky I'd get a few minutes to myself shock. I found the smaller age gap easier TBH than one of 2-3 years. DS3 is now 3 and being a twat wink

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