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Toddler and newborn...How??? Support thread?

(996 Posts)
Suchanamateur Thu 01-Mar-12 10:27:59

I am in the very early days of having a newborn (9 days old) and an almost 2 yr old DS and am seriously struggling at the thought of DH going back to work in the next few days - for a number of reasons. I had a taste of it yesterday when DH had to go into the office, unexpectedly, for much of the day.

DS is an absolute joy and I totally loved the few weeks of maternity leave pre DD when we just hung out all week. But now he is in total Mummy rejection mode and terribly teary. Utterly understandable but quite upsetting.

DD is a sweet little froggy newborn, doing froggy newborn things - eating, sometimes sleeping - and mostly at inconvenient times. I had a really awful time in the early months of my DS and the scars run deep (plus PND) - so every time I can get her to nap, I can feel huge waves of anxiety washing over me. I know they are different children, but I can't help project into a future where she doesn't sleep, night or day, and wonder how I will manage - I used to walk DS in a sling for hours and hours outside but that isn't an option with two of them. It was only at around 6 months when we did some sleep training that thing started to even out a bit with DS, and then got wonderful and I understood how you might actually enjoy being a mother. Six months seems an age away!

DD is currently cluster feeding without stop from about 5/6 until 10 ish. I can just about handle the clustering later in the evening, but I've got no idea how I handle DS dinner, bath and bed with a baby clamped to me and DS saying 'Mummy no' at everything..

I know pretty much the answer to all this is grit teeth, ride it through and this too shall pass. But wondering if anyone in a similar situation wanted to join in to help it pass? Or provide wise words and comfort from somewhere out the other side?

shirleycat1 Thu 01-Mar-12 11:58:40

Hey, I'll join. I've been meaning to start a support thread for this for a while. I have ds 2.9 and dd 14 weeks. Some days are great, others are a fucking nightmare. It's tough and sometimes I feel like I'm wishing the time away for when it does get easier and I feel bad for not enjoying these precious times.

Ds has a lot of energy and has his moments of pushing the boundaries - not sure if it's due to arrival of dd or just because he's a 2 year old boy. DD is pretty chilled but gets very upset when tired which unfortunately is quite often, particularly on an evening.

I have to go now but will check in when I can and thanks for taking the initiative and starting the thread...

KD0706 Thu 01-Mar-12 12:09:18

Hi. I'll join too if I may?

I'm in a slightly different position in that 9 day old DD2 was born prematurely so is still in hospital in the neonatal unit.
I have DD1 at home, she is 22 months.

I am trying to split my time between spending time with DD1 at home, and having sufficient time with DD2 at hospital. DD1 is extra clingy and whingey when I'm with her but is being an absolute doll for the various lovely lovely friends who have been roped in to babysit while I'm in hospital visiting.

I'm hoping this will get better once DD2 is home (realistically at least a couple of weeks away). But in reality I think it will just be hard in a different way.

Sockspence Thu 01-Mar-12 12:12:09

DS1 is 2.7 and DS2 is due in a few weeks..

<marks place in terrified fashion>

Andromaca Thu 01-Mar-12 12:32:56

Can I jump in? DD is 2.5 yrs and DS is due next Wed...

mistressploppy Thu 01-Mar-12 12:41:32

Can I join too? Ds1 is 2.4yo and ds2 is 3wks

Ds1 was and is a pretty easy child, but he's still a 2yo! He did have reflux though, and I think ds2 has it too, the early signs are there, just a bit less puke so far (v windy, hiccups, gulping and coughing during feeds etc)

So far, Dh has taken bugger all paternity leave (own business) and even went to hong kong for a week when baby was 1wk old angry - but it can't be helped. Bedtimes have been ok as so far the baby has either been asleep or feeding. I'm worried about what to do when he needs 'a bedtime routine' as well, as it's sort of easier when you just cart them around with you all evening.....

Lucca Thu 01-Mar-12 12:52:00

Just wanted to say don't worry! Number 2 has to fit in around Number 1 (and sometimes vice versa). It's a steep learning curve but just tackle it on a day to day basis.
My DS was 18 months when my DD was born and I do remember how terrified I was when I was first left to my own devices with double trouble. It was hard but you do end up working out little routines to keep you all fed, clean and clothed for most of the time. See if you can't find someone close by in the same boat so that the toddlers can amuse themselves whilst you talk babies. Home playdates are best because then you can turn up looking like death and it doesn't matter!
I have to post and run (nursery drop off) but hang on in there and BTW now my two play together (and fight) all the time, share a bedroom and basically they wouldn't be without the other one. It's lovely.

KDK12 Thu 01-Mar-12 13:52:28

holy moly, count me in. I have 18 month old and 5 week old boys and at the moment i mostly just feel like WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

The 5 week old will only settle with a boob in his mouth (even at night :/) and the 18 month old spends all his waking hours looking for things to break/hurt himself with/climb/put in his mouth/throw.

My OH has gone back to work, reduced hours, but I do dread the days he's not here! It's hard hard work. BUT, even in the last couple of weeks it is getting easier. Like Lucca says, it's all about working out new routines to accomplish the things that need to be done.

Suchanamateur, at 9 days in I was still a blubbering not-coping wreck. It's still early days, for all of us.

Shirleycat1, you hit the nail on the head about wishing these days away. I feel guilty about it, but I really feel as if I'm just riding this stage out, waiting for things to get better.

KD0706, that must be hard for you. I hope your little one comes home soon.

MegBusset Thu 01-Mar-12 14:46:49

Hi, I'm a couple of years out the other side of this but remember it well (2.2 years between DS1 and DS2).

My top tips:
- Have a bag of books to bring out one at a time and read to DS while DD is feeding - we got a job lot of Thomas books off eBay
- Use CBeebies whenever you need to. It really does not matter if DS spends three months parked in front of the telly. It won't be forever and right now you need to do whatever makes life easier!
- If you can, at the weekends get DH to look after DD for an hour so you can spend a bit of one-on-one time with DS, this should help a lot with his behaviour
- Accept bedtime will be a nightmare for a few weeks! I remember posting about bathtime myself when DS2 was tiny. If the baby will go in a sling then that should help - DS2 hated the sling but I got one of those vibrating chairs that I could stick him in for a few mins while I quickly dealt with DS1.
- You will soon get adept at one-handed wrangling of DS1, I got to a point where I could feed/dress/change DS1's nappy while BFing...
- If they are both crying at the same time then deal with the older one first. Get used to the fact that your baby will inevitably be left to cry a bit more than your PFB, this won't hurt them!
- I know it's a cliche but yes it will pass. One day you will look back nostalgically at a time before they learned how to bicker grin

HobnobsAreMyFave Thu 01-Mar-12 14:54:34

Cbeebies will be your saviour grin
Try and get out to something most days that will really appeal to your older DC even if it is only for an hour or so.
Sod the housework.
Be kind to yourself.

HobnobsAreMyFave Thu 01-Mar-12 14:55:15

I used to hate bath/bedtime , now I wish they had a bedtime grin

surroundedbyblondes Thu 01-Mar-12 15:10:03

Also been there. DDs are now 3 and 1 and I can promise that it does get easier. They are running round playing together now and they genuinely adore each other and get so much from each other, it is heart-warming to see.

But it was horribly hard in the beginning. DD2 was taken into hospital at 5 weeks old and I felt literally torn in two for the few days I had to run between my two babies and couldn't be with them both at the same time.

I'm no expert, but I got through it by learning to just go with the flow (not easy for those who know me well) What helped us a lot was getting them both in the double buggy and getting out of the house. Fresh air, and a go on the swings gave a really positive feel to even the worst days and DD2 slept beautifully in the pram out of doors.

I stopped giving a sh*t about what people thought of me for letting DD1 watch TV or have certain snacks, and she started coming into our bed at night, kept her dummy for longer than I would have liked and possibly potty trained later than some people did with their kids (just over 2 and a half... so not extremely late either in my defence!!!)

But we did stick to a bed time routine together which was tough, but became a lifesaver when they were calming down/winding down and going to sleep at the same time.

I have many friends with toddlers and small babies, and notice that not just the mums but also the toddlers get something from these relationships. They also talk to each other about 'my baby' and I overhear them comparing 'my baby can walk..' 'well, mine has teeth' etc.

Get as much help as you can from partner and family with things like cleaning, cooking, shopping etc. Get people who can take the domestic burden off you so that you can take care of your kids and give them the best of you.

Believe in what you're doing. Even if you're exhausted, you're there for them, and that is worth so much. You will be making them feel loved, secure and happy. That's what it's all about. It's horribly hard yes but I'm sure you're doing much better than you think. Good luck x

Hazbo Thu 01-Mar-12 16:32:40

I have an almost 19 month old DS and a 14 week old DD.
Routine is my friend!
Im making my Dh get up 20 minutes earlier each day. In this time I shower and slap my make up on whilst he gets DS ready and gives him his breakfast. He then puts any of Ds's bottles and beakers into soak and does a small chore like either putting a wash on or the dishes away.
I then pass DH by the front door at 8.15am. I get DD ready and fed whilst DS finishes his breakfast. By 8.30am every morning we are all dressed and ready with no where to go.

DD falls into the Neglected Second Child category and spends hours a day in her swing/bouncer/moses basket whilst I play and run arround after toddler DS. She definately doesnt get the same attention and cant go onto a playmat in case DS falls on her etc.

DS watches far too much Cbeebies and Disney channels but who cares?! It enables me to feed her or tidy up.

I bathe each of them every other day in turn. So Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun for DS and Tue, Thur and Sat for DD.
DS has gotten into bad sleeping habits and doesnt go down easily anymore in his cot, so he comes to bed with us and when he has fallen asleep he gets taken back to his cot. If he wakes in the early hours he comes back in our bed again. I cant deal with the all night crying and resistance to going to bed at the moment.

I try to do a little housework every day. 10mins in kitchen, 10 mins in lounge, 10 mins upstairs. No more than that but I do make sure that before we go to bed all the dishes are washed and the toys are away so that we can start the day a fresh. When DH makes his sandwiches for the next day he makes DS his too.

I try to get out every day but it doesnt always happen! On those days we stay in, I let DS go outside in the garden and throw a ball at him for him to fetch. Also bought a baby aslide and a swing and a little tykes car so its a bit more fun for him and I can just sit holding the baby watching.

Ive baby proofed 2 rooms so DS can go in and out of them safely as I cant always keep an eye on him whilst bfing DD.

DS was jealous of DD the first 3 week but now he absolutley loves her and is forever kissing her and trying to stop her crying. Its lovely seeing them together.

AlanMoore Thu 01-Mar-12 16:43:09

Marking place...DD is 1.8 and I'm 6 months pg with #2, feeling a bit nervous!

shirleycat1 Thu 01-Mar-12 18:22:54

Yes for me it was crazy at first and things have settled down loads but it's still bloody hard. Ds adores his baby sister which is very cute and he's generally great with her, but his behaviour has certainly got worse since she came along. It's so hard to be patient and consistent and calm when you're knackered and you have a toddler deliberately doing stuff they know they shouldn't. Some days he argues with EVERYTHING I say. Literally everything, he will say the opposite. I find myself getting pissed off and being bad tempered and then feeling guilty because he's just after my attention after all.

We go out a lot. Groups, parks, play dates. If I meet someone who's not got kids ds is a nightmare - he seems to see that person as a direct competitor for my attentions and acts up even more.

I do bedtime on my own twice a week and it's like a military operation but generally goes well and actually I have them down with less carrying on than when dp's around.

I try to spend a bit of time with ds most days reading or baking or painting. I've just been able to get dd to sleep for longish periods in her cot at home in the day time which has meant me and ds can do stuff - but he's got a lot of energy and likes to be out and about as well.

DD is very chilled. She doesn't have much of a routine but I try and give her a sleep when she's tired morning and afternoon. I seem to find a lot of reasons to visit Tesco with ds in pushchair and dd in sling so she can have a sleep.

Added to all the chaos ds has decided he wants to wear big boy pants but insists on pooing in them at least twice a day!!!!

Grumpla Thu 01-Mar-12 18:35:14

Argh. So good to hear I am not alone!

I'm having terrible trouble establishing BF with DS2 and it's bringing back lots of sad memories from when DS1 (now 2.8) was born. I exclusively expressed for three months with him having never managed to get him to latch successfully but obviously if I can't sort it out this time that won't be an option for Ds2.

I keep telling myself not to get too upset, that he has had the colostrum and some breast milk etc etc etc but every time I try and latch him on and fail I end up crying. BF counsellor due again tomorrow and if I don't see any improvement then I really think I'm going to have to give up.

Meanwhile DS1 is just cottoning on to the fact that DS2 is STILL HERE after almost a fortnight... He is waking up in the night, wanting to get up at 6am, hitting and shouting at me and DH... I feel so awful for him. He's obviously unhappy. We're trying really hard to each have one-to-one time with him (I read him stories from 6am - 7.30am today!) but it seems like its still not enough - he then had a total meltdown and refused to come downstairs for breakfast. It's really hard.

Astronaut79 Thu 01-Mar-12 18:38:25

Coming in to land.

16 week old tomorrow and 2.5 month old.

I feel like I've been in a long, dark tunnel for the past 4 months, but the winter didn't help. Now dd is becoming more of a person, I have whole hours where things can be quite lovely.

However, the moments that are bad are very bad. I partcularly love it when dd is catnapping (no proper naps for dc2) and ds shireks or cries, which then wakes her up and makes her hysterical. Two squarking babies really is something else. Not to mention the fact that she tends to feed around 4 or 5, then he's up at 6. Frigging marvellous.

Not started potty training ds yet; combination of fear (mine) and complete lack of interest (his).

I constantly feel like I'm neglecting one or the other of them, but the sun today has made me feel like it'll be ok.

I may feel differently tomorrow.

Grumpla Thu 01-Mar-12 18:47:16

God yes potty training I suppose I should get round to that at some point sad

Iggly Thu 01-Mar-12 19:07:14

Oh can I join?

DS 2.5 DD 13 weeks.
Days, I can do when the weather ok. DD lives in the sling so in she goes and we go to the park. It means she gets good naps in the day and I can chase DS. I've not even bothered with the cot - it's just too much like hard work quite frankly.

The one thing I haven't cracked is a bedtime eoutine for both. DD is tired by 6-6.30pm so bath with DS is out of the question (tried at 11 weeks and she screamed as tired). She also feeds for ages but if there are any distractions, she looks around and won't focus so feeding while DS has stories is not an option either. At the mo, dh sorts DS.

I miss DS and try and give lots of attention but it's hard. DD has reflux and tongue tie so has problems settling after a feed. She always ends up with loads of wind so cannot put her down for long without her waking up.

I too am wishing away the time - partly because of Dd's reflux (hopefully solids will help) and because I can't wait for the summer. It's terrible as I'm going back to work in September and had hoped to enjoy the time off sad

Preggersntired Thu 01-Mar-12 19:42:44

DS 2.9 mo & no 2 due in 2 weeks.

I'm tired now & of course cannot imagine its going to get any better in the short-term!

I like the books idea...

It's the mornings/ feeds/ meals / housework / leaving the house / bed &baty times that scare me the most... Almost as much as the nights... That doesn't leave a lot does it?!?!

Preggersntired Thu 01-Mar-12 19:45:09

... Think I'll probably really look forward to going back to work..

Ok that's a bit negative but I can't help but wonder how we'll cope after DH goes back to work...

I think wishing the time away is perfectly natural - it doesn't mean you won't look back on these times happily though, IMO!

ZuleikaJambiere Thu 01-Mar-12 21:10:22

Hello ladies, I hope I can join you too? My DD1 is a bit older than your first DCs, she's 3.2, and DD2 is 2 1/2 weeks now. Generally DD2 is much more chilled than DD1 ever was, and is going 3 to 4 hours at night, which is amazing. But I'm coming unstuck at bedtime, as she is cluster feeding from 5pm til about 11pm, and DH works away several days a week, so I'm finding the evenings a challenge. And DD1 has always been a terrible sleeper, so is waking far more regularly at night than DD2 is.

I've already read some useful hints for bedtime, so I'll stick around and hope to glean some more. And if I do work anything out for myself I'll be sure to share it, don't hold your breath though!

WhenDoISleep Thu 01-Mar-12 21:22:31

Marking my place - DS1 is 3.1 and DS2 is due in around 8 weeks.

Hoping to pick up some tips before I am hit with the enormity of 2.

Did any of you with slighty older first children find the last few weeks with just them quite difficult. We are finding DS1s behaviour quite challenging as his mood seems to flip from one second to the next. He is getting quite tearful at even the slightest of things, that last month would not have bothered him. Today he was almost hysterical on the way home from pre-school and then cuddled up to me and was so sweet. Talking to him he says that he is scared of what is going to happen (understandably). So I'm guessing the behaviour and mood swings are his way of processing his emotions about the changes in the family. We are going with lots of cuddles and reassurances, but wondered if anyone who has been there has any words of wisdom to share.

valbona Thu 01-Mar-12 21:41:26

Oh good. Was looking for exactly this thread.

I've got a 2.1 DD and a 16-week-old DS and the novelty has worn of - and I don't even have to look after both 24/7 (DD at nursery some mornings). It's just so bloody unrelenting. Tiredness from 4 months of utterly broken nights really starting to bite, feel I never get time to be fun with DD, constantly paranoid DS's sleep is getting worse not better, he won't take a bottle so can't ever really get any kind of break, trying so hard to keep boundaries for DD cos she needs them or goes berserk, really missing my work, really jealous that DH gets to work/go to pub/be a normal human being.

Good things. DD loves DS - she really does. Both healthy. It's March not January so finally finally finally can feed happily outside.

I know it'll pass, but I too am wishing it away ...

Grumpla Thu 01-Mar-12 22:12:40

Yes WhenDoISleep ! The last few weeks were definitely weird with DS. I think he was really apprehensive. Not helped by the fact that I was pretty much immobile due to back / pelvis issues.

In fact that is the straw I'm clutching at now - can suddenly walk and bend over for the first time in months! So hoping DS might mellow slightly when he realises I can play more with him.

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