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how difficult is it having a newborn and toddler?

(18 Posts)
flipflopsonfifthavenue Sat 15-Mar-14 21:04:11

I'm just pregnant with DC2 (DS 19mo) and am bricking it. I want this baby but am terrified of how hard it will be. I can't imagine going through the broken nights again, but having to get up in the morning with a toddler. DS is just becoming more hard work and I know that it'll get harder. To then have a newborn to content with...
I know people do it and it'll be fine, but am feeling tired and exhausted just thinking about it....
Maybe it's just 1st trimester fatigue talking!

AnnoyedByAlfieBear Sat 15-Mar-14 21:09:46

No answer for you but you're not alone. DS is 20 months and I am 9 weeks pregnant. Excited but very scared here.

supadupapupascupa Sat 15-Mar-14 21:12:00

2.5 between my two. bloody hard at the start, nearly lost it 6 months down the line, but get that 1st year over They play together, love each other, leave me in peace, re incredibly cute together and we know it was all worth it

katheroo Sat 15-Mar-14 21:14:25

There's 21 months between my eldest two ( now 6 and 5). I'm not going to lie,it is hard work BUT totally worth it. They are now so close and great friends, and you soon forget the early days of hardship!

MarvellousMabel Sat 15-Mar-14 21:16:04

Same as pp. 22 months between mine. It was hard, but definitely worth it. When they're apart they miss each other so god knows why they fight so much when they're together

rememberingnothing Sat 15-Mar-14 21:24:39

Mind-bendingly hard. The hardest thing I've ever done and where my nn cones from.

Mine are 16 months apart.

BUT they are now brilliant together, very different to each other but a team

There are great fun times ahead of you. Enjoy it (at I east the bits when you aren't hallucinating from tiredness smile)

Treaclepot Sat 15-Mar-14 21:30:40

19 months between first two was hard. Three yeRs between next two was fine. You'll have a good gap, they get easier and easier promise. Just never forget how little your big one is.

MrsJK Sat 15-Mar-14 21:32:02

My DC1 is 21 months & I now have a 4 week old DC2.

I will be honest and say it seems to be going better than I thought grin although do agree that DC1 is getting harder by the day so may change my mind next week.

My only real struggle so far is the amount of time taken to BF DC2 / not having enough hands to assist DC1 at the same time.

diamondlizard Sat 15-Mar-14 21:37:00

i have a baby and a five month old
and i find the school runs hardwork, so at least you wont have to be anywhere at anytime everyday
well unless you work

maillotjaune Sat 15-Mar-14 21:38:00

18 month gap between my older 2 - I found the last 3 months of the pregnancy the hardest as I was shattered just as DS1 had started walking and needed lots of chasing.

Once DS2 was here, I'd say it was 6 months before I felt back in control of life to an extent.

But all 3 of mine took about 6 months before they stopped feeding every 5minutes 2-3 hours around the clock and it was mainly a sleep issue.

JennyW1 Sun 16-Mar-14 12:20:12

Mine are 2 years apart, and the second is 3 months now. I was surprised that the broken sleep is much easier to cope with this time. I think the whole life-changing shock of having a baby isn't there the second time, which is what i remembered and dreaded with the second but obviously a lot of changes, adjustments and sacrifices have already been made with the first one so you don't have to go through that again. I was very uncomfortable during the pregnancy so actually it was nice to be a bit more active with dd1 again after the baby was born, and I did feel more energetic than while pregnant.

I'm finding the emotional side of it harder than the physical. My dd1 was the centre of the universe for 2 years and naturally finds it hard to share attention. I feel guilty for turning her life upside down and guilty that the second will never get all the attention. Dd1 got her last 4 molars since the baby was born, which was REALLY bad timing! She's also in the process of a massive growth spurt and a sudden jump in her language, so she's all over the place. She's a great kid, but life is tough for her at the moment. It can be hard to stay calm and remember she's only 2 and dealing with so many changes. It's immensely frustrating when there's no pleasing her and I'm limited by the baby.

DH has taken dd1 to her grandparents for a few hours today to give me a break from it.

Bear in mind that everything passes eventually, choose your battles very carefully, don't worry too much about junk food and screen time for the older child, and remember to take pictures of the baby because the first weeks go by in a flash (albeit a difficult exhausting flash!). If you can, go to a toddler group. It's good to have contact with other parents, and for me it is extremely helpful to see families with a similar gap but a year or two ahead of me. I'm told by other parents, and can see for myself, that it gets easier after the first year, and being reminded of that once a week keeps me going!

It will be hard, but it is doable, and hopefully in a year or two will all get easier.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sun 16-Mar-14 12:34:24

I have 13 months between mine. DS is now 15 months and DD is 8 weeks

I'm pretty lucky as DS sleeps through the night and has done for ages. DD is already starting to do 7 hour stretches at night

To be honest, I found being heavily pregnant with a 12mo th old harder -particularly as i had very severe pregnancy related insomnia. But I have a very supportive and helpful DH and am able to express big amounts of breast milk. So he comes home, does DS' bath and gets him into bed while i cook dinner. Then feeds DD each night pretty much from 8 - 11pm so I can have some time off/get to sleep. He then gets up with DS in the morning from 7 til 8:15 so I can deal with DD/express/have a bit more sleep as needed. He'll also do all night feeds on Friday and Saturdays if I feel I need it.

We do sleep in separate rooms at the moment which I was ranting on AIBU as i felt id been summarily removed from out bedroom but, on reflection, it's worked for us as we both get some uninterrupted blocks of sleep. Neither of us cope well without sleep and I think it's helped hugely in dealing with things and stopping resentment about one person getting more sleep than the other.

I definitely found the anticipation worse than the reality but I do think that DD is relatively easy to deal with at the moment as she sleeps a lot and DS still has a morning sleep. I think it will be much harder when she's trying to grab DS' toys etc!

purplebaubles Sun 16-Mar-14 12:45:07

I'm due in the next month, and DD is 15months old. I can't see how it can be any harder than being pg and having a 15month old! (hoping hoping). A different kind of hard!

Hinty Sun 16-Mar-14 13:42:44

Really not as bad as I thought it was going to be. In fact I'm almost enjoying it. Mine are ds 2.8 and dd 4months. It helps that ds was a really difficult baby and dd is easy by comparison. Hardest thing is managing ds's emotions but I think it's getting better.

whatsgoinon Sun 16-Mar-14 14:38:57

2 years between them, even though both are terrible sleepers I found it worse being pregnant and tired with a toddler than with a new born and toddler, the baby (now 8 mo) is very relaxed which helps.

Luckily they get on well - lots of positive reinforcement to the toddler - ´look you are making baby smile! she is so happy to see you´

It helped that even though on maternity I kept the nursery place going (otherwise I would have lost it) and try to have 1 on 1 time with each - but in the first few months don´t mind about too much telly!

it is getting easier as DC1 becomes more articulate and I am learning how to deal with a toddler better - it was tough having to learn how to deal with tantrums etc whilst being tiredy new born

MiaowTheCat Sun 16-Mar-14 15:24:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PolyesterBride Sun 16-Mar-14 15:30:03

It is hard. Especially if you have a tantrummy toddler like I did. I felt like I had to leave one or the other of them alone much more than I wanted to.

But - they are now 6 and 4, I am sitting in the park mumsnetting as they run around madly playing some elaborate game they have invented. They are best friends (and worst enemies) and it was all definitely worth it!

MrTumblesBavarianFanbase Sun 16-Mar-14 15:37:15

I actually found newborn and toddler (24 month gap) fairly easy - but my toddler only started sleeping through when the baby came home from hospital, and the baby turned out to be a good sleeper, only waking every 3-4 hours, so my nights were no worse than before the baby was born, I was just getting up to BF instead of to settle a toddler! I kept the baby (DS1) in a wrap a lot of the time and got on with life with my toddler, essentially. But a 2 year old's commitments are usually not that onerous, and you don't have to be out of the door at 7.45 for the school run etc. if you only have a toddler - I liked that we could take our days at our own pace... we did watch too much cbeebies on tired days, as my toddler DD was an early riser (5am) and didn't nap in the day.

In honesty I found it much harder when I had DC3, and the older 2 were 5.5 and 3.5 - I had to be out of the house early and there was a lot more rushing about to pick up and drop off from school, Kindergarten, playdates, sports clubs etc. etc., even though the older 2 were more independent and could be more helpful, I found combining their needs harder than with the initial 24 month gap and only 2 kids, and the whole thing was more rushing about and less cozy, if that makes sense... and then came combining supervising homework with a mad as a box of frogs toddler on the go at the same time... You've done right with the smallish gap IMO grin

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