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Newborn and toddler routine- what's yours?(8 Posts)
I'm panicking about dh going back to work next week. Dd is 2.7 and ds is 11 days old. We're on 2/3 night feeds which all take an hour to do what with the nappy changes and winding aswell. I'm terrified of the sleep deprivation then getting up to start the day at 6.30. Whilst dh has been on paternity leave he's done everything for dd while I've focussed everything on the new baby and getting over my c section.
I'm trying to work out how I'm going to get them both sorted in the mornings and bedtimes without too much chaos. So was looking to see what other people's routines are? It's probably just the anticipation of it all and it might all be fine, I hope???
Will your dh be around at bedtime or will you be doing it by yourself?
Early days I bathed toddler whilst feeding baby, then put baby on mat whilst doing pjs and teeth for toddler. Then fed baby whilst doing stories. Sometimes baby cried whilst on the mat but once toddler was in bed he had my undivided attention so I found it was just bet to get on with it.
In the mornings I got dressed and showered as quickly as possible and changed baby. Just dressed toddler as and when I had a settled baby.
I found getting baby to nap in pram made life easier as it meant He could nap on the run.
Dh worked away for first few months so mainly I just lowered my standards. For example, if babygro doesn't have sick or poo on it, it doesn't need changing in the morning and baths only when necessary for example.
I'm not going to sugar coat it, it was tough and a different sort of parenting to when you only have one (much more about survival than principles) but it all settles down eventually.
Dh mostly won't be around for bath/ bedtime. Maybe once a week if we're really lucky but more often than not he's late home from work. So it will be just me.
You will find that the newborn will have to be left to cry a bit wihile you sort out the toddler. I found it useful to have lots of mats/baskets/bouncy chairs as you often need to put the baby down in a hurry!
It's quite useful for the old sibling rivalry issues to let your Dd see that sometimes her needs are met before the baby's "silly baby, he'll just have to cry in his bouncy chair for a second while we get you a drink" etc etc.
It's a tough few months from what I recall but gets better quickly and then having two is lovely .
We had a lot of crying in the first few weeks - either baby or toddler or both at once. I became immune
For me it was definitely about survival and standards dropped. What helped for us was:
- sling for baby - he was a bit Velcro so helped to keep him quiet whilst I dealt with toddler
- stopped doing bathtime every day. Double bed and bath solo with a baby and toddler is v difficult!
- having a pre agreed thing for toddler to do when I bf baby - she watches nursery rhymes on YouTube and so doesn't mind if I need to spend time feeding baby
- always going to toddler first if she's crying.
- this may seem a bit mental, but I used to get up before both baby and toddler and get myself ready, breakfast etc. meant I had some alone time before the onslaught!
And it got a lot better by 7weeks. Looking back the first 6 were tough but I just got on with it
YY to getting immune to crying! DS (pfb) rarely cries but poor DD is often left to her own devices. DD is now nearly four months and we have only just got a routine (which goes to pot most nights anyway). I didn't bath DD regularly until she was about 8 weeks old: at that age she started going in with her brother - and a bath sling seat thing was invaluable. Lots of stories on beds downstairs while I fed DD to sleep/got DS ready for bed, then he got thrown in while I tended to DD and got her down. That was the time when DD trumped DS: he was left to grizzle if necessary and attention got given to her. Also agree with numerous mats/bouncy chairs: at least one on each level if you have a multi storey house, with a small pile of toys by each one. Good luck: it's rough sometimes but it's definitely getting easier now.... You'll get there!!
It helps if you get the clothes/nappies sorted out in the evening and laid out on the sofa so you can just wake up and dress the dc rather than searching for tights/vest/matching socks.
My toddler watched far too much tv as my baby wanted to breastfeed constantly.
Prepare in advance lots of un-messy toddler lunches, stuffed pasta is great.
Bed/nap time is actually quite easy with both of them, we go to bed about an hour before we need to (we co-sleep) I feed the baby and he usually snoozes on the boob and I read books to the toddler, I then sit with the toddler whilst he falls asleep and then I get up with the baby.
Things which have really helped are a sling, we have a moby wrap and it's great as the baby sleeps and I have both hands to cook/bath toddler and a moving mobile, we have a little cot in the kitchen and the baby is hypnotized by the spinning mobile, it gives me the chance to sit and eat lunch or dress the toddler.
I sometimes have a bath with both dc, I get everything ready in the bathroom (pjs, nappy) and lay out the babies towel on a changing mat, booth dc love the bath so we spend ages in it and then when it's time to get out I get out with the baby and wrap him in his towel on the changing mat, I then quickly dry myself and put pjs on then dress the baby then I take toddler out of the bath and dry and dress him and brush his teeth.
I catch up with sleep at the weekends, dp gets up with both dc between 5.30 and 6 and I sleep until 9, it's bliss!
I have found it helpful to lower my standards hugely, the toddler has watched hours and hours of tv, he's sometimes eaten his lunch watching tv (pre-baby we were strict about all meals being eaten up to the table) dp has arrived home in the evening and we have all still been in our pjs, about 50% of our meals have been stuffed pasta. Our house has often been a tip.
The baby is now 3 months old and things are already so much easier, he's really happy sitting in a bouncy chair and watching the toddler play, the toddler likes to set up a picnic for his teddies and the baby, they play with musical instruments together and the baby doesn't feed constantly anymore, tv time is getting less and less and I'm even managing to keep on top of cooking and cleaning.
Not popular perhaps but I read she-who-shall-not-be-named's toddler & baby book & while there's no way I'm the type of person to follow it religiously, it did help give me a rough idea of how to organise our day.
Sling for baby.
Getting out once a day, even though I found actually leaving the house massively stressful, once we were out I was glad of it.
Lots of TV for the toddler.
Being v v organised - so all clothes out the night before, bag packed, meal plan done etc.
Ds is 9mo now & dd 2.5 & there are still sometimes times we all end up crying at once but they're far fewer than in the early days. It's hard, but gets easier all the time. Promise. Good luck!
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