Your top tips-toddler and newborn(11 Posts)
I have a 22 month old DS and a 4 week old DD. Today, I'm having a bad day and would love to hear top tips for dealing with two on a day to day basis.
I'm trying to take each day as it comes as, if I start thinking about how many weeks I have ahead of me of sleepless nights, it's not good!
I have written a list of simple activities I can do with my toddler-things I can just pull out and get on with, but of course it's hard if the baby wants feeding and I have to tell DS to wait. He's throwing a good few tantrums and I'm trying so hard to be patient but firm.
We get out and about each day, even if it's only for an hour, but I'm struggling to think of things to do (apart from playgroups) where I could feed her while he safely plays.
Generally just feeling a bit wretched at the mo. Would be great to hear what things can make it a little easier
My elder DS was 20 months when DS2 was born. DS1 has always been a whirlwind child (fortunately, DS2 is a lot more laid back) so when at home and needing to feed DS2, I read books with DS1 where I could (he'd sit beside me and I could turn pages 1 handed with practice!), shamelessly watched CBEEBIES or Disney films where need, encourage jigsaws, lego or blocks. Sometimes, he'd have a snack of some dried fruit or something relatively healthy that took a while to eat, to distract him. I'd get him to run errands for me while feeding DS2 ('can you get me that muslin', 'can you go and find your ball please', 'can you get DS2's lovie' etc).
Essentially, I just had to accept some tantrums, accept there may be a bit of household destruction here and there! I figured he would have to adapt to me not always being at his beck and call and had to 'harden' my heart a little bit - just like DS2 sometimes had to cry if I really needed to do something with DS1 for a mo'.
At 3.2 and 18 months, it's still madness, with DS1 snatching his toys off DS2 and bits of hitting but when DS1 gives DS2 a hug and asks him if he's okay, or I find him feeding DS2 a bit of his yogurt, I can smile and know it's survivable! When it comes down to it, DS1 was such hard work that having two of them is still easier than DS1 on his own for the first year or so!
The hardest bits will pass, I promise
Lots of books - I found small ones like Mr men or Thomas easiest to balance while feeding dc2 and having the toddler snuggle up.
Stickers and a relaxed attitude to where they ended up.
A friend gave us a new play doh set with lots of little things to mould, different bits to squish the dough through. That was fab.
A selection of non-leak water bottles for both me and dc1 at different places around the house so that these were always to hand. Ditto packets of wipes and muslins.
Places to go is tricky, especially when everywhere is busy in the school holidays and none of the toddler groups are running but I found small museums and libraries good as they're often not as busy and have fairly low key children's activities that will entertain a toddler (I spent many hours sitting on the floor of one gallery playing shops with fake food while feeding dc2).
Just remembered we also found a toy library at this stage so we're able to get a few 'new' larger toys to provide distraction without spending much or having stuff to store.
It is really hard work though so be kind to yourself. It does get easier. A large store of secret chocolate helped me no end
Also, a book I read in preparation suggested to make the baby wait rather than the baby, as the baby won't remember but the toddler will, and this could breed resentment.
I am 4 months in and dd1 still won't give me the 5 mins I need all day to get dd2 to sleep. Neither have slept until just now, I had to get my husband to come and take dd1 out.
Sorry to be unhelpful but I'm finding it so hard when I have them on my own, the only way I can cope is basically to neglect the baby so woukd love to hear other tips
I think my toddlers personality doesn't help, she is 'on' all day and very rarely sleeps.
Sorry - my original post didn't load. How annoying.
I have a 22 month old and a 7 week old right now. It got easier at about 5-6 weeks when the baby settled in and she started sleeping a little longer (only 4-5 hours at a time rather than2-3!).
We all get dressed before we come downstairs. We go out as soon as we've got enough milk into the baby. I save all jobs for naptime. Both children seem calmer in the late afternoon so I can get on with stuff then if needed. There's also a lot of Peppa Pig or CBeebies app on the iPad. This won't be forever so I'm ok with it.
I'm consciously not sweating the small stuff - the baby has a dummy as it gets me a few more minutes when she's hungry and it helps her settle to sleep during the day.
When baby naps I try to focus on the toddler. Playdoh is easy to get out and out away again. Toddler likes poking it and me making "peas" for her to pretend to eat. We also do sticking with glue and cut up bits of wrapping paper. I try do something like this every other day. This is more than ever before!
Best of luck. A sibling is a wonderful thing so don't feel guilty if you fear you're neglecting one or the other. It will all be ok.
And finally the only activities running here are one dancing group and Rhymetime at the library. Soft play is good, particularly with a friend so you a both keep an eye out for the baby or the toddler while you're feeding.
I also have a 4 week old and a dd although she is a bit older at 2.9.
If I think too hard about sleep and tiredness then I get down - I always make sure i am up, washed and dressed ready for the day before dh goes to work whether I want to be or not. Once baby had had a feed between 9-10 we go out- playgroup, on the bus to a city centre park, for a walk round the shops. I am also reliant on meeting up with friends for toddler dd to play with either at their house or mine. It keeps dd busy and is an easy place to feed. I express milk so I can bottle feed out and about (I find this easier)
I have no qualms about the TV in the afternoons- dd watches a couple of hours some days while I try To get organised with food/washing/whatever. Power on- this is going to get better for us soon.
Thank you all! There are some really great pointers here - taking them all on board!
slightlyconfused I am also trying to get myself ready before DH goes to work (along with having all bottles sterilised and made up as she is FF). Not succeeding very often but it really is much better when I'm all sorted. I am learning that I need to be a step ahead at all times....thinking about what toddler can do when I'm feeding baby. We do lots of reading too!
I really would love to put the telly on but DS is all or nothing with it. We turned it off completely during the day for the last 4 weeks and I think it's made quite a difference to DS's behaviour. Before, when i was heavily pregnant, he would watch maybe an hour (in total) each day but it ended up in him having no interest in his toys and constantly pestering me for more TV . I'd ideally like to get to a point where he can understand we have half an hour of TV then no more, but I don't think he's there yet!
If you guys haven't already got it, I recommend the CBEEBIES story app!
That sucks about the TV tough for you. May I suggest investing some time in getting your older dc into jigsaw puzzles- dd is really good at them and they take up loads of time of a day !
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