Help me learn how to look after 2 DC please(11 Posts)
Hello, DD1 is 3.5 and DD2 is 1 week. Me and DD 1 had/have a fab relationship which is I think in danger of becoming less fab as DD 2 takes up more time and mainly I am tired.
DH is on paternity at the moment so it's a bit of a honeymoon phase where we are all existing peacefully, but I have started to notice that after nights that I've been up more I am less tolerant of dd1 which upsets me as I worked really hard to get to a good place with her (had pnd after she was born); I am terrified of DH going back to work after next week as I feel I will turn into a crazy shouting screaming witch. Mainly sleep deprivation and feeling stressed at two demanding my attention together.
So any advice would be gratefully received. Dd1 goes to nursery 3 days coming home at 3pm, this is a massive help but I still struggle 3-7pm as I am more tired as is she and I just don't know what/how to do with the 2 of them. Currently using tv a lot which is not great, also if dd2 needs feeding (bf) it interrupts any activity I am attempting to do with dd1. Dd2 no where near a routine or any kind of predictability yet so I feel lost.
Please help me navigate the next few weeks of my life wise mumsnetters!
I'm on a similar position, dd1 turned 3 last week, dd2 is 17 weeks. The guilt is awful isn't it? I must admit we are still finding our feet... After s busy time at nursery on the three days she goes she's probably glad of a bit of chill out time in front of the tv... My dd1 is fairly independent so can entertain herself some of the times I'm seeing to dd2 (although she's still at this point obsessed with her and most of the time is hovering over her, touching/stroking /cajoling her) it does get easier, we have lots of play dates and time at soft play, baby groups etc so she can interact with others and the pressure is not on me so much to entertain her. We've got a bedtime routine for both now so that I put dd2 stern first while dh plays and gets dd1 ready for bed then once dd2 is asleep I go and have some "mommy" time with dd1, we usually save something special to do during that time, at the minute it's painting dd's nails, she loves having that one to one time with no danger of the baby interrupting. We try one to one time during the day too but its difficult to spend time with dd1 and get stuff done while dd2 naps. Following this thread with interest for ideas!!
Oooh - this is a big topic - and everybody finds their own way through in the end.
Firstly - at 1 week - cut yourself some slack!
Secondly - prioritise your older daughter - she is big enough to mind not having attention. Within reason - the younger one will get used to whatever. Moreover, trowel on the positivity towards your eldest 'from' your youngest "oooh - look at her watching you" or " baby got you a present". The younger one will benefit in the end from the more positive sibling relationship that you establish at the outset.
If you can afford childcare help don't always send away your eldest - if you know a friendly childminder consider dropping off your youngest for an hour or two and just taking your eldest out for one on one time.
And finally get a sling and a slow cooker
I was there 3 months ago. Ds 2 is now 14 weeks and ds1 had just turned three when he was born. The early weeks are a bit of a blur and all I can advise for then is just keeping things low key, getting help with cooking etc when you can and any time possible spend one to one time with dd1. Prioritise that over any thing else. I find going straight to the playground/another activity after nursery helps - it's much easier out of the house. Also if you can learn to breastfeed in the sling - it's a lifesaver!
I have a 2.3yo DS and a 4.5mo DD. Some things that have worked for me:
Involve them both in as much as possible. E.g. Playing cars, put DD on playmat so she can see, ask DS to pick a car for DD.
Reading books together on the sofa is a good late pm activity when energy levels are flagging. I get DS to chose a book for him and one for DD.
Playdoh/colouring/duplo are good sitting down activities for feeds.
Sling is an absolute must. Feeding in it can also be useful but not a go-to.
Baby in sling and take toddler to playgroup/library/park etc.
Co-sleep and feed laying down safely if it helps with tiredness.
Reduce expectations of what you can do in a day.
Don't overthink it and enjoy seeing them bond. It gets easier as baby becomes more interested in toddler.
I'm not sure if this will be any help but I explained to ds1 about babies taking up a lot of time when they are new and how they wake up at night lots s when we are interrupted I remind him that the baby doesn't understand how to wait the same if I'm tired I tell him I'm very tired because I had to wake up lots so would he mind doing something quiet with me. It really works for us to remind him also we talk about things like once ds2 is bigger he can do xyz with us.
I find 1 on 1 time at home impossible unless dp is home so we do things outside the house together.
I have 3, 4 and under (youngest now 8 months). When dc3 was born I used to make the eldest 2 have a nap when they got in from playgroup at 3pm, then when they woke up it wasn't long until daddy was home from work and then they could play with him as stay up a bit later.
You soon get the hang of BF whilst simultaneously wiping a small child's bum, cooking tea, playing playdoh etc. Get a sling, they really help. also take baby with you to whatever groups etc you took eldest to before, you find other mums will help you, and you can get some help and possibly a tea and biscuit made for you.
Let eldest help you, my eldest was 3.5 when little one arrived she'd help me get clothes out for baby, fetch nappies etc. She even used to get the Muslin and wipe up spit up (off her own back). Encourage her to help you. Nothing Wrong with chilling out on sofa watching TVs/DVDs if that's what it takes.
Thanks everyone I've read all your posts with interest.
Got a sling! It's funny some days seem fine but others just seem impossible, I think it's mainly related to my tiredness levels.
Am keeping everything low key as much as possible, it certainly helps to lower my expectations of myself. Last time I struggled so much because I was still expecting to be able to do all the housework and look after the baby from the start. This time my main aims are clean clothes, regular showers for me (luxury!!) and food for dd1 sorted. Achievable I think. Just got to work on not being snappy after a tough night.
ds1 was 3.4 when ds2 was born so similar age gap. I used to put a sippy cup of milk (or whatever your child drinks obviously) in the fridge with a snack - pot of cheese chunks/raisins/nuts etc - for him. Then when I was feeding the baby I could send ds1 to get his own drink and snack. Think it made him feel nice and grown up as well as keeping him occupied and fed! He was always very excited about it.
You'll find a way OP - we're all making it up as we go along. Good luck!
I have a similar age gap. I went to bed very early for the first few months (basically at 7pm with the children). I slept again when ds1 was at nursery.
I planned the afternoons, so that I had lots of time with DS1. DS2 pretty much fed and slept, so we were out and about from 2 weeks.
It was hard, but DS1 was fine.
I had very similar concerns exactly a year ago. I either felt guilty towards my DS (now 2.8) or my DD (now 12 months). We had a really rough start with my DS needing to stay in hospital and having a very sick 3 months when my DD was a newborn. Being cooped up at home with a bf newborn and a tantrumy toddler was hell.
Did I losey temper more than I would like? Definitely. Was I a screaming monster? Some days.
But things got easier. One year down the line we still have our difficult moments now but the jealousy and guilt are gone. And the best thing is that the relationship between me and my son is better than ever. He has matured so much in the last year. And I have learned that mother don't have to be perfect. Children will forgive and your daughter will in the end know that you love her just the same, and that she has just gained a sibling and not lost anything.
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