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Those with toddlers and a baby- how do you keep toddler happy?

(14 Posts)
Shadowboy Fri 16-Dec-16 12:16:16

I have a 2 year old and a 4 week old. I'm struggling to do anything other than leave toddler in front of aDVD which I hate doing.

Baby hates the rocking chair and I struggle to get her to sleep in the day.

What tips do you have?
What do you do with yours?
Any ideas for places to go (baby hates car seat too) we are mega rural too so no local, walkable park.

pitterpatterrain Fri 16-Dec-16 12:25:43

My DD1 is just over 3 and DD2 in weeks, probably not helpful but DD1 has been doing a lot of playdoh and water / paint play as something to distract her. Big towel on the floor / mat and spread it all around.

Must admit can't remember what she was like this time last year that well

Wrap up warm and going for small slow walks and looking for puddles / leaves / sticks with the small one in the sling

Local small playgroup where there are lots of other hands to hold the small one when you have a coffee wink

NerrSnerr Fri 16-Dec-16 12:31:37

Baby groups. Our local library does bounce and rhyme that occupies our toddler and then toddler groups. There are plenty of adults who will have a cuddle of a small baby while you deal with the older one.

ODog Fri 16-Dec-16 12:48:46

I have a 2.5yo and a 7mo so was in your position 6 months ago. My absolute saviour was several a good sling.

Pop baby in the sling and get on with the normal stuff you would do with your 2yo. Playgroups, parks, library, woods...whatever. I'm yet to meet a newborn that doesn't instantly snooze in the right sling (provided fed, clean etc.)

When at home we did lots of sitting down activities like playdoh, stickers, drawing, books so I could hold/feed baby answer still be involved. It was also summer when DD was born so we spent a lot of time in the garden playing sand/paddling pool. This can still work now - just get some bikes/scooters/sand whatever out and wrap up warm (baby in pram or sling).

DVDs and CBeebies are also fine. This is an adjustment period and you will find your groove soon enough.

FATEdestiny Fri 16-Dec-16 12:58:28


The way to stay sane with a baby and toddler is lots of parent and child groups. When I had a toddler and baby at home, I managed to find one every morning Mon-Fri.

In the afternoons toddler sleep and I worked hard to get baby used to that afternoon nap as soon as they were old enough so that they had coordinated naps.

Teatime though.... that's where the fun starts 😈😈

GrouchyKiwi Fri 16-Dec-16 13:01:24

I hate playgroups so don't go. I have three: 4, 2 and 6 months.

On good days the older two and I play games together, do puzzles, play with bubbles, that kind of thing, while the baby plays on the floor or in the door bouncer or sleeps.

On bad days they watch Netflix/DVDs.

At the moment, because it is cold and I'm not well, there are more bad days. In Summer they spend a lot of time outside so that's much easier.

4 weeks is very new. You'll find your rhythm soon. And in the meantime, don't worry about DVDs or TV.

Scotinoz Fri 16-Dec-16 13:01:48

I spend three months with a baby in one arm and doing stuff with the other 😩 Play Doh, stickers, painting (paintbrush and water - paint the fence, ground, slide etc), anywhere with an enclosed area (soft play, library, parks etc) and some TV. Hard work!!

Chattycat78 Fri 16-Dec-16 13:04:17

Me too. Playgroups all the way. 8its the only thing that Keeps me and the toddler sane. My toddler is 23 months and baby 6 months - so 17 month gap. I put the baby in a sling and let toddler run loose and playgroups.

It's hard, there's no denying it! A lot of peppa is also being watched when feeding and so on I'm afraid. Toddler isn't into arty crafty stuff yet- although he will read books so we do some of that too.

Chattycat78 Fri 16-Dec-16 13:05:01

Let toddler run loose at playgroups that should be!

Chattycat78 Fri 16-Dec-16 13:06:53

Agree- summer is much much easier! These early dark nights are a killer for entertaining them!

paddypants13 Fri 16-Dec-16 13:12:05

I was in your position a few months

My dd loved to be helpful so I would give her little jobs to do and really praise her when she did them. I also made a bug fuss about her being a fantastic big sister and how much ds loved her.

Once baby was asleep that was her time. I made sure she got plenty of individual attention.

Bed time and bath time were sacrosanct. If I was alone, ds either had to sit with us in his bouncy chair or whine (when he got older). It was made clear that ds would have to wait because this was dd's time.

Congratulations on the birth of your lo.

Highlove Fri 16-Dec-16 13:48:44

2.9 year old and four month old here. I know it's a MN cliche, but you need a sling. I hated it with DD1, still don't love it but it's a necessity - baby almost guaranteed to sleep and you can carry on as normal with toddler.

Yy to groups, especially informal playgroups. Find a nice one and you'll often get some kind person offer to make you a cup of tea while you feed baby and toddler can rampage around. The best I e found is a church-run one. I'm not remotely religious and there's absolutely no pressure to be, but they are often run by kindly older ladies who will look after you for two hours, will enjoy a hold of baby, etc.

It's tough though - still is tbh. Take each day as it comes, don't worry about routines or whatever, just get through it day-by-day and remember that the odd afternoon spent in front of CBeebies for a few months is not going to define your parenting forever!

Highlove Fri 16-Dec-16 13:51:01

Also - baby will have to get used to car. Sorry if that sounds mean and I'm not suggesting you go on long drives, but for everyone's sanity you do need to get out the house. Often.

scrumptiouscrumpets Fri 16-Dec-16 18:40:27

I hate playgroups and avoid them like the plague. When DS 2 was a month old I'd go out and about with the pram - we have a Phil and Teds and he loves it, at that age he slept for hours in it. Bf while out and about is stressful though, there's no denying that. I would often need to interrupt a feed and run after the toddler. The first times I went with a friend whose toddler was the same age, or with my mum, to get used to going out with both DC.
I second pp saying you need to get out as much as possible. It's daunting but doable!

During feeds at home the toddler cuddles up and we read books. I also give him a bowl of pasta shapes, some spoons and cups and that keeps him occupied for ages.

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