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What do you do with a pre schooler and a baby?(35 Posts)
DS is almost 4 and DS2 is 2 weeks today, I’m struggling for things do do during the day with them both, as I want DS not to feel like his brother is taking up all my time/constantly sleeping and cuddling with me.
DS is at pre school 4 mornings a week so he’s occupied with that but I’d like something to get us through the afternoons too, I’m getting a bit stir crazy at home, and starting to struggle a bit with anxiety so would like to keep myself busy.
Also, is it too early to attempt to get DS2 into a routine or at least distinguish night and day? He is EBF on demand so I can’t really plan for that but if I’m honest I feel all in a muddle and I’d like to get a bit of structure back, mostly for DS. There’s only so many puzzles and board games he can stand
I just did the same things I normally did with DD1, but took the baby along too. Park, walks in the woods, cafes with little soft play areas (garden centres are often good for this), seeing friends with children etc.
You have my sympathies OP.
I have a 3yr 8m old and a 12 week old. Life has been difficult and the transition into our new family set up had been challenging and trying to share out my attention to both children has been very hard.
My DS1 does full days at pre-school three days a week so I only have both children with me on two days but blimey they are long days.
Trying to get the baby to sleep whilst DS1 is rampaging about is so incredibly stressful and near impossible that poor DC2 is absolutely exhausted by the end of the day.
We now have a routine of what we do on our days together but it's only over the last few weeks that I've been able to do it. To be honest though I still dread the days of having them both at home together because of the difficulties it brings. I make sure we get out the house because being a home with them both makes me stressed and anxious.
I find that as DS2 gets older and requires my attention more it makes things so much more difficult because I'm being pulled in two different directions: the needs of the baby versus my pre-schooler demanding my attention and seriously playing up when I can't give it to him.
It's very, very draining.
I keep telling my DH that it's short term pain for long term gain.....hopefully!!
Mine were only a year apart but I used to go to the library or playcentres or local park. But at two weeks you shouldn't push yourself too much! He is getting plenty of activities if at pre school.
Maybe make rice crispie buns or art or whatever with him
Congrats on your new baby.
2 weeks is still teeny tiny! I have a 3yo and a 9months old. We’ve just carried on doing what I did with the toddler - seeing friends and their children, walks to the park/ feed ducks, play groups and singing groups at the library. Even from very young the little one liked the fresh air of the park and the music etc at groups and it makes life much easier to keep the toddler entertained/ busy so they’re nice and tired for bedtime!
DS was 13 months old when DD was born. DS napped in a very quiet house but it was impossible to keep the house quiet for DD when DS was making the sort of noise that toddler boys make. She slept in the living room in the daytime through all the noise of her brother playing, me talking, hoovering, kids TV etc.
You don’t have to entertain a baby so just do the things you and DS1 normally do but make sure you get enough rest yourself.
I’m not really getting much rest, suppose I should really but I feel ok and I get far too bored doing nothing! And feel guilty for just sitting in front of a film with DS!
Hi, just wanted to say I'm in the same boat with a 6 week old DD and 3.2 year old DS.
DS is at nursery 3 full days which is obviously a huge help, but the other 4 days seems a long stretch, even the weekend days. I know I need to try and get out more, but I also get quite anxious about it as dealing with a crying baby while carting pram/changing bag/potty around with me is difficult. DS also takes ages over everything, so getting him to go to the toilet/put shoes and coat on etc takes forever, and by the time he's ready the baby is crying again.
I think soft play and playgroups work quite well, as at least you can dump all your stuff on a table and feed baby/pace up and down to settle them without too many people staring. Unfortunately my local playgroups aren't that great, but I think I'll start having to brave it anyway. It's a shame as there are loads of fun preschooler things going on nearby, eg. forest school, little scientist groups etc, but they aren't really suitable for taking a baby along.
Could you go to the library op. Least you might flick through the paper or look at something of interest yourself.
Congratulations on your baby! My age gap was smaller than yours but essentially me and my eldest just carried on as usual with the baby coming along. Get a decent baby carrier if you haven’t already - DS practically lived in it for the first few months of his life! So we’d go to the park, library, soft play etc with DS in the carrier.
aubergine not sure if it’s the same everywhere but I’ve taken the baby to forest school in a sling since he was tiny accompanying the toddler and there’s never been a problem, there’s often at least one other baby there too!
As Wish says, a sling could be your saviour. Then your hands will be free and you can go along to lots of activities with your DS1. I took my baby in a sling to forest school, the park, soft play, music group, library and playgroup in a sling and she slept/fed whilst her brother played. Or you could take DS1 out on a bike and just walk with baby in buggy or sling. Nothing wrong with him also watching a film or having some quieter time in the afternoon if he’s been st school. My DS loves baking, making collages from leaves we have collected in the park, colouring, reading, playing with his car mat, going to Tesco!
Can anyone recommend a carrier? DS is quite small (just over 7lbs) and he looks like he’d get lost in them!
A stretchy wrap or close caboo would be perfect for you.
Yes 2 weeks is tiny still! My son was 19 months when his brother was born. The baby just came ongoing to our usual activities, walks, Park, bike etc.
We had a 19 month gap and a close Caboo was my saviour.
I’ve just had a look are they easy to use? They look a bit complicated!
Couldn't be easier OP. Really worthwhile when you have a young baby.
Are they suitable for newborns? I once read a wrap related horror story and I fear carriers ever since! I’d like to use one though, safely.
Yes, a soft stretchy wrap or Caboo will be fine for a newborn over 7lbs.
Look up the TICKS guidelines for safe babywearing - they are quite straightforward and should put your mind to rest.
Yes they are. As long as you follow the guidelines they are perfectly safe. You want your baby's head close enough to kiss easily so really right under your chin. So it doesn't suffocate in your boobs . (That's a story I read.)
Very easy to use and perfectly safe when used properly!
@Nottalotta I’m pretty sure that’s the story I read
Totally safe! You will have seen stories of babies suffocating in bag slings in a cradle position. Bag slings are now illegal. Baby should always be upright and facing you.
Stretchy wraps are easy once you get the hang of it (recommend YouTube!) And you pre tie then pop baby in so totally safe.
Close caboos come pre tied so even simpler.
An absolute life saver when you need both hands free.
Don't be tempted by an non-ergonomic carrier like the baby bjorn as these are not comfortable for baby or wearer.
Op it’s worth looking to see if you have a sling library near you where you can go and try some different slings/carriers and get some advice. You can also hire them to see how you get on before you commit to buying. I bought an ex demo manduca from my local sling library when my baby was about 5 months old as id been using an ergo stretchy up until then
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