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How do you cope with 2??(19 Posts)
Have a toddler and a newborn (2 weeks old).
Currently EBF and baby doesn't like being put down so is on me most of the day and night.
DP is still at home with us over Christmas so we are coping but he will soon be back at work and I have no idea how I will manage. I'm knocked out in the mornings and baby is v demanding and I'm constantly feeling guilty about not paying enough attention to my DS who is only 2.5. I can't imagine cooking, cleaning and managing both of them on a daily basis....
To top it off DP is going away for 3 nights next month so it will all be on me including DSs bedtime.
I know people do this and manage just fine but I'm really struggling to see how at the moment...
Lower your standards regarding cooking and cleaning or get a cleaner.
Lots of walks for the toddler to burn off energy and the baby can be in the sling, so has plenty of contact with you.
It gets easier!
I have a toddler the same age and a 6 week old. Up until a couple of weeks ago I also wondered how on earth I would cope. My DD reacted really badly to the baby's arrival too and her behaviour has been really challenging. She's just about settling down now.
I have been making an effort recently to do more focussed crafty activities with DD, which she loves, now DS is having longer naps.
I bought a double pushchair last week which has changed everything and we now go out every day, I pick fenced in parks so I can sit and feed and let DD run. We are in Oz so it is summer here, now sure if this would be an option for you. We also do playcentres on hot days.
Cleaning etc... I've found ways to get DD to help me, or at least think she is helping - she has her own sweeping brush for example and does the floor while I clean the kitchen. She also likes putting the pegs on the laundry and then handing it to me to hang up. We are all eating basic food and DH does dinner when he gets home.
We called those first few weeks survival mode. Just get through each day. Don't try to do anything too ambitious and eat simply. Get a take away if it's too much one day. Relax your standards on a temporary basis. Remember that newborns change so quickly!
Meal plan and batch cook at the weekends. During the week I mainly just grab a meal from the freezer and do pasta/rice/potatoes/veg. I had a 21mo gap and cooking was just not going to happen with cluster feeding as well!
Forget about coping. Forget about standards and all that crap.
Focus on winging it. Surviving it. Mainly, keeping them alive. You WILL come out of it and you WILL love it one day. Promise. Just wing it right now.
I've got a 19 month age gap. The baby is 10 months now, dc1 is 2yrs 5 months nearly.
Luckily for me, the baby is far more chilled than his brother was. Feeds less and generally happier to be put down.
When he was small he smallest a lot of time in the bouncy chair. I got a routine pretty quickly, and the baby pretty much slotted into our previous routine.
I completely understand the guilt though. I was overcome by it. Everyone offered to take the toddler so I could have a break. All I wanted was for someone to take the baby. Until then it had been me and Ds1, I did everything with him. All of a sudden there was another and I felt like I was dumping ds on grandparents.
I went out for a walk every afternoon. Baby in sling, ds in trike thing or on reins. Toddler group in the morning. Rarely had a day at home but started the day with washing up and wiping round in the kitchen and sweeping hard floors. Every day. Anything else could wait.
I found things harder around the 6 month mark when we started weaning, bloody constant making food feeding it cleaning it up. Now though it's much easier.
Ds2 has a dummy. And a bottle at bedtime (ebm for a few weeks but I'm crap at expressing so formula once he was taking 2 or 3 oz- I even had guilt about that as Ds1 never had formula!!)
If you can, find a play cafe or small soft play where the toddler can play while you supervise from a sofa.
Out for a walk every day, even if you just go to the end of the road and splash in a puddle.
A lot of TV
Oh yes lots of people suggested TV to me. Ds1 won't bloody watch it!
You don't cope, you survive !!
At first bedtimes were easy as I could bf baby whilst reading stories etc. Now we all cosleep as both want me as they are going to sleep.
Naps, walks with buggy or sling (and buggyboard or scooter), car or tv.
Dinner - buy a load of 'cook' ready meals so if you can't cook or run out of time there is always something to hand.
Forget housework. Launder piles. Try and only use clothes from the clean pile (rather than getting out more).
Oh yes bedtimes. I had a real fear of solo bedtime. It was the reason I didn't separate from my husband sooner as the one thing he did do was help with bedtime. He left a few weeks ago now and I'm aceing solo bedtime. Wish i had done it sooner!
Menu plan and batch cook. Involve the toddler, my dd was able to get me nappies/ help play with the baby. Take it easy, there is no need to go out all the time if you don't want to, and when you do then get a buggy board for the toddler. Forget having a super clean house do what you can and toddlers like helping too. No one will judge you. Some of my happiest memories are days in with my two at that age. You really will be fine. It's very overwhelming but so rewarding and it gets easier.
Currently in the same situation (2 year old and 2 week old) and I just keep thinking "why did I think 2 was a good idea?!" We're currently living off ready meals and our cleaning standards, which weren't high to begin with tbh, have fallen through the floor. I feel so guilty about not giving the 2 year old more attention, she has seen far too much TV in the past fortnight and she does not seem to appreciate her new sibling yet!
I hope you're all right!
I think I'm going through bouts of baby blues at the moment so I'm not helping myself.
My biggest worry is not being able to put the baby down as he's quite clingy.
Also I get really anxious about the fact I'm the only one who can settle the baby as he's EBF and unfortunately feeds to sleep and comfort feeds.
Tried settling him without a feed last night as he'd just BF 20mins earlier and he escalated to screaming the place down.
Ds1 was like that op and refused a bottle, which is why I gave ds2 a bottle every day from about 5 days . It's a revelation!
Have you got a sling? DS sown most of the first 3 months in that so that I could feed, put him in the sling and get on with something with DD/feed/get out of the house etc.
I've got the Moby wrap. I've managed to pop him in a few times but I get worried I'm doing something wrong as his head seems to be in a weird position in it...need to watch some videos I think.
@Nottalotta I'm currently seriously considering expressing and combination (?) feeding i.e. Half feeds by bottle half BF but I'm not sure how to make a start on it. My first had no issues with switching between bottle and breast so I was hoping for the same...
DP thinks we should get a dummy as he does comfort suckle on me but I'm worried that will stop him from latching onto breast so early on.
I just started 3 pressing what I could each morning, then offering him it in a bottle at "bedtime" pretty much every day. I just can't express more than 2oz though and so easy days didn't do it in the morning and got nothing. But from very early on I offered a bottle at around 7pm every evening. I also offered a dummy but he took to his thumb first but I kept offering and now he has it for sleep, car journeys (so naps really).
I didn't try a bottle with Ds1 til 6 or 7 weeks and he just wouldn't have it, or a dummy. Ds2 has had both fromearly on and has had no trouble. If he's feeding OK I wouldn't worry about confusion. You just need to be sure you aren't giving the dummy when he's hungry. To be honest it took a few months before ds2 could use a dummy properly. But it's a saviour!
Is this a problem you can throw money at? If you do then I'd hire a cleaner, organise a couple of mornings a week of preschool/nursery for DC1, and buy all the fancy prepped veg and meat etc for dinner so you just have to open it and bung in the oven (healthier and nicer than ready meals).
We don't have anyone else to help out and DH works long hours so did the above. I love cooking and before DC2 arrived wondered who the hell bought all the ready chopped veg, I mean who doesn't have time to just quickly chop up some veg?? ME it turns out...! We also watched far more cBeebies than I think is good for anyone
Lala and Po were amongst DC2's first words to my shame. We got out of the house as much as possible (playgroups, soft play, zoo, parks) as not only is DC1 not messing up your house, there is something other than you to occupy them as you feed DC2. If you pick a friendly playgroup some kind soul may even bring you a cup of tea and hold your baby whilst you drink it
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