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How to entertain the toddler with a newborn(17 Posts)
DS1 is 21 months and since the arrival of DS2 a month ago he has spent more time than I would like cooped up in the living room watching CBeebies. The weather has been awful and I haven't got out much at all. DS2 feeds all day (feels like anyway). DS1 is in nursery 2 days a week but I need ideas for the other 5 days including stuff to do in the house as I'm not confident going out with both of them on my own, although I know I'll have to get over that!
I remember being in a similar situation.
I stocked up on really cheap craft kits. There are some lovely cheap ones in Wilko for just £1 or £2. They are simple projects like finger painting, mask making, decorating wooden spoon people, decorating felt hand puppets, foam puzzles etc.. I got about 20 and did one every day or every other day for a bit. After that I got some second hand floor puzzles.
We also bought a pop up play tent for about £20. Every day my toddler would help me make some sandwiches and I'd squash into the play tent with her and we'd have a picnic. She loved that play tent, and spent many happy hours amusing herself in it. You needn't buy one.... just use a sheet over some chairs.
She would also help me make pizzas, grate cheese etc... most evenings for her tea.
Her wooden train set was also a good purchase at this time and we got some bath toys to make bath times a little longer and more fun.
My first trips out with them both were to the local library and Mum's and Toddler's group.
We have a play tent - that's a good idea and will make the room look a bit different. Thanks for the suggestions
Sticker books were a god send for us, didn't think DD would be into them but it would occupy her for a while.
Interactive books- particularly those with sounds (can get some that aren't that annoying)
In terms of outside... most classes let you take a sibling under 6 months for free. I took a bouncer and had DS in that (he had reflux so wouldn't settle if left in the pram) We did a few and admittably some sessions were a disaster, but we also had some lovely times (hartbeeps was good if you've got one near by)
It does get easier quickly- I found as soon as DD turned 2 her communication became much better and she had a longer attention span for things lol drawing, reading, playing with dolls/ trains etc.
Oh and if she enjoys the bath maybe invest in some new baths toys/ sensory balls etc so she can splash about for a bit and kill an extra 20 mins?
We have been reading lots of books
and the same book over and over again.
If you can't face a bath then a sink full of water, a stool and toy boats keeps DS amused.
I was going to say water too! Or magic sand at the table. You can sit whilst DS plays. Playdoh worth doing as you can shove it all in a big plastic box when it's finished with and no tidying up like there is with painting.
Can you do small trips out like pop to buy some milk or sit and write a 'letter' at home and then go out to post it to Granny / a friend. It gets you used to going out. I found a buggy board gave me a lot of freedom.
Just ordered a buggy board. I also have a double buggy do no excuses now (apart from the weather)! Thanks for all the activity suggestions too - a trip to Wilkies is in order!
Nowt wrong with Cbeebies by the way, it's not forever. I had the same age gap. We turned the living room into soft play (cushions, ironing board makes a surprisingly good slide), did crafts as suggested above, tried to see other people as things are always easier (but more chaotic) with more kids around!
Oh yeah and if in doubt chuck everyone in the bath!
You need a big empty box, chunky wax crayons and cars at. My dc would spend hours sat inside a box drawing and playing with am added bonus of all mess in kept in the box.
Paints and any old box and toilet rolls to paint.
A bowl of water and toys to wash.
Do you have a garden? Buy a magnifying glass and send him on a big hunt.
I had a 16 month age gap. I don't know if that made it easier or harder, but the big one was still napping, so I bought a raincoat that was totally waterproof and covered my sizeable backside (I think I got it in Decathalon) put them in cosy toes and the raincover on and walked and walked and walked. They slept, and I used to listen to the radio.
Somebody will need/do a poo the first eleventy million times you try and leave the house but you will get used to it. And it gives your boobs a break from the feeder.
That said, there was undoubtedly too much Iggle PIggle and Raa Raa in those very early days. We went cold turkey on telly after a few months and they watch very little of it now.
I've been contemplating this today. I actually mean dreading it. I have a DS and I'm 6m pregnant with number two.
As lovely as he is, my DS is really hard work with a short attention span and generally struggles to amuse himself for more than a short time. He has an unrivalled capacity for making mess and destroying things, so crafts, baking, playdough, even crayons and water play end up in chaos with him just throwing stuff around, breaking things etc and me being extremely grumpy. No doubt my inadequacy as a parent doesn't help. I feel tired thinking about it all.
I think we will have to have a really strict structure of going out to classes, soft play and play dates. In the summer we can do the park as well, but that is difficult at this time of year. Cosy days in the house are just not going to cut it.
I could have written this!
I have a 20month age gap - DD1 is 23 months & DD2 is 3 months. I've been rather spoiled as my husband has been at home since DD2 was born but we're moving countries so it's all about to go tits up!
I'll be on my own for a month at home as he has to go ahead of us, and then will have a month in a small temporary apartment in a German city before we move into our new home.
I think I'll be ok for the month on my own as DD1 will be at nursery 5days a weeks. So although I've got the weekends to amuse them both, it is only 2 days and I can hopefully sleep while DD2 does.
But I'm bloody scared of the month in the city!! My plan is to try to have a bit of structure to our day (i.e. Like she's used to at nursery). So we'll get up and go out in the mornings - park, zoo, playgroup, museums etc, then come home for lunch and nap. Then an afternoon craft-type activity until Daddy comes home and I can have a rest!
I think play dough will be a lifesaver to be honest. I stick her in the highchair for it so she only makes a mess on the tray and stays in one place! It also means I can have DD2 on my lap and/or feed if I need to.
I also have a big plastic tablecloth that I put on the floor for messy activities so that I can just wipe it clean. And it sets a boundary for her that this is where we play.
I've also got a vibrating/bouncy chair to stick DD2 in so that she's occupied while I play with DD1.
But I can confidently predict there will still be a lot of CBeebies! Good luck!
Now is the time to start making trips out.
This is the time for church/village hall toddler groups. (The kind which probably looked crazy when DC1 was a new born!)
DC1 can run off and play in safety.
DC2 Won't care whether you are sitting on the sofa to feed, or a chair in the village hall. Equally baby will sleep happily
or not in your arms, sling, the pram or the cot. He does care about the rest of the surroundings.
There will be other parents their willing to help, who have been there themselves.
People to make you a cuppa.
People to hold/watch the baby.
People to pick up DC1 when he falls off the ride on toy.
(As long as you are willing to say hello, and make small talk about the weather. They may seem like a clique. They aren't they just know each and are probably shy and unsure what to say to new people.)
You can do this.
Congratulations on your new arrival!! I Have two DS's and a very similar age gap, totally remember panicking about what to do with them both. It will only get easier as newborn feeding craziness eases off and you find your feet!
Playgroups are a brilliant suggestion above, definitely worth looking into. Close to us quite a few gymnastics centres open up for toddler stay and play sessions - baby on sling and toddler can burn off huge amounts of steam!
At home crafts and sticker books are brilliant, and I recently saw on Amazon some "road tape" for about £3 - looks exactly like a black road with white markings, you can map out a giant road across kitchen floor or similar, pile up a few matchstick cars and voila! I've ordered some and can't wait to try it with my older DS.
No bake baking sessions too - decorating shop bought biscuits, chocolate crispy cakes, that type of thing.
Good luck with it all and don't worry, you are doing amazingly!
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