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2 under 2 the early weeks

(50 Posts)
Mindisboggled Thu 31-May-18 13:20:53

Hello, I'm still on hunt for parents experiences with 2 under 2, particularly whilst the youngest is newborn.

I've posted before and read a few other threads and the jist is it's tough but get easier, great age gap as they play together as they get older etc which is great, however I'd really like some more details.

My dh works away alot, he'll be off the 2 weeks after birth then I'm on my own with newborn and 18mth old.
Everything from getting up and everyone ready. Showers etc
To feeding newborn on demand (breastfed) whilst still dealing with 18mth old and cooking/washing etc etc
To bath and bedtime. Older child (currently 15mth) is a bit hit & miss for bedtime usually can do down and self settle but has periods (for a few days) where I have to hold and cuddle to sleep or screams the place down.

So hit me what's it really like with two young ones.

OctoberMarch Thu 31-May-18 14:38:56

I'm in the midst of it now! DD is 19 months and DS is 3 weeks. I've found the hardest thing is to relax about not being able to get to one or the other straight away - I'm only one person, so I have to prioritise who needs me more at that moment.

The sling has been a godsend too, because I can put DS in it and still play with DD or do housework, especially as it's hit and miss if DS will sleep if he's not on me.

Feeding can be tricky, trying to make sure DD doesn't end up damaging herself when I'm stuck under DS for however long he feeds for.

I suppose my best advice would be to relax as much as possible (I know that's so hard, especially when you're crazily sleep deprived). I've got to say, I do find it easier having 2 than I thought I would. I find that actually I kinda do know what I'm doing, and find that the hard parts are just phases.

Good luck!

BrutusMcDogface Thu 31-May-18 14:41:55

Second the sling. Luckily my dc2 was a very quick feeder so there wasn't much being pinned down on the sofa for hours on end; I also perfected the art of feeding whilst jumping up/running after the toddler! grin

BrutusMcDogface Thu 31-May-18 14:45:01

Have you been told about having a special box of activities for the toddler, that only come out when you're feeding the baby? We had a box of duplo that came out only when baby needed a feed. It stayed special because it was packed away as soon as baby was finished. We also had a special DVD, special books etc.

Have somewhere you can safely put baby down in most rooms. We had 2 bouncy chairs, one upstairs and one downstairs for this purpose.

BrutusMcDogface Thu 31-May-18 14:46:31

Try and grab showers when toddler is asleep. If you can't do this, put him/her safely in cot (assuming young toddler is still in cot!) with some toys and pop baby in bouncy chair in the bathroom where you can see him/her.

BrutusMcDogface Thu 31-May-18 14:47:33

Meal times- make sure toddler has her meals even if baby needs milk. That will keep toddler happy while you feed baby. Sometimes one of them will have to wait. That's a good life lesson for them!

BrutusMcDogface Thu 31-May-18 14:48:26

If you have any energy in the evening, after toddler is in bed, make her lunch and maybe yours, for the next day. Then you can just grab it out of the fridge when they're both clamouring for food.

mintich Thu 31-May-18 14:51:42

Great thread! I have a 13 month old and due another in October!

Mindisboggled Thu 31-May-18 19:54:23

Great replies, thanks everyone.
Hopefully this thread will help others too.

I have a sling from my first so fully intend to use it again. Also started picking up bit and bobs so I can I have some new toys for during feeding rather than the same old stuff we already have out daily.

Mumof2boys2018 Thu 31-May-18 23:03:58

My boys are 15 months apart
My youngest is now 12 weeks
Yes it's hard but you'll soon find a routine that works for you, like timing the older siblings breakfast etc. Around feeding the new baby it's difficult trying to balance time because sometimes I feel like I'm not going the eldest the attention he needs.. but maybe that's just what happens when you have a newborn in the mix

Before the youngest came along i cried so much because I didn't know how I was going to cope the hardest for me is bathing them both as I have to wait until my partner is home so i feel safe bathing one by one as I can't leave the eldest downstairs unattended I feel but that's just me

BrutusMcDogface Thu 31-May-18 23:12:00

Bathing- I used to bath the baby first- toddler either in the bathroom with me or playing in her room (safety gate on her door to make sure she didn't get into any mischief!) I'd then dress baby on changing mat on bathroom floor and he'd kick around while I bathed toddler. If he cried, in the sling he went! Then he usually slept through toddler's bedtime story whilst in the sling.

winterwonderly Thu 31-May-18 23:15:05

Don't think about it too much now, you'll cope when the time comes. Some days they'll both nap at the same time and you'll get a lovely long hot shower and some days you'll not get a moment to yourself and if you're lucky you might get a minute to rub a bit of dry shampoo into your hair to make yourself feel a bit better!

Get yourself a playpen, my older one was happy to play in there with some toys while I fed the baby or settled the baby down for a nap. It was a lifesaver.

Do your grocery shopping online. Get amazon prime. Get a good double buggy. And keep your sense of humour, it's essential!

winterwonderly Thu 31-May-18 23:16:28

Oh and don't bath them both every night, it's not necessary unless they've been doing something messy. Mine just get a wipe down daily and a bath every couple of days!

JumpingFrogs Thu 31-May-18 23:20:33

Swing was a godsend. I used to talk to new baby but would talk about what older sibling was doing - Along the lines of "Look at Johnny lining his blocks up, isn't he a clever boy, oh look, now he's jumping really high" ... So the baby got eye contact and sound of my voice, but older dc could hear that was interested in what they were doing.

Caterina99 Fri 01-Jun-18 02:36:36

My age gap is a bit older, over 2 years, but I second most of the advice. Swing for newborn saved me. Could just pop her in there and she’d happily go to sleep. Same for a sling when out and about.

I never bathed mine together until baby DD was sitting up and in a much more set bedtime routine. Before that I’d just bath her when DH was home, or when toddler was sleeping.

Have places you can put down your baby (or your toddler) and they be safe and separated from each other. Like highchair, cot, travel cot, gated in room. Then you can leave one or the other unattended to deal with the other one, or pee or answer the door or whatever and not worry about the older one hurting the baby

Battleax Fri 01-Jun-18 02:42:11

Set up camp in one room from 6pm onwards. I put an armchair, camp bed and Moses basket in the toddler’s room (and a stash of basically everything I’d need up high on the landing outside). I was separated by the time she arrived so I hunkered down to do it any way that seemed likely to work.

Oh and audio books for the toddler (a while ago - any media that replaces you reading to them when it all kicks off at once 😉).

sleeveface Fri 01-Jun-18 09:50:25

Oooh following with interest, hope you don't mind me jumping on OP blush
I'm going to have a 14 month age gap come August, dd is almost 1 now and only does the commando crawl. HV has advised me that because of that she is unlikely to walk until late, so much later than new baby arriving because she doesn't even attempt it now.

How on Earth do people cope with non walkers? Really panicking about this now.

Mindisboggled Fri 01-Jun-18 10:14:27

Welcome @sleeveface hope you find this thread as helpful as me. Hopefully your lo will be showing interest in walking soon. Mines litterally went from no Internet to walking in a short time. I conned my lo into first unaided step in 1st birthday then it didn't happen again for a few weeks and then there was no holding back.

Gingergin Fri 01-Jun-18 16:53:44

So glad to find this thread, I just came on here to look for some tips!
Just had a new little one and have a 21 month old so wondering how I’m going to manage. I thought this morning, when am I going to shower?! I guess I’ll have to at night or first thing when toddler wakes up, give him some books in his cot and leave the baby in crib and have a quick one.

Loandbeholdagain Fri 01-Jun-18 17:08:16

I had two under two recently.
I found getting out for activities that weren’t time pressured easier to start with- going to the park, to a museum etc. I couldn’t sling wear due to back problems but I know others found that helped. I didn’t allow any screen time for my eldest at all. This meant a lot more entertaining needed. So I spend time and money in the last bit of pregnancy on lots of ready to go craft activities.

I wish I’d bought a side by side buggy from the start.

Loandbeholdagain Fri 01-Jun-18 17:09:22

Oh yes and showering at night means at least you get clean once a day!

Floridasunset Fri 01-Jun-18 21:33:26

I agree with pp about having somewhere safe to put the baby in different rooms in case toddler suddenly needs you. We had a carrycot in the dining room so the baby could sleep and the toddlers meal times/routine wasn't changed. Bouncy chair or play mat in other rooms.

I bathed the baby in the daytime at first so toddler could "help" and i didn't have the battle of bathing them at the same time.

Whilst baby is young and doesn't have a set bedtime they could go in their bouncy chair whilst toddler is settled for bed.

As they go through different stages there are different challenges such as baby becoming aware of the noise toddler is making and therefore not napping. But in general it's a great age gap and you will be fine!

Namechangemum100 Fri 01-Jun-18 21:51:34

I have 2 under 2, 14 month gap. DD is just about to turn 16months and Ds is nearly 7 weeks.

First I would say to anticipate a bit of a rollercoaster for the first couple of weeks and to remember this thread and that IT WILL get better. I found the first few weeks very hard and was terrified of dh going back to work. Now we are 7 weeks in things are ALOT smoother.

Second bit of advice would be to make sure you eldest is in a decent daytime routine. DD has a nap every day between 1130-130 which is time I can dedicate to ds and enjoy the cuddles, it makes me feel less guilty about not giving him the attention DD got as a baby. It also helps keep me grounded knowing we are still following a familiar routine...even if ds isn't on board just yet.

Don't expect them to nap together...that was if they do it will be a nice treat rather than something to stress over.

My dd watches much more tv than she used to as ds has reflux and take FOREVER to feed...I don't feel guilty about it... although we have stopped her watching peppa pig as that little pig is obnoxious! Her tv time will reduce again once ds feeding has settled and we can get out and about more, until then it's a means to an end and keeps everyone happy.

They will cry at the same time, and that's ok. Try to attend to who ever needs seem more immediate...and often it's the toddler, or at least it is in my case. A bit of crying won't harm them, you are only 1 person.

It really isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I would describe it as being totally fine, with bursts of hell that never last longer than 10 minutes or so. Example being ds waking up hungry from his nap just as DD started her bottle to be put down for her nap...cue screaming from ds throughout DD bottle, followed by DD screaming before her nap. It's manageable got this!

BrutusMcDogface Fri 01-Jun-18 23:15:43

I wish I’d bought a side by side buggy from the start.

I did! I bought the out'n'about 360 and it was a frickin LIFESAVER. Great for getting two babies to sleep at the same time! grin

Like a pp, my toddler napped from 1-3 every afternoon which was also a lifesaver. Had to do a bit of work to get her into the routine but it was worth it x 1 million.

mummabearfoyrbabybears Fri 01-Jun-18 23:26:52

My friend had twins and 10 months later had another set of twins. Her family were in Canada, she was living in the UK. We were army wives and her husband was sent on tour. She always said lots of ready meals and lots of friends kept her going smile

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