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Tips for surviving newborn and 2 year old?(13 Posts)
I gave birth to my second DD last week. My DH has 2 weeks paternity leave but I have suddenly become very nervous about the idea of managing DD1 (turning 2 next week) and the baby with no family or friend support considering we are in lockdown. Also, my family live abroad so even when lockdown ends I will be alone a lot. I do have one friend that I will see in the playground maybe once or twice a week but that's it.
So, I am looking for practical tips for getting through the day. Anything from how to be organised so I can get out every few days, ways of keeping DD1 happy while I feed DD2, how to manage DD1s (pretty epic) tantrums while sleep deprived, nuggets of wisdom. Anything! Help me survive!
Tips for survival...
Remember first time round? No? Like all of us you'll have forgotten loads but it will come back. Be kind to yourself. Kinder than you were last time.
Get your hubby to make you a brew in a flask of a morning. And a sandwich for yours and toddlers lunch. Feeding the toddler when you have a new baby is tiresome. Trust me.
Don't do much. It's not a race. Go out to the park or take a short walk but tbh it's mainly about entertaining the toddler. If you can, get them interested in tv. It'll save your sanity for a couple of hours each day.
Oh. And adopt the "if it doesn't get done then it doesn't get done" mantra. Life is interesting to a new degree with 2! It's wonderful but lower your standards 😁.
I am in the same position and dreading having both at the same time! I’m breastfeeding and my toddler is v attention seeking whenever I feed the baby - which is a lot. Planning on using the sling a lot.
Don't feel the slightest bit guilty about relying on screens to keep the 2yo quiet and still while you feed and tend to the baby. Or semi doze on the sofa while baby sleeps.
Likewise, be ready to keep baby content while you spend time with the 2yo. Mine was too heavy for a sling from a young age so I bought an electric swing which rocked him to sleep if I was busy - a lifesaver!
A little project for DH and the 2yo over the couple of weeks - get her as independent as possible. In and out of bed/car/bath/on and off toilet on her own, so you don't have to do it with a baby in the other arm.
Sleep when you can and ignore the housework
I'm 8 months on op. My kid was 2 when mine was newborn. I absolutely love bombed my toddler at the very beginning and turned him into my helper (slave).
I was lucky that I had a very sleepy newborn for the first few weeks tho. Its been a case of the baby fits in with me and toddler, and it works reasonably well.
Every time you get in, repack the pram / changing bag, so you’re ready to go next time.
Have a little box near the sofa / wherever you’ll be feeding dd2, with a selection of story / sticker / colouring books. Change them over every few days. When you’re feeding, you can get the box for dd1 to sit next to you with.
Write a list of games / toys / activities you can do with dd1. Keep it close by. Then when you have a few minutes just do one of them. Often at that age they’ll happily carry on without you if dd2 then needs you. But in the early days with two I found I was in such a fog I couldn’t think of anything to do.
Try to get out for fresh air and a walk every day if you can, but don’t stress if you don’t make it.
Try include dd1 in household chores, so she feels like she’s being included, but remember these can keep to an absolute minimum at the beginning.
Menu planning helps, as does grocery deliveries. And just keeping meals as simple as possible.
We bought ds1 a doll when dd was born. He used to walk up and down with me when I was burping Dd, he’d be patting his baba on the back too 😍😂
Good luck and congratulations!
Enlist the toddler to help with anything and everything. Even if it creates a mess. Because then you can get them to help tidy it up too. It will pass the time!!
Take less stuff- you don't need 16 nappies and 4 packs of wipes. 2/3 nappies and 1 pack of wipes plus muslin is plenty. Less is more.
Keep a change of clothes and a nappy in the car
A present bag full of small wrapped presents they can choose one if they’ve been really good, or just when you’re desperate. A double buggy. Get everything ready for a trip out the night before. I’m fact I’ve made sandwiches for lunch when we’re are not going anywhere the night before. Minimal cleaning, just enough so it feels like you’re on top of everything even if you’re not.
I had this and lived in a foreign country with barely a husband (army wife). My top tip is, when you settle down shut the door to the room and keep little one within sight. I found it much more relaxing mentally to gather all I needed. Drinks, snacks, book, phone etc. And shut the door to the living room. Having a two year old with free rein constantly around the house is unnecessary, creates stress and mess and saves getting up every second to see what they're doing. You go up to put washing away or change the baby shut all three of you in the same room. Keep trips out short and sweet and don't be lulled into thinking the two year old will walk nicely next to the pram. They won't. Be brave and strap them in until you're at you destination!! Congratulations and good luck
My son was nearly 18 months when his baby sister was born. It wasn’t as hard as you might think - it’s much harder now that they’re both on the move and climbing on everything! I survived the early months mostly by staying organised. Every night I packed my bag for the next day with everything we will need. I still do that now.
A friend made a big basket full of crafts / stickers / books / toys for her older one to entertain her while the baby was breastfeeding. Whenever things got desperate, the toddler was allowed to choose one thing from the basket.
Some really great tips here! I love the idea of DH making DD1 lunch and me a brew in the morning. That would be very helpful. I have bought a second hand double buggy so I am hoping to get out and about as much as possible. I think making use of the night before to be organised will help a lot. I think I will find the lack of ability to clean difficult. I like to keep a cleanish house. But I need to drop my standards. I suppose I wont have many visitors to see the house this winter anyway. I will have to do an order online to get some crafty stuff for DD1 (I am not a naturally crafty mum) and make up a list of activities to do with her.
My worries are also with her behaviour. She is pretty stroppy at the minute, throwing tantrums and screaming fits over barely anything. I know the baby is an upheaval, but she has been given a lot of attention from me and DH to make her feel secure. Her tantrums are pretty epic though, and most of the time out of nowhere. I will just need to take deep breaths and try to find a way of muddling through them without letting her think it gets her what she wants.
Toddler was 2.2 when little one born. He hadn't been using a buggy but we hadn't gone any long walks as I was heavily pregnant and painful. I took it as an opportunity to get toddler walking. Carrier and toddler walked with me. Now baby is bigger I take pram and toddker holds on to pram or my hand. No bolting or running. I couldn't be doing with a double buggy or having a child getting used to not walking everywhere. He does a couple of miles okay now he's used to it.
@Rubyroost my DD was a very late walker. She only started properly walking about 2.5 months ago. She just isnt able to walk the distances I need her to walk. She could manage the local playground but that's about it. Also, we go on incredibly long walks as we have a spaniel. The time will come when she will be able to walk alongside me but that's not going to be anytime soon. I need the double buggy to get anywhere really.
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