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Top tips for managing two...(23 Posts)
It's beginning to dawn on me that DC2 is going to turn up in a few weeks. I really should get things out of the loft.....
Ladies, please could I have your top tips for how to best handle the arrival of another? All strateies and ideas welcome!
For me, the important thing to remember is that it's the older one that needs the attention. Babies need warmth and food and cuddles - but once they've got that they won't suffer if you neglect them a bit in favour of their big sibling. The baby/big sister relationship is the one that needs to be worked on.
letting the older one know that you find the baby a bit of a pain sometimes too works wonders, in my experience.
I agree with seeker. There seems to be a trend for 'baby wearing' which seems unfair on the older one! I think it is important to put the baby down and spend time with the older one on their own-babies are easy to please. Also make sure that visitors pay attention to the older one and bring them into the conversation.
It isn't as difficult as adjusting to one baby! You are more relaxed with the second and they just have to fit in with family life.
Someone advised me to get a baby doll for DC1 when DC2 was born, so we both had new babies at the same time. DC1 is 4 now and this is still her favourite doll that she takes with her to bed every night. How far apart will DC be in age? Mine are close together and I felt there was a horrible divide once DC2 was born, DC1 was with DH much more and I was left home breastfeeding DC2 - it felt really wrong, its important to have time with just you and DC1 if you can, gets easier once breastfeeding isn´t so frequent. Very wise advice from Seeker and Piscesmoon, DC2 tends to fit around the rest of the family they won´t need as much attention as DC1 - in my case seems to have made DC2 more independent (not that he was completely neglected!)
Some good advice here already. At some point everybody is going to be crying at the same time, possibly even including you (sorry, I know I did tho!) so I think try to remember that you are not super human and you cannot physically see to everyone's needs at once. Both DC's will have to wait while you are seeing to the other one at some point.
hiya bumpy, you know you'll be fine dont you!
I think with a small age gap like yours you will find that quickly DS doesnt rememeber a time without the baby
does ds still nap at all? if so do evertything you can to get them napping at the same time (then on the bad days you can nap too) i used to take mine out in the morning and then we would all pile into bed together for a afternoon nap, sometimes i would get up and clean etc.
with the bfing get a whole load of cool toys that can be sitting down thing, dd has a great pad made by galt which you can colour with a water pen and the pictures appear (like magic painting) and then when dry disapear again, small puzzles etc (and cbeebies is fine too)
When DD2 arrived, I made DD1 a "busy box" with an assortment of things she could help herself to, to keep her amused while DD2 was feeding.
It included crayons, paper, comics, books and small toys. And it also contained limited quantities of snacks and cartons of juice. Contents were changed every few days, so that she kept finding "new" things.
We only used it for a few weeks, but DD1 still says the most exciting thing about having a new baby was that she was allowed to drink juice out of a carton .
Oh yeah - and CBeebies is good!
And don't be afraid to take your newborn to toddler groups, if there's a remotely decent one near you. The mums will cluck and your older child will be entertained!
What Seeker says - we used to roll our eyes dramtically and say, 'Babies, eh?' when DD2 was being a pain.
MunkyNuts we had that family divide too, for a while. It didn't feel quite right, but at least everybody had somebody... I always used to put DD1 to bed, read to her and cuddle her while DD2 was waiting impatiently in her dad's arms for the evening's bfing marathon to start.
Napping together - top tip.
watching this! DD will arrive in a little under 3 months and then I'll have 2 to deal with too.
I wish DS still napped
As much attention as you can give to first dc, sleep as much as you can, the TV is a god send at times like this (for DC1 to watch), try to keep to a routine for DC1 as much as possible, don't beat yourself up when it goes wrong and finally, get on MN to talk to people when you think your sanity is finally going.
I'm now 7mths in with two and I can say the first 3mths were tough but after that it got easier.
PS - We got DD a gift from newborn DS (DS told us to buy her a scooter) which she thinks is great and tells everyone it is from DS (she is 4 in 2 weeks)
Just swung back past this thread to admire your name, MyCatsA...
Why thank you Pyrocanthus. This is my halloween name, normally he's a bigger bastard.
I agree with trying to keep the older child's routine as close to the same as possible. I think it really helped with our DS. And try to spend one on one time with the older child when the younger one is napping, if possible, each day. Even if it's just something simple like a story or colouring together.
Oh no piscesmoon I had been thinking putting the newborn in a sling might leave me freer to hang out with DD.
I didn't use one first time for various reasons, but thought it might be the perfect solution.
You think no? DD would feel supplanted?
She's being unbelievably clingy at the moment already. Her poor Dad is chopped liver at the moment. She refused to go to the park with him today (her absolute favourite thing) unless I came too.
Great thread OP, will be watching it for clues. Best of luck with your new baby
I just think it must be dreadful for DC1 never to have their mother to themselves -you should be able to have a roll around the floor and a tickle etc with them without a baby attached! I agree with seeker-the eldest needs the attention. The baby's needs are simple-warmth, food and cuddles and then put them down-out of the way for a sleep and concentrate on DC1-having a moan about babies helps bond!
As others have said - don't feel guilty about beebies!
Get down the baby toys several weeks before your baby needs them so that the older one has a chance for a good go. Ditto any new baby equipment (high chair, big cot, buggy etc). DS1 still likes to show DS2 'how his toys work' 16 months on!
I always introduced DS2 as 'DS1's little brother DS2'. For some reason, DS1 seemed to like this.
As your little DC turns into a toddler remember 'shout and chase' (i.e. when they are both heading in opposite directions towards different hazards chase the little one and bellow at the big one).
Once your little DC is bigger - don't always defend him first if/when they tussle. It is amazing how good younger siblings are at defending themselves, and how much damage they can inflict. In fact, unless I think they are about to actually kill each other, I don't intervene at all. If I do, I say something like 'no rough games' to avoid apportioning blame.
If they are both crying at the same time, go to the older DC first.
I was thinking a sling might help - if I can work out how - when breastfeeding as it then leaves me with two hands free to read books or build lego when otherwise I'd be stuck holding the baby.
DS used to feed for 30-40 mins at a time every 2-3 hours at first and that's a long time for a nearly 3 year old to wait to play!
Would put baby down between feeds though.
I don't think it matters if the baby takes up a lot of time-as long as he/she is then put down and DS1 gets undivided attention.
As others have said, do try and make time for DC1. I also found that it was a real divide of me always with and breastfeeding the baby and DH always with the oldest one - I missed them and they felt ousted out of my life. The baby needs to be loved and fed and cuddled but they don't have this massive shellshock to their world that older children do.
Even though you'll be knackered, try and plan in individual time each day with DC1 - even if it's just five minutes to read a quick story or have a laugh about something you both enjoy and used to do together.
I also tried to get our youngest into a gentle routine as soon as possible. I would tuck her up on her bouncy chair or in the pram next to the washing machine and tumble dryer and the drone would help her to nod off. This meant that I knew as soon as her naps were fairly regular that I would have time each day to help older DC and I could say "When DD3 has her sleep then I will cut out that for you, read you that story etc".
I also found getting out as much as possible helped - I couldn't sleep during the day with older ones awake and the housework wasn't going to get done anyway so getting out helped us all enormously.
Playgroups were great as DD3 would sleep in her pram or car seat and I could spend time with older DDs. In fact I used to go to one every week where I knew no one just because this meant I could concentrate solely on my older girls - rather than them feeling ousted again for me to talk to the other mums!
Try and think ahead too - if I needed to say chop apples for snacks or do something for lunch where I couldn't hold a baby at the sam etime - I would start preparing lunch at 8am if that was the time that our baby slept! Then at least it was in the fridge ready!
I also bought lots of ready soups and easy to eat with one hand things so that lunch and tea weren't too complicated!
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