My feed

to access all these features

Get updates on how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy by signing up to the Mumsnet Pregnancy Newsletters.


Advice on how to cope with 2!

32 replies

dazedandconfused · 08/08/2004 22:01

DH and I are expecting our 2nd baby at the end of Jan, by which time DS will be 20/21 months.Trouble is, almost everyone we've told has gone on and on about how horrendous it's going to be for us! We're starting to get a bit freaked out...Obviously we know it will be hard work with a toddler and a new baby-but just how bad can it really be?!

Any advice? Or good books to read?

OP posts:
Clayhead · 10/08/2004 21:30

dazedandconfused, sorry only just seen this and not time to read it all. There are 20 1/2 months between my dd and ds. ds is nearly 1 and I have to say that the last few weeks have been absolutely wonderful. They are playing together, amusing each other and generally good for each other. dd has been great with him and has no idea that he wasn't always there.

It's hard work but I guess having another baby is always hard work, whatever the gap.

Don't listen to the scare stories!


ChicPea · 10/08/2004 21:43

Congrats dazedandconfused on your pregnancy.
My DD was 13mths when DS arrived - I did have a maternity nurse - but when she left at 8 weeks I really had to work out how to juggle the two. It was weird and scary at first carrying up and down the stairs as I was scared I would slip. I tried separate feeding but ended up on a constant feeding routine so I then worked out how to feed both at the same time which I had to have things properly prepared for but it did cut down the time I spent feeding them both.
They started interacting when DS was six months and DD was 19mths which has been really enjoyable to observe. Without wishing the time away, I am looking forward to seeing them play together.
I think its unfair that people are saying it will be horrendous for you. I remember feeling guilty though that I had an active, demanding toddler who wanted my attention and DS just had to make do.
With two you also realise how easy one was.....! One last point, I felt as soon as I arrived home from the hospital with my new baby in my arms and my toddler at home waiting for me that I then had a real home.....Aaaaah!
Good luck!

handlemecarefully · 11/08/2004 10:53

I must say I find eldestgirls description of people who warn you that it might be hard work as 'prophets of doom' a bit jarring....And quite honestly I don't think it does anyone any favours to lull them into a false sense of security.

I've got a 21 month age gap between my two (2yrs 1 month and a 4 month old baby) and I've found it very hard work

My experience:

Whats hard:
*Adjusting to the fact that you can't devote as much time to your firstborn. Massive guilt feelings about this initially. Dividing your time between two is the biggest learning curve IMO. However I've already, to an extent, adjusted to this change and so has my 2 year old dd

  • Not being able to go 'out' with both of them on my own unless its to an 'enclosed' environment like a friends house or a toddler group. Unless you have a very compliant 'tame' toddler who always sticks rigidly by your side and never runs off and needs chasing after I think you'll
    experience the same. I find parks, the local zoo etc - all the stuff I did with dd before, a complete 'no no' now unless I have another adult with me.
  • Sleep deprivation - with just one baby they wake up a lot in the night but then they might well sleep on until 7.30 or 8.00 am or later. However if you have a toddler to look after as well, who rises with the larks at 6.00 am this takes its toll when you've been up twice in the night with your baby.
    *When one is sick - you have to devote all your time to the poorly one, and the other one gets ignored completely resulting in tantrums and tears
    *Breastfeeding a baby when you have a very young toddler was terribly hard for me. Baby ds breastfed every 2-3 hours and consequently my dd got fed up that everything stopped for feeding on such a frequent basis. At 15 weeks old I switched to formula and dd and I are enjoying 4 hour gaps between feeds now.

    Coping strategies:
  • Toddler dd attends Day Nursery for 20 hours per week
  • Have a cleaner for 3 hours a week
  • SIL comes over to help with bathtime and bedtime routine twice a week
  • Spend lots of time with two of my friends who also have a toddler and young baby combo. We alternate around each others the toddlers are kept relatively amused by different toys and the company of playmates, making it easier for us.....

    Frankly, the two young tots combo has left me tearful and hyper stressed at times....however, what keeps me sane is the realisation that this is a transient phase and it will get better as they get older.

    Good luck with it all and congrats on your pregnancy.
spikeycat · 11/08/2004 11:51

I was feeling exactly the same as you practically this time last year, there is about 16/17 months between my ds1 and ds2 (and if you have another boy the other thing people will say is "two boys, they are going to be a handful when they are older".

I was panciked at the prospect but its been much much easier than I thought it was going to be. DS2 is a chilled out boy who is happy under his playmat, ds1 is kind to him and loves him (apart from temper tantrum time when he does try and kick him).

I tend to put ds1 first at the mo, as he really doesn't understand what waiting is. I also bought ds2 v different bottles so that ds1 know that they weren't for him.

I'm not pretending its easy, but certainly easier than I thought it was going to be. Don't suppose you want to buy a double buggy

stevensmum · 11/08/2004 16:20

I have two babies just a year apart and although it is good to have them close in age so they have someone to play with, it also makes double thwe work for feeding and changing. I would advice to have a gap of 2 years between, looking back i would have done it that way. Labour, birth and babies teething takes time to overcome from the lack of sleep and tiredness. but it's just a suggestion. Have another when you feel you are ready and that first baby would welcome a sibling.

Clayhead · 11/08/2004 16:38

handlemecarefully, I had a different experience to you, I found that bf allowed my dd's day to go without interruption as I fed ds as I was reading/playing with her, just popped him on as and when, never had to leave the room.

I also found it much easier after ds could sit up (about 7 months before he was stable) and they could play together on the floor for a bit, I think you are right that it gets better as they get older.

youngmum06 · 29/08/2006 13:47

Hi, I have a 9 and a half month old baby boy, I have just found out that i am pregnant. I don't know if i will cope. I had an appointment for a termination but couldn't go through with it. I need some advice.


Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.