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Tips for dealing with a newborn and a toddler!
9 replies to this topic
Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:13 PM
I have a 20 month old DS and an 11 day old DS2. Luckily I have my dad here helping out this week and my mum next week. After that though Im scared! DP is FANTASTIC but hes back at work, he will go out of his way to help when hes at home but Im a bit worried about the day time.
DS1 has never been a good sleeper, we have to lie down with him for sleeps, fine when DPs here at night, but what about the day? Do I just leave DS2 to cry/whinge while getting DS1 to sleep?
Im still establishing b'feeding with DS2, I had lots of struggles with DS1 and thats happening now too. DS2 seems to like comfort sucking as much as his brother did, but what do I do to make sure DS1 is entertained and not neglected? Ive had the telly on waaaay too much and dont really want to do that.
DS2 has just left his wonderful newborn sleepy stage behind and is entering the world where he wants to be either awake or on my boob or else he SCREECHES! Its hard hard work and I have people helping me!
Also what about meals etc, like I said DP is fantastic but I also want to be able to give him a break!
I know in ~6 weeks to 3 months life will be a little easier but this is what Im living now so help!
Also once my family leave I dont really have any external support (as in family). So its just me and DP.
Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:22 PM
You will survive and it will get easier, and one day they will be great mates, but it can be hard.
My DD2 was like yours and spent about 23 out of 24 hours attached to me. DD1 wanted me to sit with her until she went to sleep, so I sat there feeding DD2 whilst getting DD1 down for a nap. You can try making a lunch box for both you and DS1 whilst your DP is at home, or the night before. Some nights dinner was very simple, maybe just a platter of vegies, fruit, cheese some protein and crackers. Try making some nice soups on the the weekends when you DP is home for eating during the week.
I had to get out every day both for me and DD1, visits to the park and often a long walk in the late afternoon. Try and do shopping on the weekends and just get essentials during the week - accept all offers of help.
Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:26 PM
The first thing I would say is don't drive yourself to guilt by aiming to be everywhere at once. There are times where you will have to leave your older child to grumble and whinge while dealing with your baby and times where you will have to leave your baby crying to deal with your toddler. There is only one of you, do what you can when you can.
I found once BFing was established and DS2 started to feed faster (about 4 weeks old), things became a LOT easier because I wasn't tied to the couch. And when I was tied to the couch, I just made do. We read books, or I had DS1's magnet board ready, or a pile of cheap $2 sticker books etc. Of course I resorted to the TV and for the first month/two months, he watched way too much TV. But my basic philosophy was to do what I can to get through the day and once DS2 became more settled around 2 months of age, his TV was cut back to the usual 1 hour per day.
To be honest, I still struggle with mealtimes, especially dinner during feral hour with toddler fussiness thrown in to boot. I eat with DS1 if I can, otherwise if DS2 is being impossible I just wait until they are both in bed.
Bathing the two of them, I put DS1 in the big bath, then bath DS2 in the baby bath while he splashes around. Dry DS2, then get DS1 out and head to the loungeroom. Plonk DS2 on the mat/swing/bouncer and tend to DS1. Now DS2 has outgrown the baby bath we all climb in the big bath together, get DS2 out to dry him/me etc then get DS1 & head to loungeroom as above. It's messy and usually involves being screeched at by one or both of them, but ultimately it works.
Like you we have no family in the area and DH gets home after they are both in bed for the night. At the end of the day, it pays to sneak in, look at them sleeping soundly and figure I must be doing something right. Hang in there!
ETA- If your baby is like mine and needs to be attached to you ALL the time, invest in a good quality sling/carrier and help save your sanity I swear there were days when DS2 spent most of the day in there.....
Edited by deejie, 01 May 2012 - 04:27 PM.
Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:45 PM
Do you have a baby swing? Lifesaver for me, when my DD2 was little. I have an 18mth gap. It's all a bit of a blur I must say. But I'd settle the easiest one first, then attend to the one that might take time. This was generally settling DD2 first as she was quite relaxed. Then I could put my DD1 down for her nap. Actually we used to go out a lot, so my DD2 would nap in pram or car, then we'd get home & DD1 would be tired & nap easily. I'd always prepare easy meals in the morning. Right down to putting frozen veg into a microwave container. I had easy snacks on hand for my toddler & I. I used tv a lot and had DD1 on top of me whilst breastfeeding DD2 a lot, reading books etc. We'd all go in the bath together from when DD2 was a few weeks old. Prior to that I found it too difficult to bath her & manage my toddler on my own. I'd buy a new toy or crayons or stickers whenever I was out. But it went away in a box for when I needed to buy time, actually this worked really well. Often I'd spend only $2. They will cry at the same time, probably multiple times a day. And online groceries omg my best friend! I do my grocery order whilst breastfeeding now (DD2 is 8mths).
Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:54 PM
Thanks everyone, theres some fantastic tips there. Making a lunchbox the night before is a great idea and DP and I have been talking about being more prepared on the w'ends w food. We have a baby swing and a good sling so must utilise them more I know its going to be great later just painful now! And there goes DS2 woken up by his big brother...
Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:07 PM
Alcohol. And never leave the baby alone in a room with the toddler even to go to the toilet. Yes, 25 month olds CAN get a baby out of the rocker, fully undress the baby including nappy, and transport the baby into another room, without the baby making a sound, all while you haves quick trip to the loo.
Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:22 PM
I lived by the motto that the worst that can happen to the newborn is that they will cry for a little while, the toddler on the other hand might set fire to your house if left alone!
Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:25 PM
You said you've had the telly on way too much....don't feel guilty as it wont last forever. We bought some movies and playschool DVDs. I hate to admit it but Cars was played and watched three times one day very early on in the piece. Five months on and it's restricted to playschool in the morning and if I'm about to lose my mind.
I now meal plan and always have fruit on hand for snacks which cuts evening chaos by a tiny bit. I get prepared for dinner during afternoon nap and the toddler helps 'chopping' veges or doing dishes and the like to keep him occupied during the actual cooking. It can get messy and wet but at least he's not clawing at my legs and grizzling.
I found feeding the new baby with toddler crawling all over me difficult so I tried to talk to him about when he was a little baby or get him to bring things for me to look at.
I have a generous glass of wine of an evening after the bedtime feed
Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:19 AM
EB really has been a godsend for me, thanks everyone for your wonderful words of advice and non judgement! I need to get paper and pen, write all this down and stick it on the fridge!
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