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Oh gosh, how do you do it?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
This is the first day I'm alone with DD, who's 18 months, and new DD, who's 2 weeks.

How do you mamas do it!? I tried to make pancakes for the toddler, and the baby screamed at being put down. I nurse the baby and the toddler screams because she wants me to play puzzles with her.

It's only been 5 hours and already I'm :! Good golly...
post #2 of 16
I somehow survived having a newborn and a toddler. I was also tandem nursing at the time, so rather than trying to nurse one and play puzzles with the other, I'd sit and nurse two.

Pancakes? Wow! I think we stuck with pre-packaged grains at that point- cold cereals, crackers, storebought bread (no, wait I did have a bread machine I used regularly at the time). I kept meals as simple as possible for all of us.
post #3 of 16
It will get better!! I promise. My DD is now 8 months. DS had just turned two when she was born. Thankfully the first couple of months are a blur for me.

One of my good friends who has three told me that 6 months is the turning point and it really was. I say that not to scare you because I know that sounds far away, but as something to hold on to. It will get better, joyful even

As far as for right now. Deep breaths are in order. A bin of toys next to your nursing spot so you can play with her and nurse the baby. Maybe scale back the cooking Wear your lo as much as you can so you have free hands for your big girl.

Deep breath. It's not easy, but it sure is incredible.

Be well!
post #4 of 16
If you don't already have one get a good sling/carrier/other babywearing device. It will make your life a billion times easier to wear the baby while you chase/take care of/cook for your toddler. I use a Beco Butterfly carrier.

Not sure how you feel about TV but I have relaxed my standards on that. So sometimes my 2 year old will watch a show on Noggin while I am nursing the baby or whatever. My older one is no longer nursing so I make sure to set her up with a snack or read her a book while I nurse DS.

Oh and don't feel bad if your house is messy or you have to order in dinner for a while. That stuff can wait. It's hard to have two so close in age. Can any family or friends come and help you? Maybe someone could watch one child while you get some one on one time with the other. Or maybe someone could watch both so you could do laundry/shower/nap... you know, the things that keep us sane

Mine are 18.5 months apart so I know what you are going through! Feel free to PM me if you want And congrats!
post #5 of 16
I so know what you are going through. It does get easier. I have a 3 year old, 17 mos old and a 6 week old.

I agree with the carrier. I'm using my moby at the moment. They watch a little more tv than I'd like but it's only temporary. I try to laugh and I know when things get rough, that this too shall pass.
post #6 of 16
I have two that are 21 months apart and it is hard! At the point it's all about making life easier on yourself. Frozen waffles will do, or cereal or a bagel. Get a good sling and carry baby around while you do stuff with the older one. TV. TV is your friend. I can 100% guarantee you that your older one will not be harmed by watching Dora, Strawberry Shortcake, or Franklin. And she will be much better off because Mama won't be going insane! Go to the dollar store and get a bunch of little toys and put them in a basket that she is only allowed to play with while your are nursing. It should keep her entertained for awhile. Do you have a mall nearby? Go to the mall and just walk around. It kills time, it's good exercise and a trip to the mall can be exciting for your older one with only a visit to the pet store and maybe some candy from the machines if you are okay with that. Find a playgroup nearby (in Ontario we have something called Ontario Early Years Centers) and go there. Sometimes it is just nice to have someone to talk to, or complain at. Nap when they are napping, or you will get worn out. Try as hard as you can to get them napping at the same time. It will be your life-saver for years to come. You will get through this, I promise. I remember being in the midst of it and now those two children are 6 and 8 years old. Time will pass before you know it so treasure it. Good luck, keep your chin up, and remember there is no shame in spending many days with everyone in their pajamas!
post #7 of 16
They will both have to learn that you cannot pay attention to both at once, all of the time.

I had two sons, 17 months apart. My oldest acted a little "off" for about two weeks, then got over it. The younger eventually learned that he could not always be first, either.

Sometimes it means someone will cry for a short time. Short-term crying is not going to harm a child, I promise.
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
Sometimes it means someone will cry for a short time. Short-term crying is not going to harm a child, I promise.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to prevent all crying! But it really won't hurt either child to cry for a minute or two while you tend to the other one (or tend to your own needs, such as peeing before you start nursing).

I found that life started getting easier when DD2 was about 3 months old, and was old enough to get bored and was capable of being entertained. DD1 could entertain DD2 for a few minutes while I caught my breath, did something quick in the kitchen, etc. By the time they were 1 and 2.5, they were playing rather nicely together (well, as nicely as any 2 toddlers can play together!)

Then things went pretty smoothly until DD1 started puberty.
post #9 of 16
It will start to get easier, mama. I remember the early days when dd2 was born and H had to go back to work. I would count down the hours and minutes until he got home for some relief!

You can't be superwoman! Sometimes one or the other is going to cry, and that isn't going to harm them. They know that you are there for them. I second the suggestion about wearing the baby as much as possible. It will make things a lot easier for you.

You'll learn how to balance the time, I promise. It'll get better!
post #10 of 16
It will get easier! Slowly but surely, you will find tricks that make it all easier & you will all fall into a routine.

In my experience, the first 2 months were HARD hard hard. My last babies were 24 mos apart & I tandem nursed. It was so difficult for me to have to say no to my toddler in order for me to care for the baby. And it was SO rough not being able to DO anything, like make pancakes! Or do laundry, or get dressed, or take a shower, or make lunch, or just anything. I did shed tears over how hard it all was a few times. But seriously, *slowly but surely* we started to find our groove. It just took adjusting. After about 2 mos I stopped feeling like I needed to cry over the difficulties, & I was managing to get dressed, showers & dinner done. I never did resort to processed foods though! Although we did let my toddler watch way more videos than I was comfortable with... After about 6 mos I felt pretty fine & normal. I could even leave the house alone with both babies! ~gasp~

I definitely relied heavily on my sling! I couldn't have functioned without it. I used a Moby wrap & a Maya ring sling. My newborn pretty much lived in it except for his 98876.6 diaper changes per day. I also relied heavily on the support of my DH, mom, & MIL. They all helped so much with the toddler so I could make dinner.

Anyway, it's tough going for awhile but don't forget! It will get better & better & easier & easier as time goes by! Mine are 3 and 12 mos now, and I'm excited at the thought of getting pregnant with the next one! lol
post #11 of 16
moby wrap. it's the only way i do it...
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
It is IMPOSSIBLE to prevent all crying! But it really won't hurt either child to cry for a minute or two while you tend to the other one (or tend to your own needs, such as peeing before you start nursing).
Yep to this. Mine are 16 months apart and occasionally one would whine or cry because the other needed a diaper change. It got to where I would do everything for them together: diaper changing, feeding (tandem nursing) bathing and playing together that way there was less chance one would feel left out. I would wear my newborn and play with my 16 month old, but yeah at times there were crying. Short term crying is ok, it is a part of life, we ALL cry (some days both girls and mommy were crying at the same time!!!!!!) When my newborn hit 5 months it got a LOT easier, I was happier, the girls were happier and right now they are both toddlers so they have a blast together. They are best friends seriously. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise!!!!!!
post #13 of 16
I'm a mum of 1 only, but I know that's not easy since my family is big. It's just a phase, things will get better! :
post #14 of 16
#1 I didn't attempt pancakes for the first year.

#2 I got a bunch of good baby carriers so I didn't have to put baby down much.

#3 I learned that I can't possibly keep them all from crying all the time and that's just part of life.

post #15 of 16
Yes to all of the comments above! Especially that it gets better!!

In addition -- do not be afraid to ask for help!! Or accept offers of help!! One of the best things that happened when I and friends were all having babies is we organized "newborn dinner rotation". Everyone signed up to bring dinner to family with newborn. In my case, for 2 months (I am so blessed with friends!) the doorbell would ring between 6 and 6:30 and someone would hand me a bag with dinner. Nothing elaborate, but dinner. They would stay for a couple of minutes, admire baby, make sure I was OK and then leave. It was pure heaven. If someone has offered something like this, even for only 1 night, for heaven's sake say yes! If someone wants to know how they can help, ask them to come over and make pancakes for the freezer. Or do a load of laundry for you. Whatever, take offers and make them into something you can use. If no one offers, ask!
post #16 of 16
Every day is different. It will get easier as time goes on. Give your toddler an activity to do while you cook or when you have something that needs to be done. Even folding clothes, even though it's not perfectly done, will occupy little hands and the best part is that they feel so grown up when you include them in what are normally considered grown up activities.

You can nurse while the little one colors or does puzzles. Get him/her a little kid broom so they can "sweep", or a little kids grocery cart they can push around and put thier toys in.

Music is a great distraction. Melissa and Doug makes a music kit with various musical instruments......if you don't mind the noise. :

It will work out. You'll see how the days will be easier to deal with. Once a routine is established things will surely fall into place.
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