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The finer points of juggling a toddler and new baby. Tips, please.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
DS is 3 weeks old, DD is 2yo. Some days things fall into place, and other days...everything hits the fan and everyone is crying. I've heard tips like "babywearing saved me"...and yet, sometimes DS will NOT go into the carrier so I can tend to DD's needs. One is sleeping on me, and the other says "Poo poo, Mama!"

Help!

Anyone have any specific advice, or specific tips or tricks that you learned that really worked, or helped you while juggling a toddler and a new little one?
post #2 of 16

In that case, I did just put the sleeping baby down.  If she woke up, it was unfortunate, but she'd get another chance.  Really little babies don't have a real firm sleep schedule anyway.

 

Otherwise, there's no magic.  Wear the little one on your back whenever possible.  Read a book to the toddler while nursing the little one.  In a few months, the baby will like nothing better than to stare adoringly at whatever big sibling is doing, and your life will be much easier.  (mine are 28 months and 6 months now, and it's actually not that hard right now)

post #3 of 16

Mine are 15 months apart. It helped me to put the little one in a bouncy seat on the kitchen table while feeding the toddler. It also helped to wear the littler baby on my back a lot during the day. I can't leave the baby on the floor by himself because the older one will get to him and doesn't understand being gentle yet. 

post #4 of 16

Mine were 21 months apart. I agree it will get easier. I wouldn't say it was hard as much as it was always super busy. I never had time to just sit and cuddle like I did the first 2. 

 

I baby wore

Used the swing and bouncer (limited but when you have poo everywhere or a toddler throwing up it helps the stress level to not have a screaming baby as well)

There was a lot of lugging baby around in one arm while helping DS.

 

You will have off days, but the fact that you have great days says that you DO have a handle on the situation. It is tiring, rewarding, crazy. But with numerous people you will have bad days. We do here even at my kids ages. 

post #5 of 16

notes.gif I don't have any advice to offer, but I'm subbing because my second is due next month and they will be 18 months apart.

 

hug2.gif

post #6 of 16

My two oldest are 23 months apart and my second was a very fussy baby. It was rough, but gets soooo much easier. Things that helped me were babywearing and DS#1 watched more TV than I would have liked. We only do about 2 hours of TV a month, but for a while he watched sesame street everyday. It was temporary, but helped me to keep my sanity. Getting out of the house to go for a walk helped a lot too.  On the days where everyone was crying, I didn't even try to get anything else done.  I just sat and nursed and read books to the toddler. When they were a little bit older I adjusted both of their nap schedules so they were napping at the same time. That gave me some quiet time. The reality is that there are good days and bad days and there is no real trick to make the bad days go away. Soon you will figure out what works best for your family.

 

You're doing great. I'm sure you remember how these early weeks with a new baby fly by. Before you know it, the baby will be completely enthralled by his big sis. Enjoy the good days and just breathe through the bad days.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure I'm comfortable wearing him on my back yet...he's only 3 weeks old, with little to no head control. I also only have a stretchy wrap and a RS...not a woven wrap. I spend so much time adjusting his feet when he's on my FRONT in the Moby, I imagine I'd be a total disaster trying to get him on my back. redface.gif I've seen pictures of mamas with tiny LOs on their backs in woven wraps...it's so cool, and looks so nice, I just don't think I could do it.

As far as reading to my toddler while nursing...I tried that. I guess my toddler is just not that agreeable. She wants to go somewhere else, wants me to put on a TV show (sigh), wants everything that is NOT near the chair I'm in. Once while DS was napping/nursing on me/the Boppy in the recliner, DD brought toys in and played around me, but ended up tearing my bedroom apart, opening/dumping drawers, bringing in like every toy she owned, crayons--wanting me to color with her, bringing in every shoe from the laundry room, and basically my room looked like it had been ransacked! eyesroll.gifredface.gif But I got to nurse and the baby got to sleep. Sigh.

One bad thing is that my back is *really* starting to hurt from the ring sling and the Advil is doing nothing.

One way I can put my DS down when he sleeps in in the baby rocker (Fisher Price infant to toddler rocker). He will sleep in it for a little while, since he's not laying flat, if I have the vibration on. Is it bad for him to nap with the vibration on?
post #8 of 16

Just going to copy/paste what I posted in the LWAB thread--

 

((((hugs)))) mama, I had a really tough time juggling a baby and toddler... we are 7.5 months in and I can tell you IT DOES GET EASIER! In the beginning, it was survival mode all the way. DS1 got to watch way too much tv. DS2 got put down for a few minutes for me to change a poop diaper and yes, he had to cry. I didn't get showers until DH got home, and even then, both boys ended up crying while I was in there. My DS2 had to be held for every nap (and he took 7-8 naps a day for a LONG time!) until 5 months old.. and he had colic and reflux and food allergy issues.... It was cold outside so we couldn't go out to play (DS2 was born in November)... in February we got hit with some bad sickness (DH got pneumonia, I got influenza (flu), and both of the boys got RSV and ear infections... ALL AT THE SAME TIME!)  it was a rough first few months. DS2 got worn in a carrier a lot so he could nap while I played with DS1.... One thing that really helped was to give DS1 as much one-on-one (or play outside) time as possible in the morning, so that he didn't "need" me as much the rest of the day.

 

Around 5 months old, DS2 started sitting up on his own, and would happily play with toys for awhile.. AND- this was huge- he started letting me put him down for naps! around that time i also started instituting more of a "routine" to our day. We got outside every morning, and even though DS1 no longer napped, we had a quiet time every afternoon. the days were finally manageable!

 

In the last few weeks, it has gotten even better/easier. Everyday is more fun. I am finally enjoying my boys again.. we still have some rough days here and there, but for the most part, we have a good rhythm and we are having a blast.

 

good luck!

post #9 of 16

FWIW- I haven't really been able to wear DS2 on my back either. I just wore him on my front and did what I needed.... Another thing that helped was getting a double stroller.. that way I could take them for walks without having to HOLD anyone. and DS2 is a chunky monkey (he was 21 lbs at 6 months..) so holding/wearing him all the time (especially while walking/being active) was too much.. I could wear him for about 2 hours a day before my back was killing me. let me try and think of some other things...

 

*my boys really like to be outside.. both of them. they are much happier if we are outside!

*if I needed to nurse baby, or rock baby to sleep, that is when toddler watched tv... and if baby was content/asleep and down then I made sure to play with toddler

 

gotta run, will come back if i think of more!

 

post #10 of 16

at first DD was watching way more TV than I would have liked, the other thing that really helped was giving myself permission to put the baby down as long as he was happy. and  sometimes the baby is going to have to cry while you're grabbing the older one food or taking them potty. 

post #11 of 16

OK I have no feedback but I'm subbing because my little one is 2 weeks old, my older child is nearly 2.5 and today was the day from hell.

post #12 of 16
Also subbing! I'm going to have Baby 2 sometime in the next few weeks, and DS is 21 months. How on earth I'm going to juggle the needs of 2 has been my biggest fear since finding out I was pregnant!

It's good to hear that even if it's tough at first it tends to get easier and more fun...
post #13 of 16

I wonder if a swing or baby hammock would help? I"m due with #2 in October and am planning to try a baby hammock. So at times when I can't hold the baby I can put her in the hammock which is supposed to be super cozy and sleep inducing! Might be worth a shot!

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKislandgirl View Post

I wonder if a swing or baby hammock would help? I"m due with #2 in October and am planning to try a baby hammock. So at times when I can't hold the baby I can put her in the hammock which is supposed to be super cozy and sleep inducing! Might be worth a shot!


This.  Yes, get a swing!!!!  Or something that will move and keep baby happy.  The OP mentioned a vibrating bouncy chair.  Turn the darn thing on vibrate and let the baby snooze away.  Whatever works at this age is OK!!! 

 

I don't think DD spent more than a few hours of her baby life in our swing, but poor little DS spends a LOT of time in there.  And... he's fine.  Happy, safe, and perfectly content.  If I have to do something with the toddler (go potty, serve lunch, wash marker off her face, whatever), the baby gets parked.  Sometimes he has to cry for a couple of minutes, but mostly, he just sits there and gazes happily at the mobile over his head. 

 

I feel guilty putting him down so much, since I wore/carried DD constantly for her first year, but the truth is, I can't really do what I need to do with DD, or in the house, with the baby in a sling or Moby.  I've tried.  There's just no safe way to carry a laundry basket down our basement stairs while babywearing.  So in the swing he goes.  And he's really OK.  My mommy guilt will not cripple me; I refuse to allow it.  At the end of the day, everyone is still in one piece and mostly clean and sleeping before midnight, so I consider my job well done.  I KNOW it will get easier!  And in the meantime, I refuse to feel too bad about all the batteries we go through running the swing to keep DS asleep. 

 

FWIW, we're finding that a baby gym on the floor is good, now that DD is a little more accustomed to DS and is learning to be gentle with him.  It still requires close supervision, but it keeps him happy, is good for tummy time, and is a change of pace for him from the swing.  I like to use it in a corner of the kitchen while I'm making dinner, since I can't see the swing from the kitchen and DD WILL try to climb in there with him.  eyesroll.gif


p.s. Beauchamp, it's so good to see your posts here, since we were in the same DDC for our daughters and almost landed in the same DDC for our sons!  Congrats on your new LO!!

 

 

 

post #15 of 16

Oh, I put my younger one down all the time.  She's totally happy and loves it most of the time, and I never felt guilty about it.  Especially if she's arranged to be able to watch big brother.  When she was little, it was a rug on the floor with some dangling toys overhead.  Now she's 6 months, she spends a lot of time sitting in a cardboard box.  Never had a special "baby holder", but she's certainly spent plenty of time being put down (I wore her on my back the rest of the time).  I didn't find it too hard to teach the toddler to be careful of her (most of the time, anyway). 

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comtessa View Post




This.  Yes, get a swing!!!!  Or something that will move and keep baby happy.  The OP mentioned a vibrating bouncy chair.  Turn the darn thing on vibrate and let the baby snooze away.  Whatever works at this age is OK!!! 

 

I don't think DD spent more than a few hours of her baby life in our swing, but poor little DS spends a LOT of time in there.  And... he's fine.  Happy, safe, and perfectly content.  If I have to do something with the toddler (go potty, serve lunch, wash marker off her face, whatever), the baby gets parked.  Sometimes he has to cry for a couple of minutes, but mostly, he just sits there and gazes happily at the mobile over his head. 

 

I feel guilty putting him down so much, since I wore/carried DD constantly for her first year, but the truth is, I can't really do what I need to do with DD, or in the house, with the baby in a sling or Moby.  I've tried.  There's just no safe way to carry a laundry basket down our basement stairs while babywearing.  So in the swing he goes.  And he's really OK.  My mommy guilt will not cripple me; I refuse to allow it.  At the end of the day, everyone is still in one piece and mostly clean and sleeping before midnight, so I consider my job well done.  I KNOW it will get easier!  And in the meantime, I refuse to feel too bad about all the batteries we go through running the swing to keep DS asleep. 

 

FWIW, we're finding that a baby gym on the floor is good, now that DD is a little more accustomed to DS and is learning to be gentle with him.  It still requires close supervision, but it keeps him happy, is good for tummy time, and is a change of pace for him from the swing.  I like to use it in a corner of the kitchen while I'm making dinner, since I can't see the swing from the kitchen and DD WILL try to climb in there with him.  eyesroll.gif


p.s. Beauchamp, it's so good to see your posts here, since we were in the same DDC for our daughters and almost landed in the same DDC for our sons!  Congrats on your new LO!!

 

 

 


Hey Comtessa! Good to see you again, too. orngbiggrin.gif I wish my little guy liked our swing. He cries every time he's in it, unfortunately, even with the mobile, music, etc. greensad.gif The vibration on our swing is broken, which was my only hope. Oh, well. He's okay in the rocker, but I have to rock it with my hand, it's not automatic.

I'll have to try our baby gym...

he's awake...gotta run!
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