Please help -- I am having a lot of trouble figuring out how to manage (manage is not the right word, but the best I can think of right now) my day with a 6-month old girl and an almost-4-year-old girl. My older daughter has some special needs (SPD) that make things even more challenging, but aside from that, I feel like I'm spending all my time nursing the baby, trying to get the baby to sleep, etc., and my older daughter is, understandably, having a hard time with this. Sometimes I feel like I should do more outings, but they are so exhausting. Even going outside seems like an ordeal (gathering up all the stuff we need, forgetting stuff, we finally get outside and the older daughter needs to go potty again, then the baby gets fussy and mosquitos are biting us and I don't want to spray baby with bug spray because she is constantly putting everything in her mouth, and so on). I am overly tired and stressed and I feel like I'm not giving my older daughter enough attention, not feeding her nutritious-enough meals, letting her watch too much TV, etc., and at the same time not giving the baby everything she needs too. Does anyone have any suggestions, ideas, advice, or thoughts on how to better manage my day? Thanks!!!
Tips for managing baby & preschooler together
When my dd was born, my son turned exactly 3. He used to be the center of my world and I felt so guilty that suddenly I wasn't giving him enough attention. What I did for the first year, I tried to plan our activities somewhat, so that he would not just watch tv or play video games. I remember, I had like bins or baskets organized with different activities for him, and while I was sitting on the couch nursing the baby, he would sit next to us and work on different activities. I had a basket with books, one with art supplies, one with puzzles, one with blocks, one with playdoh etc. I had all that organized within my reach so I was trying to fill his day with some fun and productive activities, while I was glued to the couch. The evenings, when my dh came from work, were our alone time. I would spend extra time with my son reading to him at bedtime, just the 2 of us. And going out? We used to live in Florida so it was too hot to go out with a newborn baby, but we did go out alot to places like the mall, which had an inside playground or chuck a cheese. I would sit with the baby while my ds played. We also went to the zoo quite a lot that year, I remember. What really helped though, were some playdates I organized for my ds. Maybe just one every 2 weeks, but that was really beneficial to him. I would go over to a friend's house (it so happened that she also had babies (twins) few months younger than my dd) and our kids would play for hours while we sat around with our babies, that was probably the highlight of my son's week, those biweekly playdates.