How to Occupy a Toddler When You have Newborn Twins - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-24-2013, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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My son turned two in May and my twin girls arrived three weeks ago. My husband has mostly been home from work to help out (as in do everything but breastfeed) but I'm terrified of what will happen when he goes back. Mostly, I struggle with how to keep my toddler occupied while I'm spending hours nursing the twins. My son goes stir-crazy at home. I've tried inviting other people over for playdates, but I can't do that every day. And outings to the park with newborns are super hard. We can't afford daycare, my toddler isn't potty-trained (and isn't three) yet so isn't ready to be accepted to preschool ... though it breaks my heart not to be able to spend as much quality time with him, I'd love to send him away for part of the day in order for him to get some enrichment/social time (and for me to focus on the twins).

Anyone have any BTDT advice for enrichment activities at home? Activities/toys? Or other solutions for helping occupy toddler older siblings?
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#2 of 4 Old 06-28-2013, 03:33 PM
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I feel for you! My child was old enough so even though I didn't want to after the twins were a month or so old I did send my daughter to school part time. When she is home though I have a bunch of options she can choose from to do when I nurse. I have all the usual but it seems to work, stickers, playboy, beads to make necklaces, lOts of coloring books and blank pages, star fall on the computer, stuff to glue to other stuff smile.gif dOminoes are fun, or math manipulatives, stamps, at the age maybe set up a few activities so he can bounce from one to another.
I did allow more tv then I would have liked but PBS does have some good stuff. Hang in there!
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#3 of 4 Old 09-10-2013, 11:54 PM
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I'm so glad to see what I did was normal... :lol


My son was 3.5 yrs old when his twin sisters were born. It was a good age gap for me as he was at the stage where he wanted to help with everything and wasn't completely dependant on me for every single thing anymore. But keeping a balance between caring for not one, but two babies and still care and play with your older child is not easy. I too allowed way more tv than I'd like to admit when I ran out of ideas or hands or time or whatever.


What worked great for us though, even though he was a boy, was to give him a doll to copy what I was doing with the babies. When I sat down to breastfeed, he'd cuddle and nurse his doll. When I changed nappies, he changed his doll's nappy and so forth. It helped him to feel part of everything and we never had issues that he became jealous of his sisters. And it was only for a few weeks that he needed the doll before finding other ways to keep himself busy when I couldn't spend one on one time with him.


He loved puzzles and lego blocks and this could keep him happy for pretty long periods of time.


It's probably not the type of answer you were looking for, but I wish I had a better support system back then and knew that these things were normal to "life with twins". I cried the first 18 months away, I was so overwhelmed!! Only now that the twins turned 3 yrs old did I start to feel more human and able to cope with three kids better. When people tell me I'm "a supermom, how do I do it?" I reply that I cried the first year and half away and they have a total look of shock on their faces LOL!


It's not easy, but somehow you survive, manage and get through it.

Elsabé Marlene Rabé

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babies not only survive, but thrive through touch.

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#4 of 4 Old 09-11-2013, 09:57 AM
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Having a safe play space set up for DD1 (she was 3.5 when they were born, I agree, a pretty good age) that she could go that was not in the main area I was with the twins. It encouraged her to play by herself for longer since I wasn't right there. I had her play by me too, but it was nice for her and me for her to have a separate place.

I agree on having a baby doll or stuffed animal + props for the bigger kids. DD1 would use any handy doll or stuffed animal, but what really made it awesome for her was if she had her own diapers, blankets, BFing pillow, etc. So I would give her the boppy (which I don't use for BFing) and she would happily sit next to me nursing her babies while I nursed mine for a long time.

Putting drinks & less-messy-snacks where she could reach.

Going to the park anyway, even if it was a PITA. A twin stroller that let's you snap in bucket seats helped immensely with this for me! I also liked to go to stores with shopping carts for brief trips. Babies would be one on top, one inside the cart and DD would help me push or hold my hand. Could also use a baby carrier with one of the babies to maybe make it work even better.

Having people come visit me and going to visit them as much as possible. Definitely the time to cash in on favors!

Being ok with making the babies wait for brief periods (even if they were crying) so DD1 isn't always the one who is waiting. This sucks, but it makes it easier for DD1 to wait when she has to and the twins often have to wait on each other anyway.

Being ok with more TV than I would like, you gotta survive however you can sometimes! I also let DD1 play with my ipad (make sure to set it so you have to enter your password to do anything though, don't want kids buying apps for you or shopping on amazon!)

Reading books (DD1 holds them) to her while nursing/holding babies.

Having DD1 help (or "help") as much as she wanted. She nearly always wants to be involved so I would try to think of something she could do for each baby thing I did to keep her occupied, but I always asked, never made her help. I don't think she has turned me down yet though!

Katie trekkie.gif - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13  hug.gif 



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