I'm slightly terrified of how my high need baby who should be 11 months when his sibling is born, is going to cope... No advice, I'm also thinking of doing the sling thing a lot, but I'm still scared. I guess you manage a minute at a time, then when they're older, it'll get easier.
I don't know that anything can prepare you. I was so, so stressed prior to the birth of DD, knowing I'd have an almost-two year old and almost-4 year old to take care of. The one thing that definitely helped in the beginning was having bouncy seats all over the house- so when I had to put her down, I had a safe place to put her while I dealt with the other kids. I used the sling a lot, as well. It really wasn't as bad as I had envisioned it, though. We did (and still do) have our rough moments, but we're surviving!
Wow, you have my admiration! All I was going to suggest was to have someone invest in some carriers, and don't hesitate to try different kinds. I found that a pouch worked really well for my high needs infant, and when he hit about 4-5 months, he was so over the pouch, it wasn't funny. We got a MT a few months ago and I've hardly taken it off.<br><br>
Many blessing to you and the families!
You just gotta do the best you can. When my twins were born, it didn't take me long to realize that one person cannot do everything and be everywhere, and that I'd emotionally destroy myself if I tried. Basically, you just take it minute by minute, try and see to the most pressing needs first, and if you can't get to a baby right away you make sure that baby knows you're there and coming as fast as you can. The newborn stage is rough, because a newborn wants to be held constantly and has very pressing immediate needs, and wants to be fed so often. I used to put one baby in a sling on my side (a cradle hold shifted over to my hip) and hold the other baby in my other arm. I also worked hard teaching them to fall asleep in the stroller; now I can put them both in and push it up and down the sidewalk and often they'll both fall asleep, and then I sit on the front porch and read while they sleep. And it gets so much easier when they can sit up alone and start to get interested in toys and stuff, so it's not all that long a time that you have the really intense hard days. With a baby that can sit up you can put one on your back in a mei tai and one on your front, but that gets physically exhausting after awhile.
I take care of a four month old and have a two month old. Just that tiny bit of age difference makes it easy as the older one has a bit of a routine so I can gently encourage my son to be on the same cycle or slightly behind so I can do some things at the same time and others one right after another. I sling them both alot at teh same time, either one on each hip or one on teh front and one on teh back. which makes life way easier. It only took me a week or so to get used to it and now I can hold a baby in each arm and hand out snacks to the other kids without missing a beat! LOL<br>
There ARE those inevitable moments when one is going to cry. I simply cannot change a poop diaper and feed another at the same time. I try to minimize these times as best I can and not feel badly when one cries for a minute or two.<br>
Somedays I am a pro at it all. I can sling them both and carry a toddler on my hip and still be cheery with the other 3 kids. Other days it is emotionally draining having two babes who are 100% dependent on you. (and physically!) BUt it gets easeir as they get older. HTH!
My twins are 4 now, and I take care of another baby the same age as our baby 40 hours/week, so I have a lot of "two babies" experience. It will be slightly different for you because of the age difference between the babies. They probably won't be on the same "schedule" for quite some time (I don't put my babies on a schedule, but a natural schedule does emerge in regards to nap times and hungry times). Whenever things are rough (fussy babies, tired mama, etc.), I just go for a walk. Babies love to be outside. I think a good double stroller is key. Even though I love wearing my baby and he spends many hours a day on my body, I really enjoy the space I get when I'm out walking and the babies are happy in the stroller and my body is just my own. Stroller walks are a good way to help with separation anxiety too. And I agree that the stroller is the best way to get two babies to sleep at the same time if you can't nurse them both to sleep (though I have figured out a way to nurse my baby and bottlefeed the baby I take care of at the same time, lying in bed).<br><br>
It will be fun!<br><br>
Its rough having to deal with 2 babies at once. DD was 22mo when I had DS and we're still adjusting to life w/ 2. If the older baby is going to be almost 8mo though maybe you could get (or the mom will have) a baby gym or exersaucer of some type. My daughter loved these at that age. Or a walker. My DD was easy to entertain at that age if she had toys. Sometimes a pallet on the floor or in the playpen with toys will work. Just don't worry if one does have to cry for a minute. My DD is having to adjust to that now. That Mommy can't always get her sippy RIGHT NOW!
The first week is the worst! In addition to having my DD (4mo) at home I also watch a 2mo baby. It was really hard to adjust to having to tend to both babies at once. The sling has been a life saver! Just take it one hour at a time. Sometimes you will have to let one baby fuss to take care of another. Stay calm and talk to the baby so he knows you're there for him. Take walks...they make time go by faster. Most important, make sure you get some time to yourself each day without any babies so you can clear your mind and relax. Sometimes I feel like my brain has turned to mush! Good luck!
The best advice I received was to do everything together. Figure out a way to feed, bathe, diaper them together. (ok, maybe not diaper, but if you change one, change the other one right after) Figure out a way to get them to sleep at the same time. With a double stroller, MT or whatever works.