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My newborn is now 6 weeks old and I need some advice. How do you do it? How do you balance meeting the needs of both of your little ones? I feel so bad for my toddler. It seems like her needs are now second because of the baby. My DH is working out of state so I am on my own right now and it is challenging. I would love to hear what your day is like if you have or have had a toddler and newborn. Thanks!
 

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I found that DS started to get very clingy and "acted out" when his needs weren't being met. I have a lot of family in town and it helped to go spend time with them either as a family or to send DS for some one-on-one with grandma and grandpa. Do you have anybody who could help while your DH is out of town?<br><br>
Also I try to have DS help with anything I can think of...folding laundry, doing dishes, "cutting mushrooms" (with a butter knife) for dinner, cleaning the floor (he LOVES sponges)... it really made him feel special to be able to help mom when the new one was too little to do this.<br><br>
I also spend a lot of time talking with him, the verbal connection and attention really helped him. (I would sing him songs as I nursed DD about how much I loved and how proud of him I was for being so gentle with his sister, that sort of thing) This part got easier as he got older and more verbal.<br><br>
How old is your toddler?<br><br>
It also gets much easier to balance as the younger one gets older and more self-sufficient, and the older child adapts to the changes in their world.<br><br>
Hang in there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I have had a baby and a toddler for five years now.... they just keep switching. :p<br>
Try to keep things around for the toddler, games puzzles, I found it was always pretty easy to read while nursing.<br>
Yes the toddlers being the more self sufficent ones do tend to get pushed away some sadly. I have also always tryed to set some time aside just for the toddler and older kids as well. Let them hold the baby, or even help feed, very intenlty watching little ones nurse always seems to be a popular passtime in my house. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Strangely, it's not been very difficult for me. It might help that my baby is sleeping through the night (though from experience I know that these days are numbered). My toddler loves to sit and listen to me read books, sit and draw/paint, sit and trace over words, sit and spell words with scrabble letters, sit and do puzzles, sit and watch animals on youtube, etc. All of these things I can do with her while caring for the baby. By afternoon, she usually reaches a point where she can't sit still any longer and starts running, climbing, etc., but I can typically put the baby down for a nap or in the gym/swing by that point and do damage control.<br>
My DD loves to be involved with the baby. She loves introducing new toys to him, having him chew on teethers, "reading" books to him, doing baby signs for him, lying next to him when he's in his gym or tummy time mat. She loves running back and forth in front of him and watching him track her movements. She loves cooing back and forth with him. When he cries, she pats his head and says, "It's okay, baby." I got this great idea from one of my friends: I just started putting the boppy around the toddler while she sits on the couch and putting the baby on the boppy. That way the toddler can "hold" the baby. DD is so responsible with this, she amazes me. Of course, that requires supervision... she is still only 2.
 

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I've got a toddler, two preschoolers, and a newborn. Yeah, it's crazy around here sometimes!!!<br><br>
I try not to use the baby as an excuse unless I really need to. Like I try to say "I'll help you in 5 min" instead of "as soon as I get him to sleep." When the baby does fall asleep I try to put him down (he doesnt' seem to mind too much and of course I pick him up as soon as he cries). This leaves me two free arms and a free lap. I didn't like sitting with him in the sling because I found the girls crawled on me and I didn't want to spend all of "their" time saying "careful of the baby, etc." Mine like to help and pick in any way possible, I learned the hard way do not start to change a diaper without telling them. My 2yo had a massive tantrum b/c she saw me at the changing table and I hadn't informed her first. They pick the diaper cover color, the outfit, etc. Just remember you are only 1 person. Your toddler WILL adjust, but it will take time. The baby will get more regular naps, start going to bed earlier, the toddler will get older and not need you for every single thing, etc.<br><br>
What are the specific things causing issues? One thing I also found helpful was making sure my kids could access stuff I used to need to give them like snacks, etc. I moved snacks into the bottom drawer, and their cups there too (with a stool they can get themselves a drink & a snack), they still ask for a snack or a drink, but now I can just say "yes, get yourself out of the drawer" instead of "wait until I'm done nursing." Also a friend of mine has a "nursing box" of special toys (that rotate) that come down when she's nursing. She keeps a couple of special things in there at a time and takes it down before nursing so toddler has something special to do.
 

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I have a 2.5 year old and a 7 week old.<br><br>
I am very careful NEVER to say, "I can't right now, <i>I'm feeding the baby.</i>" or "In just a minute, I'm <i>rocking the baby right now.</i>" or anything like that. If I really am feeding the baby and can't stop to get him something to eat or whatever he wants, instead of being negative ("I can't right now") I say something like, "Sure you can have an orange! I will get that for you in just one minute. Can you run and (get me a book, wash your hands, get a napkin, anything to buy me some time)." A book works particularly well because we could read it while I am waiting for the baby to finish up so I can then get his snack.<br><br>
I think sometimes it is better for him and for the baby to have his needs taken care of quickly and then get back to her so if I am in a bind, I will set her down, do what he needs, and then get back to her. Yes, she absolutely might cry for a little while when that happens, and that sucks. But I have 2 kids that need me and it's not fair that ds always has to wait. Someone is going to feel hurt and sad either way so I try to be as fair as possible with who gets first dibs at my attention.<br><br>
And last, I don't beat myself up. I'm doing the best I can and I'm only human. Despite our best efforts, babies cry and toddlers cry and I am a much better mom when I relax and don't let it get to me so much.
 
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