The slightly nerve-wracking thought of the arrival of baby number two…this is currently my situation as I am expecting my second baby. Some of the questions running through my head are:
How will I manage bath time?
What will I do with my newborn baby whilst trying to put my toddler down for his nap?
What if my toddler wants me to hold him while I am feeding the newborn baby?
How will I go to the loo?
How will I manage to get out of the house with two small children?
And about a thousand other questions…. all these thoughts are completely normal and what always ends up happening…. you just do it! (Woman are INCREDIBLE) We all eventually find our groove and the routines that suit our family best.
I was a nanny for 4 years before becoming a baby sleep consultant, and when I think back I always looked after more than 1 toddler or baby at a time and I just found my rhythm and did what worked best for the kids and me.
A Few Tips I Found to Be Really Helpful When Adjusting to Life with a Baby and Toddler:
1. Always Keep the Baby Nappy Bag Stocked & Ready to Go
I know it can be hard to stay organized when you are tired and racing around all day but just having a quick scan through the nappy bag and topping up on snacks (lots of these!), nappies etc makes for a much easier time trying to leave the house the next day.
2.Bath Time: Have Everything You Need Laid Out & Ready to Go
Its usually easier to get your toddler in first and then pop your newborn baby in second, once your baby is clean-get them dressed and then get your toddler out.
Some people prefer to do bath time separately and will bath their toddler earlier in the evening and then their baby later on, once their toddler is asleep. You need to do what works best for you.
3. When Feeding Your Baby, Have Snacks & Activities Nearby
Snacks and activities are important so that your toddler can sit and read a book with you or do a puzzle whilst you are feeding your littlest.
4. Deal with the Greatest Need First
Sometimes both of your little ones need you at the same time. You can’t do everything or be everywhere at once, so deal with the greatest need first. Just do what you can at the time.
Depending on the situation, you might be able to go to your toddler first and encourage them to help you. That way the two of you can care for the newborn baby together.
5. Keep to Your Toddlers Routine
Getting out and about with two small children can be very daunting, especially if you have a very active toddler. It can be beneficial to try and stick to your toddlers usual routine of activities, playgroups etc, as much as possible, to help them feel that not everything in their lives has completely changed. A suggestion would be to possibly ask a grandparent or friend to take your toddler to playgroup for an hour or two.
6. The Most Important Tip of All…. ASK FOR HELP
Often, as moms, we feel the need to do it all, but we are at the end of the day, only human and all that can be asked of us is that we do our best.
Whether it be a friend, grandparent or carer, sometimes an hour or two on your own or just with one child can feel like a small holiday. Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Often as moms, we put our mental health and physical well being far down on the priority list, everyone else is cared for first. I know it can be hard but make an effort to carve out some time alone, you will feel all the more human and re-energized for doing so.
If you have any questions or concerns about adjusting to life with baby number two, please comment below. Also if you have any other tips that could benefit other moms, please feel free to pop them below.