Anonymous

Caring for a newborn and toddler

Please shine some light for me. I seem to be losing it wondering how I’ll be able to take care of a toddler and a newborn. I’m exhausted. Does it get better, and when? I’ve seen other moms do this effortlessly. And I am amazed, and baffled. Tell me how to make this work.

  • Missy
    Feb 18

    It gets better! Your toddler will become more and more self sufficient and your newbie will find a routine. Hang in there mama! I see you 💜 and you are doing a great job!!

  • Kee
    Feb 18

    I currently have a 2 month old with special needs and a ACTIVE 3year old !!! I feel this!!! It is very overwhelming but guess what!? The days you want to pull your hair out just take a deep breath. It does get better when your toddler becomes self sufficient (as previously noted) but all days aren’t perfect just remember that you are not superwoman and nap time is the best time 🙂

  • Brittney
    Feb 19

    It only looks effortless. It’s exhausting. Let others help you as much as possible and you’ll find a routine that works within a few months.

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Feb 19

    It does get better, for me mostly when they start to entertain each other. Babies love to watch toddlers and eventually they become great playmates. I think some days things come together easy, but most are not as effortless as they look. And honestly, I believe the key is strapping the newborn to you and getting the toddler out. You cannot coop the newborn in like we all did with baby one because the toddler needs and deserves to run around, go to storytime and see other kids. My kids always behave better and sleep better if I get them out doing something fun or active or new at least 2 hours each day. It will be great. But it will be work and you can do it!! I honestly find my three age four and under easier than one toddler (once they are old enough they can play with or play off each other) so much so that I’ll have four under five in August!!

  • Anonymous
    Feb 19

    Just know when baby gets a few months older and finds a routine it will become much easier and more predictable. Try to remind yourself that others have done it so it must be doable! Just like with your first all things baby are sooo temporary!

  • Ivy
    Feb 20

    Sometimes, people have it easier— don’t down play yourself! My mom always had kids close in age and I always thought I could do the same— but as a child, I was not difficult, nor were most my siblings. My mom constantly asks why my children are so wild and difficult, and feels bad for me because she understands my kids are exhausting. She’s surprised I even go out with them to run errands or that we go to the park. But even still, I have seen other parents have it much harder than me as well. Maybe those parents think I’m doing things effortlessly on a good day. All that to say, as difficult as it has been though, you will find your own rhythm. Find what helps you relax, find what helps you cope. Don’t beat yourself up over the things that don’t get done. Don’t feel guilty over just trying to stay afloat. Stay off social media if that’s an issue (part of my problem was I followed people who were amazing, but curated their lives perfectly). Know that every day, your kids think the world of you even when they don’t act like it. Many hugs to you ❤️

  • Kayla
    Feb 20

    “Listen” to your kids. Mine are 12 months apart and the first four months of my second child’s life was full of stress, exhaustion, and crying bc I was trying to make her be on the same schedule my son had been on for his first year. I started letting her show me when she wanted to eat/sleep/play and it was like a light switch, she was calm and happy all of the sudden. So my advice would be to find a routine that is good for both of them and try to stick to it as much as possible. Routine is key for mine! Don’t compare yourself to other moms, they are most likely struggling just as much if not more in their own ways!

  • Ana
    Feb 21

    Let me start by saying that no mom does it effortlessly. You might find them smiling, shopping with 2-3 kids and overall like they have their shit nicely together, but every mom goes through daily struggles, tantrums, forgetfulness, and stress. I have a 6mo and an almost 3yo and trust me, my anxiety had me going crazy during pregnancy and the first few months. You will learn to handle both babies at the same time (oh and both babies crying at the same time - for different needs). Just breath and try to organize yourself in a way that you can handle both schedules (feedings and naps) with the least amount of anxiety. Be open minded about one interrupting the other in their nap, play, feeding, bath, etc. It will happen and it’s ok! They’re siblings and this is just the start of their beautiful, fun, annoying relationship. And IT WILL GET BETTER, keep yourself hydrated and eat as healthy as you can. You need to be at your best to take care of two human beings. Be a little selfish sometimes and have your husband, wife, partner, take ALL the load so you can take time for YOU. It doesn’t matter if it is to get your nails done or to just sit on the toilet and relax while you do your online shopping, but take time for yourself! You will be exhausted but there will be days were you will wake up and somehow feel renewed by those 4 hours of sleep. Just try to not get all worked up with fear or anxiety because it will consume you. Stay strong mama, you can do it!

  • Dana
    Feb 21

    Effortlessly?? I have yet to see that lol.... but then again with my now 1.5yo and almost 3yo when I see someone with ANY amount of makeup and/or a haircut, that’s already out my league! So I hear you! Our little girl arrived when our little guy was 1yr4mo and I think it took about 7-8mo to get some kind of flow to the day to day routine of sleeping and eating and outings. It’s definitely not yet effortless.... but maybe I’ve learned a bit better (though again not always) how to handle the small stuff and also know a bit better what some of their quirks non-listening/ meltdown-ish moments are about so it doesn’t feel as intense as before. We’re with you! It does get better!

  • Nicole
    Feb 21

    I’m with you, it’s exhausting. I have twin 5 month olds and a very spirited 2.5 year old. It’s exhausting every darn day. I’ve found that if I lower my expectations, don’t get too concerned about schedules while still trying to keep somewhat of a routine the days go a tad bit better. Of course things come up like having biweekly 2 hour appts for one of my twins that throws everything off for all of us but it is what it is. Other than that we don’t go out much because it throws everything off so much and causes stress for all of us. I’ve heard it gets better though. Especially once they all start playing together, whenever that starts.

  • Angela
    Feb 21

    OMG this was me 18 months ago! IT GETS WAY BETTER! I hated when my youngest was a newborn bc of no real schedule, then before she started moving it was just too much to deal with to keep up with my toddler. Now that they're both big balls of energy, they play together and wear each other out. It will be various levels of miserable for 9-12 months... Sorry. I thought I was such a terrible mom, not devoting enough to my baby or my toddler. I felt terrible that my baby didn't get the one-on-one attention my son got, and I felt terrible that my son wasn't getting the simulation he needed since I had to devote so much energy to the baby. You're not alone. Anyone who makes it seem easy is a really good actress.

  • Angela
    Feb 21

    Also, we joined the YMCA recently and I wish we'd done it ages ago. They have 2 hours of babysitting (for a fee) while you work out. Those 2 hours of me time are essential to my mental (and physical) health and the kids love playing with new kids and new toys. Even if there's no Y near you, there might be something similar.

  • Lore
    Feb 21

    I see that you have great parents supporting you here with some good replies but just in case you need one more! I have a 5 1/2 year old girl that has always been intense since she was born. She’s very on going 24/7. We recently found out she has ADHD which is a big issue with her learning at school but she’s great at all things that are actively and stimulating. I call her my firecracker. She has a 1 1/2 year old sister that is a sweetheart. Completely calm and serenity with her until her sister comes from school and brings on the energy and turns on the party. It for sure is overwhelming for me being 8 month pregnant with another girl and being a stay home mom. I enjoy reading other moms post because it reminds me and gives me a bit of peace knowing I’m not the only one struggling. I’ve found out it is less stressful having my home organized and decorated the most simplest way possible. I’m unfortunately a clean freak and I have to have my floors and toilets clean every other day. I wash clothes every Wednesday and if there’s time on the weekend I put in a small load. Cooking is not my forte. Hate hate cooking but I have too get done so I’ve taught myself lost of crockpot recipes thanks to Pinterest. I have bedsheets covering my sofas because I don’t have time to be cleaning them when the oldest takes food to the couches. I have a small yorkie dog that gets dry shampoo showers every week and only once a month a real bath! :) My point is make your surroundings as simple as possible for you to take care of them and your kiddos. That means no end tables with decorations to be dust off! No where for the kiddos or husband to put or leave things on top for you to have to pickup for them later. Keep closets and pantry locked so kiddos don’t mess it up and you have to organize them again every week. Lastly ask for help. Family members should pinch in as much as they can. Ask if they can come once a week to simply take care the baby and toddler so you can catch your breath. Sleep while baby sleeps and if you have to do it beside the toddler while she plays or watches tv, go ahead! Don’t stress yourself thinking your tired or psyching yourself out that you can’t do this or that you may be the worst mom out there. First three month are a roller coaster but trust me it will click and things get simpler and you get to that place where you say: I GOT THIS! and then you keep learning new things every day along with your little ones. Good luck 😘

  • MommyDear
    Feb 21

    Effortless, not one bit. Exhausting yet rewarding, you bet! It does get easier, specially once your toddler becomes more independent and if your toddler is anything like mine, he/she’ll want to help with everything... let him/her help, they might be tiny but every little help counts and teaches them along the way. Once your baby is around the 3-4 month mark, or once they begin to sit on their own, it’s so much easier to get some things done. I do however recommend you give undevided or absolute equal attention to both kiddos. The little ones barely require attention, as long as they’re changed, fed & put to nap they’re fine. The toddler needs their mind occupied, they constantly want to be learning so if you can’t leave the house, find educational toys & shows to keep his mind expand and at the same time give you at least 5 minutes of rest at a time. If & when you’re able to leave the house, find indoor playgrounds and take them there for a couple hours. The baby won’t do much but your toddler will burn some energy and all you do is watch him play and engage when you can. No mess to pick up, no toddler messing with baby and no frustrated momma 😉 Also, check your local public library, they might have free activities for your toddler once or twice a week. It might be a hassle getting out of the house with the kiddos but remember that everyone needs fresh air, specially if someone else entertains your toddler even for 30-45 minutes 😂 Overall, I have no doubt you’re doing great! Just hang in there and remember that no day is the same, some are easier than others but somehow we always manage to make the best of them.

  • antigrav_kids
    Feb 21

    This isn't easy for anyone I know. I mean, yeah, sometimes the kids have spot on days and everything looks effortless, but I think having kids is lots of work 4 everybody. Things that help me are to level set my expectations, everything doesn't have to be perfect; and to have a partner that does half the work. We're both exhausted though 😊 Things get better, but it's a game of inches won one little bit at a time. And meanwhile, we're very tired 😊

  • Lkffy
    Feb 21

    It DOES get easier, and FAST! I struggled for the first year after #2 was born (Also had a 1.5 yr old). But then things got so much easier after the first birthday! Not only did the nighttime sleeping get a lot better around that time, but now they are old enough to play together, they can eat the same things, and generally are less demanding (currently 3 & almost 2). Hang in there. I started to do better when I realized I could let things go. For instance, I used to feel like we HAD to go to a pumpkin patch in the fall, we HAD to take orchestrated Christmas photos....but we seriously have their whole lives to do stuff like that. So I don’t do what I can’t handle. I take it day by day and really enjoy it more now.

  • Erica
    Mar 15

    OMG I remember those days. It gets easier, just take naps when you can and remember you can’t do everything. I struggled with #2 and #1 was 1.5 yr old. Currently have a newborn with a 6 and 7 yr old and would be a complete zombie if it weren’t for my mom. Hang it there!!