Toddler and New Baby

I have an almost 3 yo and a 2 month old. I am a SAHM so my days can be very long and hard but also very rewarding. Today my husband told me that my almost 3 yo said that Mom doesn’t play with him that much. I used to be able to play a lot but I am struggling to play as much as I used to and take care of the demands of a new baby. I’m not sure what to do about not being able to play as much and how to cope with the guilt I feel right now. Any advice?

  • Andrea
    Jan 08

    So my oldest is also 3 yr and my baby is now 10 months. Totally relate! What I first want to say... it will get easier! For me the hardest was the first three months. There is a lot going on and it was hard to adjust... That being said, some things i did to help free up time for my older one. First, naps. When my baby napped I did my best to find a good chunk of time to spend alone time with my older one. Id put baby down for a nap (or in swing, rocker, etc) and pull out the play doh, train set, cars, etc. Second, i wore my baby. This freed my arms. Id take my older to the park or i door playground and wear my baby. I could still push swings and chase my older a bit doing this. Third, when weekend comes have daddy watch baby. Even if he just watches him in another room or inside house and you play with oldest somewhere nearby but one on one. It will give you some alone time that you don’t get anymore. Lastly, its okay to teach your son that things are different now. Baby is part of the family too. I used Daniel Tiger a lot in the beginning, “ there is time for you, and baby too”. Encourage him to be part of helping with baby... sing to baby, hold baby’s had during diaper changes, etc The more my son felt involved with the new baby, the easier it got for him. Now that my baby is crawling they are already starting to play. So i may not be playing with my oldest as much as i used to (though i still carve time when i can) he now has a baby brother to play with. And its wonderful to watch!

  • Ashley
    Jan 09

    Thank you for your advice! I’m going to try your tips

  • Ciara Grey
    Jan 10

    Ahhh yes! I am familiar. I’m a work from home mom. With a 3 yr old boy and 5 month old girl. It does get easier. I let my son help me. He gets really proud and is now eager to do anything with the baby. I give him age appropriate tasks and try to make a game so I’m achieving playing with him and new baby stuff. Like “hunting” for baby bottles. Really we are just collecting any stray baby bottles around the house but it’s his favorite he rolls around and asks the bottles how’d you get there!? Lol it’s hilarious really. He helps me round up laundry and take it out of the dryer. I let the baby lay in his toddler bed while I sit beside them and ask him to “babysit” really I’m sitting right there the whole time but he really likes her being in his space around his toys. She lays there while he shows off his hot wheels totally disinterested but it makes him feel great. I really like to drive home the point she’s YOUR sister and your HER brother. Hope that makes sense & helps. I know your tired mama! Don’t beat yourself up!

  • Nicole
    Jan 11

    I feel that way too. I’m a SAHM and have a 2-1/2 year old and 4 month old twins. I barely get time to play with my oldest anymore or take him anywhere due to the twin babies between feeding them and being afraid to go out because they’ll get sick (they were preemies and one of them was just in the hospital for 5 days with RSV so a little cautious right now). It’s so hard. I’ve been trying to make sure we have some time where we can read together or do crafts on the floor in front of the babies while I’m bouncing them (they rarely sleep at the same time). It’s hard and I feel so guilty but am in survival mode right now. I do have my oldest help with things and he seems to love that, even just putting the diapers in the diaper genie or getting burp rags. A while back I tried to make sure we’d have an outing once a weekend even just running to Target, just my oldest and I. He seemed to like that too.

  • Sarah
    Jan 11

    I’m in exactly the same situation,...almost 3 year old and almost 2 month old sons. I felt/still feel guilty about how much less attention I can give my older son but I have also noticed that he is becoming so much more imaginative and able to entertain himself more! He also loves interacting with the baby and helps out by bringing me things, showing the baby his toys, and “teaching him things.” I try to reinforce how much fun it will be when he’s older and they can really play together. So far the hardest thing for me has been trying to meet my older son’s needs (making meals, bathing him, putting him to bed) while breastfeeding the baby at the same time because the timing just never seems to work out well. I wear the baby in a carrier as much as possible to give myself free hands and have found it’s helpful if I pour out drinks to keep in the fridge on the bottom shelf and put the toddler snacks in the bottom cabinet so he can reach them himself. No other advice because I’m still trying to figure it out myself. I’m told it gets easier around 3 months but it’s REALLY hard right now!