Posted in Newborns, Multiple Children, Toddlers

Two under two coming soon-what are some of your best pieces of advice?

This summer we will have a newborn and an almost 2 year old. I am wondering what people found to be effective for them as far as making life eaiser. For example, did you potty train your older child? What-if any-different products did you use/buy? What are things that didn't work for you? As always, everyone is different-I'm just interested in what worked for you! TIA!

  • Kieli
    Mar 29

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  • Katie
    Mar 30

    The thing that really kept everything smooth is talking up the baby before she got there in terms of how much our almost-2 year old was going to love her, and having the older child make decisions about the baby as often as she could (choosing outfits at the store, where things should go in the nursery, etc). No matter what little things you do beforehand, there is going to be an “all about the baby” phase, and it’s going to be a lot easier if the toddler already really likes the baby and feels like he/she is involved. Other than that, pick the room that you’re going to be nursing or bottle feeding in, and keep the toddler’s favorite toys and activities in that room so hopefully they can stay under your watch without you having to make a big thing out of it. Now that we’re five months in, I make a big deal out of the special time I can have with my toddler while the baby is napping, etc. “I love playing with (L) so much, but I’m so happy that now I get to have just (A) and mommy time!” I don’t know if this is mean or not, but a couple weeks before the baby was so we hid a favorite toy (not one that was a necessity, just one she liked enough to ask for regularly) and told A it was lost. Then when we brought the baby home from the hospital, we brought A the toy and told her that L heard she were missing this and found it for her. Kind of lame, but it gave their relationship a good start because now she had a face to associate a kind act to. It’s similar to buying the toddler a new gift “from the baby,” but there were already good memories attached to this toy. Sorry this was rambly, good luck! It’s going to be exhausting but just try to keep your head above water for a while!! It’s so worth it!

  • Kate
    Mar 30

    We have a 9 week old and 22 month old, so we’re still trying to figure this all out. :) But some things that have helped so far: - Carriers. I use both a Lille structured carrier and a ring sling. It’s helped immensely to be able to wear the baby while I’m trying to cook dinner, play with the toddler or get our toddler down for a nap or bedtime. - Pacifier for the newborn. Sounds simple, but it helps my sanity to minimize the crying sometimes. - Routine. We try to have our toddler stick to her routine as best we can. I think this has helped to provide some predictability during this whole situation, which has obviously rocked her world a little bit. And then, we we have the days that throw us off track, she seems much more adaptable. Might seem counter-intuitive, but it works. - Preschool for the toddler. We enrolled her in a half-day toddler class at a preschool, and it’s been great for her to have routine, social interaction with kids her age and more focused attention from the teachers. It also allows me some solo time with the baby. Note: The timing was such that she started school shortly after the baby was born. I couldn’t really do anything about that, and wish we could have started her earlier, so she would’ve had more time to adjust. - Freezer meals. I’ve leaned on these way more this time around! Grateful I was able to stock a few things away pre-baby. - Toddler bed. We transitioned when she was around 18 months, and I’m glad we did. Now, when she wakes up, she can just go grab a book or putter around her room a bit. Takes lots of babyproofing, but worth it to not have her yelling for me to take her out of a crib, and helpful that she can entertain herself when I need a little more time to finish feeding the baby. I’ve also learned that I had to let go of a few things/ideas and just surrender to what this time is right now: Chaotic. I’ve let go of: - Potty training. We’d started doing it casually, and still have her on the potty at least once a day, but between trying to breastfeed and wipe, I’m just a couple hands short these days. Going to wait for a more manageable time to pick this up more actively. - Pumping. I’m just not doing it this time around. It kind of drove me crazy with our first. And I’m also much more accepting of supplementing with formula as needed. - Expectations. Some days, there’s more crying than I’d hoped, the house is messier than I’d like, and dinner is what it is (grilled cheese and tomato soup... again). And that’s fine. We’re surviving right now. Early congrats to you! I hope you find some of this useful.