Taking care of one baby is a lot of work and the thought of two under 2 or under 3 can be depressing. You may even begin to feel as if you are losing yourself completely. Having two kids under 3 can be exhausting but if properly managed, can bring plenty of joy too.
Caring for a newborn and a toddler will require a structured support system be it your partner, domestic staff, family, friends, or even neighbours.
Here are top ten tips for family life with two children under three:
1. Your toddler is still a baby
Your toddler is still a baby even at age 3 and nursing a newborn can give us the false illusion that big brother or big sister will settle into the new role themselves. Your toddler was used to having all the love, care and attention so it is only normal to wonder who this new little human is who has come to steal mum, dad and maybe even grandparents from him. Your toddler will need help to adjust to this new life. You can have the newborn gift your toddler something he has always wanted to “break the ice” when they meet.
2. Make your older child feel special
Is your toddler sulking and feeling left out already? It comes with the new family life. If you can attend to his or needs first e.g for diaper change or help with feeding, it will make him feel special. Brag about what a great job they’re doing as a big brother or sister when they are within ears.
3. Involve your toddler where you can
After the initial meeting, make sure you involve your toddler in daily activities as much as you can even to caring for the newborn. Try things like making your toddler pick the clothes your newborn will wear, passing wipes and diapers during diaper change, carrying the baby under supervision.
4. snacks and stories work
Sometimes you need a distraction for your toddler when you need take care of your newborn. Snacks will come in handy or have some read them their favourite story books.
5. Meeting the needs of two
It’s hard! Especially when they need attention at the same time. The trick is to prioritize. Which is more important? Do just what you can at that point as you can’t do everything and be everywhere at the same time.
6. Never hesitate to ask for help
Ask for help if you need it and take up any offers of support. Whether it’s your partner, mum, friends or neighbour, there is usually someone who you can talk to and ask to help you out.
7. Going out and about with two
You could invite other mums with toddlers over to yours for a playdate instead of going out. If you have to, you can opt for a sling or baby carrier to strap your your newborn and free your hands to manage your toddler. If you have the option of going out along with another adult, please take it.
8. Dealing with exhaustion
You need to consciously make time for just you and your partner often. Get a nanny, babysitter, creche or relative to take care of your kids while you are away alone or with your partner. Get as much rest as you can afford.
9. A step at a time
Leave big changes in your toddler’s life like potty training for now. Give him or her time to adjust to this new life with the baby.
10. Don’t forget to enjoy it
Focus on the positive. Seeing them get to know each other and learn how to take care of each other can be wonderful. It can be a relief to get those challenging baby and toddler years out of the way over a relatively short period of time.
Also read: 3 Toddler Snacking Mistakes You Need To Stop
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