Having a newborn is a joyful time and a great addition to the family but coping with a newborn and a toddler can be sometimes be overwhelming.
Are you worried about how you are going to survive the first few weeks with a toddler and a newborn?. Don’t worry you are not alone. Expecting my second baby and having an almost 2-year-old toddler got me anxious and worried too. So many questions were running through my mind on how to cope.
Here are some tips that can help you cope with a newborn and a toddler
1. Start during your pregnancy
One of the first ways to help your toddler adjust to having a new sibling is to start preparing them whilst still pregnant. Some examples were me telling and getting my toddler excited that he was having a sibling and that there was a baby in my tummy, so after a while, he would point to growing bump and say “baby” which got him excited.
2. Teach your Toddler to be Independent
As you will already have your hand full with the newborn, it will go a long way to help you if your toddler can do somethings by himself. Teach then how to get dressed, put on their shoes, washing their hands. If still co-sleeping now is the time to transition him to his bed/room. One less thing for you to worry about.
3. Set up a Toddler Area
When caring for your newborn you will need an area where your toddle can go by himself and play. This is the time to introduce fun toys, puzzles, Arts and Crafts for him to engage in and to encourage playing independently.
4. Ask For Help
Don’t forget to ask from help for help from family and friends, because during this stage you need all the help you cant get. You can ask a friend or family member to babysit your toddler so you can spend one on one time with your baby. You can also have a sitter watch your baby so you can spend time with your toddler so they won’t feel left out. Help with bringing groceries and even bringing meals over can be really helpful. During the first few weeks, my mom came over to help with the baby while I do other things, sometimes to take. a nap, this helped me tremendously, it means I was well-rested and not always tired.
5. Wear Your Baby
With a toddler at home, you need your hands free sometimes to handle situations with your toddler. So wearing your baby in the baby carrier or baby wrap can be helpful. You also wear your baby when going out for a walk, grocery shopping and doing chores around the house.
6. Allow them to help with the Baby
One of the few ways that helped me in the early months with my newborn was allowing my toddler to help with the baby supervised. He would help me bring items like wipe and diapers for diaper changes, talk and singing to the baby. I try to encourage him to do somethings with his brother. He is always so happy and feels like a proud big brother.
7. Tell your Toddler Stories
Before the baby is born you can tell stories to your toddler of how a new baby looks like, what you are going to do to take care of the baby. After the baby is born you can also read books to them.
8. Keep Routines
Having a regular routine can help in coping with your newborn and toddler. Try to keep the routines you had with your toddler before the baby arrived, this would help you and your toddler adjust better. With the newborn, I tried feeding on demand.
A newborn at first can’t differentiate between Daytime or Nighttime, so you can help him by keeping the house bright in the day time and the lights dim and quiet at night time. We did our nighttime routines about the same time. So after a few weeks of adjusting, we had a fairly consistent schedule. You can also learn to read your baby’s cues so you will know when your baby is hungry, tired and sleepy, with that you can make a schedule around that.
An example of a Nighttime routine with a Newborn
-Give your baby a bath
-Put on a sleepwear
-Breastfeed or offer a bottle
-Read a book to the baby
-Dim the lights and Turn on white noise for sleeping
9. Make time for Toddler and Mummy time
Make out time for a quality one or one time with your toddler. It could be doing crafts together, solving puzzles or reading a book. These could help your toddler not to feel left out when the baby arrives.
10. Coordinate Nap Times
Trying to make a toddler and newborn sleep at the same time is not an easy task, but its something you have to try to do. My toddler already had a routine of taking his nap around 1 pm, I try to put my newborn down for a nap at 12:30 so their nap times overlap. This gives me time to rest, work or do house chores.
11. Plan Ahead
One of the ways you could stay on top of things is to plan ahead. You can prepare freezer meals at the beginning of the week so it is easier during mealtime. If you are going out the next day you can pack your diaper bag the night before and select outfits for the kids, this helps a lot.
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS THAT HELPED YOU COPE WITH YOUR TODDLER AND NEWBORN. Please share.
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What to pack in your Hospital Bag for Labor and Delivery
Almost there now, wondering what to pack for labor and delivery? As labor is getting closer your hospital bag should be packed and ready to go for when you go into labor.
With my first pregnancy, I checked online and watched videos on what to pack and I ended up packing way too much. The second time around I knew what I really needed for the hospital. I want to share with you the hospital bag essentials for labor and delivery.
This Checklist contains
- What I packed in my hospital bag
- My baby’s bag
- What I packed for my Husband
I go to the hospital with two bags, 1 containing things for . my husband and I and the other one contains things for my baby. I usually put smaller items in smaller bags and label them for ease, so I don’t have to search through items to get them and I could send my husband to the bag to get an item for me and its easy for him to identify.
HOSPITAL BAG CHECKLIST FOR LABOUR AND DELIVERY
Comfortable Robe – I love to take a super comfortable robe with me, for cold and covering up when you have visitors. And also something that is easy to breastfeed with.
Chapstick – My lips get dry during labor from breathing hard and not drinking a lot, so I needed chapstick. I highly recommend you bring one with you and put it where it could be easily accessed.
Flip Flops – Bring a pair of comfortable flip flops that can be wipeable if blood drips on them
Comfortable Dark Pants – Take two-three Dark, comfortable and stretchy pants
Nursing Bra – A good nursing bra that can provide support for the boobs and easy to pull down for breastfeeding. Two Nursing bras are okay to pack.
Phone Chargers – Bring a charger with long cords because your bed could be far from the outlet. You can write down your phone and chargers in a list of last-minute items to take before leaving the house so you won’t forget them.
Hair Ties – During Labor you would want your hair out of your way and face, so you use your hair tie to put your hair up.
Documentation – Don’t forget to bring your I.D, Birth plan, and insurance card.
Breast pads – Most women don’t have their milk come in till 2-3 days after birth but just in case your breastmilk comes in while you are in the hospital you will need some breast pads for any leaking milk.
Underwear – After delivery, there is some heavy bleeding, you will need full panties that can hold up pads, the hospital does provide the disposable mesh panties but you also need your comfortable panties too.
Going home outfit – I usually advise to bring stretchy dark pants and a loose comfortable top for going from the hospital.
Socks – The hospital can get cold, you will need like 2 pairs of dark, non-slip. socks for the hospital
Comfortable Pyjamas – Pyjamas are a great option if you want a change of clothing and you don’t want to put on your hospital gown throughout your hospital stay. Get one that is loose and comfortable with buttons in front for breastfeeding.
Toiletries – You bring your own toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, body wash, hairbrush, deodorant. You can get them in travel sizes.
Nursing Tanks – A couple of nursing tanks for breastfeeding and also just to stay at the hospital is also needed
You don’t need to bring much for the baby because the hospital provides items for the baby, but these are the things I pack for the baby
Receiving Blanket -The hospital provides blankets, but can also bring one or two blankets to wrap the baby and also take pictures.
Onesies and Sleepwear – You will need a couple of onesies/sleepwear to change the baby in and keep them warm.
Socks and Mittens – Mittens are essential to wear for the baby to prevent them from scratching their faces with their nails. Bring two pairs of socks and mittens.
Going Home Outfits – You can come along with a cute outfit for going home.
Car Seat Installed – You need to get the car seat installed properly before going to the hospital.
Change of Clothes – Take two outfits, some underwear and something for sleeping
Blanket – Take a comfortable blanket for him
Toiletries – Carry along his toothbrush, deodorant, hairbrush.
Some other essentials to carry are your Camera, Snacks, and money for the vending machine.
What is in your hospital bag, Share something that’s a must-have for you in your bags. Please share your tips with us.
Third Trimester Checklist
Welcome to your third trimester, you are almost there. When I was pregnant this Trimester felt like the longest of all of them, I couldn’t wait for my due date to come. Now your belly is huge and it is getting more uncomfortable doing things like walking, bending down, sleeping. Now is the time to tackle your third-trimester checklist so you have everything ready before the baby arrived.
RELATED- FIRST TRIMESTER CHECKLIST
RELATED- SECOND TRIMESTER CHECKLIST
Your third trimester runs from the 28th week to around the 40th week of pregnancy. By week 39 you are considered full term, some women go earlier while others give birth around 42weeks. During the last months of your pregnancy, your baby continues to gain weight, brain, and lungs keep developing and is capable of opening eyes.
Some symptoms of the third trimester
- Swollen feet
- Frequent Urination
- Shortness of breath
- Braxton Hicks Contraction
- Swollen feet
This Third Checklist includes all the last minute things to do before labor starts.
THE ULTIMATE THIRD TRIMESTER CHECKLIST
CREATE A BIRTH PLAN- As your due date draws closer now its the time to research and create a thoughtful birth plan. Talk to your doctor or midwife about how you wish to deliver. Ask questions on what goes on during Labour and how they do things in the hospital. Also, talk about if you want medications for pain or not. Remember to include your partner in your birth plan.
WASH BABY’S CLOTHES– Baby’s skin is sensitive, so it is advisable to wash all clothing and sheets before they are worn. This is to prevent rashes.
ORGANIZE AND CLEAN THE NURSERY– You may have already started putting things together for the nursery, now is the time to dust down and clean out the nursery. Organize the baby’s clothes in the dresser or wardrobes, diapers on their changing tables. Make the bed and make sure you have all the baby needs.
PACK HOSPITAL BAGS- You will want your hospital bags packed before the 34th week. Baby could come anytime now so it’s necessary to get the baby’s, your hospital bag and partner’s bag packed and ready to go just in case. Also, write out a list of things to get before you leave like Phone chargers.
PREPARE FOR POSTPARTUM– As a first-time mom, you may not know what to expect during postpartum. Do research on the things you need for self-care during postpartum like Pads, underwear.
PRENATAL CHECKUP- As you are getting closer to your due date your doctor’s appointments will now be weekly, It is time to go over final birthing plans with your doctor or midwife.
INSTALL BABY CAR SEAT– Your hospital will want you to have your car seat properly installed before you are allowed to take your baby home. So it is a must to get it installed properly and also you can get it inspected by a car seat safety professional. You can watch videos on installing your specific type of car seat from youtube.
GROUP B STREP TEST– This test is usually done between weeks 35-37, it checks a bacterium called group B streptococcus (GBS). If negative nothing else has to be done, but if positive you will be given antibiotics to help prevent it been passed to the baby.
GET BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIALS– If you decide to breastfeed I will advise you get a breast pump. Expressing breast milk is one way I was able to get some rest during postpartum because my partner could help me feed the baby so I could rest. And it also helps to keep your supply up.
Some breastfeeding essentials are Bottles, drying rack, sterilizer, Nipple cream, boppy pillow, a comfortable chair, Storage bags for expressed milk.
TAKE PRENATAL CLASSES– Prenatal classes( Breastfeeding and Childbirth) are a great way to understand what goes during labor and how to care for the baby when born, postpartum care. The breastfeeding classes teach proper latching and other breastfeeding tips.
STOCK UP ON FREEZER MEALS AND HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES– Its is time to stock your freezer with meals to make it easier when you come home from the hospital. If breastfeeding you get hungry easily and these freezer meals are a great way to have easy ready to eat food on hand.
You also need to stock your pantry, buy some supplies like toilet paper, detergents, cleaning supplies.
FETAL KICK COUNTS– Fetal Kick counts are a great way to monitor baby’s movements and habits, so you can notice if anything feels unusual. You can notify your doctor is there is a change like less kicks and movement. You can start around 28weeks when baby kicks and movement are stronger, you count how many movements you feel and how long- it takes you to feel 10 movements.
DOWNLOAD A CONTRACTION TRACKER APP– I wasn’t aware of this during my first pregnancy, but with my second baby, I made sure I downloaded one from the app store. The moment I started feeling contractions I started timing them and when there were 3-5minute s apart I knew it was time to drive to the hospital.
HAVE A BABY SHOWER– If you want one, now it’s the time to do it, its a great way to have fun and celebrate with family and friends and also get some baby gifts. I like to have my baby showers before the 36th week. Relax, enjoy and have fun. Also, be sure to send out Thank you cards out to people for attending the shower and thank them for their kindness and gifts.
HAVE AN ALONE TIME– It is nice and relaxing to get some quality alone time before the baby arrives. You will barely get some free time when the baby comes so why not pamper yourself now. You can go to the movies, get your hair done, go for a pedicure, go on a date night with your partner.
GET LAST MINUTE BABY ITEMS– Go through your baby list and gifts from your baby shower and check if there any items left to get. You can get them online or go to a shop around you to get them.
SECOND TRIMESTER CHECKLIST
( 15 THINGS TO DO DURING YOUR SECOND TRIMESTER)
Congratulations! Welcome to your second trimester. Hopefully, you are past the symptoms and emotions of the first trimester.
The second trimester is also called the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy because you are full of energy, First trimester symptoms like nausea, vomiting and others may have reduced. Exciting things like baby kicks and feelings the baby move, finding out the gender, announcing your pregnancy to family and friends, planning your baby shower and many more will be coming up.
RELATED- Third Trimester Checklist
Some symptoms you may experience during this trimester are Dizziness, leg cramps, sensitive gums, aches in the lower abdomen, growing breasts, and belly.
Now your energy levels are up and you are feeling better, its time to get some things done and getting prepared before the baby gets here. Your second trimester starts at about 14 weeks to 27 weeks. Here is a Second-trimester Checklist.
SECOND TRIMESTER CHECKLIST
ANNOUNCE YOUR PREGNANCY – If you have not already done that now is the time to announce your pregnancy to your family and friends. Because of the high risk of miscarriage during the first trimester, Some people decide to wait till the second trimester to announce their pregnancy.
FIND OUT THE GENDER OF YOUR BABY – If you decide you want to find the baby’s gender before the baby is born the second trimester is the time to do it. Ultrasound done between 16-20 weeks may be able to reveal the gender. Sometimes baby’s position can make it difficult for the ultrasound technician to see the gender. You can also find out your baby’s gender if you have done non-invasive prenatal testing(NIPT), a blood test that can check for Down syndrome and other chromosomal conditions. It can be done starting around 10 weeks of pregnancy. It also checks for pieces of the male sex chromosome in your blood, which can be used to know if you’re carrying a boy or a girl.
START PREPARING YOUR NURSERY– Start searching for nursery ideas. Create Pinterest boards and save ideas on Pinterest boards. If you have a dedicated room for the nursery or your rooms there are plenty of ideas and DIY ways to make a beautiful nursery.
INFORM YOUR BOSS– Now is the time to tell your Coworkers and your employers about your pregnancy. Some women wait to inform their bosses until the second trimester. You can inform your boss with a one on one conversation with them or write an email or letter. You should let them know when you are due and when you would like to start your maternity leave.
MID-PREGNANCY ULTRASOUND– The mid-pregnancy ultrasound usually around the 20 weeks is also called an anomaly scan. This scan checks the anatomy of the fetus to see if all is normal and developing well. It checks for abnormalities, amount of amniotic fluid, heartbeat, brain defect and Location of the placenta. This can be an exciting ultrasound because you get to see your baby and also find out the baby’s sex.
PLAN GENDER REVEAL– Gender reveal parties are fun to plan. You can use ideas such a cake with the color to show gender, balloon gender reveals are also cute. there are so many ways you can tell your family and friends the gender.
GET MATERNITY CLOTHES– This trimester your belly is getting bigger which also means your favorite pre-pregnancy clothes won’t fit as well as before. so now is the time to get some new comfortable clothes to fit your bump. You can get some oversized shirts that would fit over your bump. other maternity clothes include Maternity trousers, bra, Stretchy leggings, and dresses.
WORK OUT– During your first trimester, it can be difficult to work out with all the symptoms you were feeling. Now your energy is up you may want to incorporate workouts to your routine. You need to speak to your doctor to know the exercise you can do. Exercises such as Yoga, walking, squats are low impact exercise you could do, don’t overdo it and rest as much as you can.
START YOUR BABY REGISTRY– Setting up a baby registry can enable your family and friends to get gifts for the baby from items you really need. My favorite to use is the Amazon baby registry, you can add items you really need to your registry and so easy and simple to use.
TAKE A CHILDBIRTH AND BREASTFEEDING CLASS– Taking a prenatal class can be very beneficial to parents. Knowing what to expect during labor, delivery, breastfeeding and taking care of the baby when the baby is born is very helpful for new parents. Take advantage of great online classes and also the classes your hospital organizes.
PICK A NAME– One of my favorite and exciting things to do during my pregnancy was to pick out my Son’s name from a list of my favorite names I had. You can search online, Pinterest for special baby names you can pick from.
MOISTURIZE YOUR SKIN– Moisturizing your skin can help prevent dryness and stretch marks during pregnancy. Keeping areas like your breast, belly frequently can help and also don’t forget to stay hydrated.
SLEEP ON YOUR SIDE/GET A PREGNANCY PILLOW– One of the struggles of the second trimester with your growing bump is getting a good position to sleep with all the aches and pains. It is recommended to sleep on your side because the growing baby puts pressure on the vein circulating blood to your heart. Using a pregnancy pillow helps a lot to get a comfortable sleep at night.
TAKE A BABYMOON– You can plan a small getaway to relax and enjoy yourself for a few days before the baby arrives.
GET YOUR GLUCOSE SCREENING– This test is done to check for gestational diabetes. This is usually done between the 24th week and the 28th week of pregnancy. If the test comes out positive you will have to undergo another test called glucose tolerance screening to know if you have gestational diabetes or not.
Congratulations on your positive pregnancy test result. It can be an exciting and overwhelming time for parents, as hormones start kicking in with symptoms. There is a lot going on as your baby develops from fatigue to morning sickness. Our first-trimester checklist can help guide you these few weeks. Your first Trimester runs from Week 1 to the end of Week 13 of your pregnancy.
EARLY SYMPTOMS DURING YOUR FIRST TRIMESTER
IMPLANTATION BLEEDING OR CRAMPS– Some women don’t experience this symptom at all. Some have a dull cramping or light brownish spotting. This happens when the Blastocyte implant into the lining of the uterus.
MISSED PERIOD– After implantation, your body releases a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). A pregnancy test can show positive from eight days after a missed period.
BREAST CHANGE– One of the first signs some women experience is breast tenderness and may feel fuller. This is due to hormones preparing for breast milk production.
MORNING SICKNESS– This can happen anytime during the day with or without nausea. This can start as early as week three.
FATIGUE– Your body is going through a lot at thins stage and you may experience low energy
BLOATING-You may feel your pants getting tighter this is from bloating. This is caused by the hormone Progesterone which causes excess gas during pregnancy. Taking in more water and fiber can help in reducing bloating.
HEADACHES– An increase in hormones and blood volume causes headaches during the First trimester.
HIGH BODY TEMPERATURE– Normally during ovulation your body temperature increases and drops during Mensuration but if you are pregnant your body temperature remains high. This is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy.
CHANGE IN CERVICAL MUCUS– During ovulation, your cervical mucus is usually of egg white consistency but it becomes white and thicker during pregnancy.
FOOD AVERSIONS AND SMELL SENSITIVITY– Your sense of smell will be heightened during pregnancy. You might not be able to stand the smell of some foods which can lead to food aversions.
11 Things to do During Your First Trimester
1. RESEARCH FOR CARE PROVIDER
Searching for a new care provider can time consuming but knowing what you are looking for in a care provider can make it easier to get the right fit for you. Ask around from family, friends, and colleagues, for recommendations and also read reviews so you can make an informed decision that can be suitable for you for the next 9 months.
2. MAKE A LIST OF QUESTIONS FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
Now you probably have a lot of questions you want to ask at your first appointment. You can write them down so you remember all you want to ask. Here are a few questions to ask
-Are the prescriptions I’m taking safe during pregnancy
-Are there foods to be avoided during pregnancy
-What screening do I need
-Prenatal Vitamin Recommendation
-What to do if I experience spotting, cramping?
3. Book an appointment with your Ob/GYN or midwife
Call your doctor or midwife for your first appointment. Most doctors will likely see you from around week 8- 12. Then you can ask any lingering questions you may want and hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. You will undergo some bloodwork and first ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy.
4. Take your prenatal medicine
Folic acid reduces your baby’s risk for neural tube defects. It is advisable to take your prenatal vitamins even before conception. Vitamin helps you baby in the development of healthy bones and teeth.
5. Try to get a lot of rest
Your body is changing so try and get as much rest as you can. Take regular naps and go to bed early.
6. Get a baby tracking app
Pregnancy apps are a fun way to keep track of your baby’s development, symptoms and every step of your pregnancy. Some of my personal favorites are The Bump app, Ovia pregnancy tracker.
7. Ways to manage morning sickness
Some people are lucky enough not to experience morning sickness. If you do here are some tips to manage morning sickness
Eat small foods at a time to help with nausea.
Drinking ginger and lemon tea
Eat plain toast and crackers can also help with mining sickness.
8. Choose a healthier lifestyle
Stop unsafe habits like taking alcohol, smoking. Stock your kitchen with healthy foods and stay hydrated. Your body needs enough water to support your growing Baby’s blood volume. So drink about 2 liters of water to prevent fatigue, constipation, and dehydration. Continue exercise that is safe for pregnancy and doesn’t forget to take it easy on the exercise.
9. Foods to avoid when pregnant
Undercooked foods, unpasteurized milk, unwashed vegetables, fish high in mercury like swordfish, shark.
10. Budget for Baby
Have a set budget for baby. Know your current financial situation and plan early. Save some money from buying items used. You can set up a registry for your baby’s necessity like the crib, car seat, diapers, and other essentials.
11. Get Maternity Clothes
As your baby grows, your body changes, its time to invest in some maternity items like bra, pants, shirts. They make you feel comfortable as your belly grows.