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.