Towards the end of my pregnancy with my second baby I tried to remind myself to enjoy the time I had left with my toddler as an only child. This was quite difficult since those last few weeks of pregnancy were rough but little did I know that once baby arrived those first two weeks would be even harder. Therefore, I want to share with you my tips on how to survive the first 2 weeks with a newborn and toddler.
When my second baby was born my oldest was 3 1/2 so she understood a lot of what was going on. I am sure the experience will vary for different age gaps but my tips will be helpful for any difference.
So here are my top 7 tips to get you through those tough two weeks:
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1. Give a gift to Toddler from new baby
The older sibling can have many different reactions when meeting their new baby brother or sister for the first time. They might be excited, angry or not care at all. Whatever their reaction may be it is important to make your toddler feel special when that first meeting happens. A great way to do this is to give your toddler a gift that is from the “new baby.” This will get your child excited about the new addition to your family or at least make the big change a little easier. Here are some great options for gifts:
- A baby doll such as this one so you each can take care of a baby.
- This back pack to be used as a mini “Diaper Bag” so they can carry around their must haves too!
- A big sibling book. Check out this big sister book and this big brother book.
2. Let them help out
Letting your toddler help care for their new sibling will also help smooth the transition. They can assist with diaper changes, picking out clothes, singing songs to baby, or grabbing a blanket. These tasks will differ depending on the age but there are so many things any older sibling can help out with.
3. Use a wrap
I never used a wrap with my first born but let me tell you it has been a life saver for my second. Baby wearing basically allows you to perform daily functions during the day without having to go back and forth between baby and toddler. I have had so many days where my newborn wouldn’t let me set her down without screaming and days where my toddler had to go to the bathroom what seemed like 100 times.
Using a wrap is for sure my number one must have with two kids. You can check out may favorite wrap here.
RELATED: Must haves for baby number 2
4. Set time each day for one on one time
Even if you can only get 10-15 minutes on a certain day it will make a huge difference in how your toddler adjusts. Whether its making cookies or playing a game together one-on-one time will help decrease the chances of jealousy.
How to Survive the first 2 weeks with a Toddler and Newborn
5. Prepare activities while nursing
Speaking of nursing….this can be a big challenge especially in the beginning when newborns nurse for longer periods of time. There are a few great options to occupy your toddler while breastfeeding:
- Keep a box of toys that you only bring out when nursing
- Coordinate meals and snack time
- Have your toddler feed their own baby doll
- Snuggle with your toddler while you nurse or read books together
- If your toddler is just not having it that day then popping in a movie or Daniel Tiger episode is okay too!
6. Get Help
This is by far the best thing you can do if you are able. Talk with family or friends who could take your toddler for a few hours each day or set up play dates. Now this does not have to be long term. It really only needs to be for the first few weeks or until you feel adjusted to life with baby number 2.
If you do not have family or friends around then I suggest enrolling your toddler in Preschool or daycare for a day or two. My daughter is attending 3K Preschool twice a week for 4 hours per day and it has been great for both me and her.
Let’s be real here us moms are not perfect and sending your kids off for a few hours during the week is good for everyone! My daughter gets social interaction, structure and is learning so many new things. She also is excited to go every time so don’t feel bad for not having your kids 24/7.
Last but not least…
7. Stick to a normal routine as much as possible
Sticking to a normal routine (as best as you can that is) will make the transition from 1 to 2 much smoother. Toddlers (and newborn’s too) crave routine so try as best as you can to keep it the same.
Following these 7 tips with help prevent and combat jealously and specific behaviors such as anxiety and regression.
The first two weeks with a newborn and toddler are by far the hardest but once you hit that milestone you will feel like a pro and cannot imagine life any differently.