TOP TIPS: caring for 2 under 2!
This blog post has been guest authored by Beth Barclay from Mothercraft for Babies. She helps us consider a few things and shares her top tips for caring for two young children. Thanks Beth for sharing this with us!
So… here we go below…
Over the years I have often worked with mums who needed guidance on how to cope with “two under two”. Often these capable but self doubting mums feel that they should “know what to do” having already trodden the road less travelled with their first child.
The common questions after baby number two arrives:
Why do I feel like a new mother again with this baby?
Shouldn’t I know what to do the second time around?
The sleep strategies that worked a treat with my first baby just aren’t working with this baby.
We are all born with our own temperament and personality. Our characters are developed by our parents and caregivers. From my experience individual temperaments are evident as early as in the first 6 to 12 months of an infant’s life. And there is a different dynamic in the family household according to a child’s birth order.
If you think about it, your first baby had your undivided attention as new parents. Everything is new for both of you in terms of getting to know your baby, learning how to care for him and how to best meet baby’s needs. You are both working through this in a haze of sleep deprivation, periods of uncertainty and your previous lifestyle and routine has been turned upside down. Your first baby brings a huge learning curve. How could anyone remember any details from say two years ago under these circumstances?
“Having a baby and toddler can be hard.”
The second baby arrives and you still have one pair of hands but also a toddler to attend to.
Depending on the age of your eldest child, you may find that he doesn’t really understand why he needs to share your attention with the new baby.
You have a new family dynamic and daily routine to manage. This affects the time you have to give to both children with different needs and schedules.
Successful strategies you implemented to feed and settle your first child may not suit your second child who naturally may have a different temperament.
Your second child may not have all their sleeps in their cot like your first. They may have to grab their day naps in the car or pram when you drop off and pick up your toddler from daycare.
This the right opportunity to remind yourself that you can only do what you can do and your kids will still thrive and love you!
7 Tips to help you ‘get on top of it’ with 2 under 2:
Baby Bjorn, Ergo or other carriers come into their own at the evening dinner, bath and bedtime routine when you multitask hands free whilst carrying your baby (an innate skill gifted to women may I say?).
Try to keep a consistent bedtime routine at the end of the day for both children when your newborn feeding rhythms are becoming more predictable around 8 - 12 weeks.
You can give some special one on one time with your toddler when baby is sleeping and ensure you involve them with the care of the baby when appropriate, lots of cuddles together.
When you are trying to settle your newborn, you can bring out the “special toy/game/snack” for your toddler to play with that only comes out at that time. You can have several on rotation to keep the play time “fresh”.
If help is offered by trusted family or friends, say yes.
If your toddler struggles with attention shifting to the baby, you could think about small ‘gifts’ “from the baby” to toddler to ease the tension, incentivising desired behaviours.
Go gently on yourself, that hectic exhausting period only lasts for a relatively short time and they will both be good mates and entertaining each other sooner than you think!
Mothercraft for Babies is a team of highly skilled Registered Mothercraft Nurses/Midwives who will advise and support you and your baby or toddler through Home or Phone/Video consultations, Tip Sheets and educational Videos from their online Shop.
Their Nurses will conduct an initial overall clinical assessment of your baby or toddler, supported by a tailored plan and advice that works with your parenting style, goals and comfort levels.
For expert infant and maternal health advice to help you cope and manage issues with breast or bottle feeding/day napping or night waking/establishing age appropriate routines/toddler behavioural management and dummy dependency for your babies and toddlers, contact Beth Barclay at Mothercraft for Babies on +61 2 8221 8877 or email her here.
About Essential Me
Hi, I'm Amanda. I support women and couples during their pregnancy, birth and postnatal journey as a Doula, Ka Huna massage therapist and Pilates instructor. I'm Based in Sydney and would love to help you. Please check out my Top 10 Tips for the best possible birth experience here. I'd love to meet you for an obligation free interview to see if you feel we're the right fit. Contact me here. Thanks, Amanda x