The first few weeks with a newborn are challenging. The sleepless nights, exhaustion, abdominal pain, emotional upheaval, the list goes on.
Throw into the mix an energetic, possibly needy and confused toddler(or two!) and you are on your way to what I like to call”extreme parenting”. Whatever you thought you knew about being a mother takes on a completely new level! The knowledge you gained from your experiences with your firstborn remains invaluable.
You may find yourself saying more often, “that will just have to do!”. And some days you won’t have a spare minute to look at yourself in the mirror!
But not to worry, those who have ventured down this path before you have gotten through it and so will you! It is hard and exhausting but at the same time exhilarating and rewarding. And yes… it does get easier!
Ensure you spend some one-on-one time with your toddler!
As exhausted as you may be, it’s important that your toddler feels loved and cared for by mummy and daddy. After all, he/she was your only baby for so long!
They don’t need too much, just some close attention. You can read stories to them, or just cuddle if you are too exhausted. Some have suggested, lying down and getting your toddler to drive toys cars on your back! It combines entertaining your toddler and massage all in one! ( As hilarious as that sounds, there actually exists a “car-shirt” that has been made precisely for this!)
Praise whenever you can
Build up your little one with lots of praise for when they interact with the baby using the pacifier clip and for all the “help” they give you. This will encourage them to continue positive behavior.
In the delirium that can come with a newborn, it can be hard to remember. But try to keep it in mind.
Don’t punish curiosity
Your new baby may be endlessly fascinating to your toddler. Babies are interesting things! While we want to be sure and teach our children correct behavior with the newborn, we want to be careful to not punish mere curiosity.
I was working in the kitchen, my newborn on the floor in an infant bouncer with a designer diaper bag, when I suddenly heard her gasping. I turned to see my 14-month-old in the top for her. Frantic, I pulled my toddler off immediately and started getting after her for hurting the baby.
While the baby simply took a nice big breath and was perfectly content, my tender-hearted little toddler was completely and utterly inconsolable.
She wasn't trying to hurt her. She was simply curious. As I held her and loved her while she sobbed, I realized that I needed to better gauge her intentions and help guide her obvious curiosity. Her curiosity was a perfect opportunity to teach her appropriate behavior.
Be gentle with yourself
The adjustment from 1 kid to 2 can be huge. There is a good chance you will be late everywhere you go. Getting out the door will be tough and may even seem impossible on some days.
Between toddler tantrums and baby designer diaper blowouts, things are simply going to take longer. Plan for extra time and be gentle with yourself. Lower your expectations and be kind to yourself.
Seriously, some days just keeping everyone alive will be a major accomplishment. I still feel this way on some days!
Balancing a toddler and newborn may not be a cakewalk, but it ’s definitely achievable. Moreover, having kids so close together can be a lot of fun, especially when that start to bond with each other.
Sometimes your toddler can remove the pacifier clips from the mouth of your newborn baby, you just need to prepare yourself and your toddler with these tips, and you’re going to do amazingly.