Adjusting to two kids

How to Survive a Toddler and a Newborn

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Juggling a Newborn and Toddler

When you are pregnant with your second child, you may be wondering how to survive a toddler and a newborn.  I know I was – my daughter had just turned 2 when I found out I was pregnant with my second baby.

I thought I was just figuring out how this parenting thing worked and then everything changed.

life with two kids


Baby #2 makes everything new again.  A newborn needs more attention.

You are even more tired than when you were a new mom, because you are trying to manage a toddler while caring for a newborn baby. 

Then there is the juggling. This is the biggest challenge.

It’s just like at a job when they ask if you can multi-task, but you are now trying to prioritize which child needs what more at that exact moment.  Does your newborn need their nose wiped or does your toddler need their milk refilled?  

Can you push off changing that diaper for 2 more minutes so you can rush your toddler into the bathroom so they don’t have an accident? 

In those early days, there is so much more judgement and mom guilt in not being able to meet both needs at the exact moment that they need it. 

Surviving with a toddler and a newborn is not an easy task.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed as a mom.

It’s adjusting to life with two kids and figuring out how to juggle the needs of both. And also deal with potential jealousy from your toddler about a new baby.

The good news is you will figure it out. Try out these top tips for juggling life with a newborn and a toddler.

Tip #1: Take a Deep Breath

When your newborn and toddler are screaming for something and you feel at your wits end because you can’t please both, take a deep, calming breath and address one at a time. 

 

Whoever is not satisfied will likely continue to scream, cry, whine, but if you can take care of one, then you can focus on the other.

You will probably feel some guilt – I know I did, but it’s ok.  Both will get what they need and they will understand.  

When there is a lot of crying, it can make you feel like you are not doing anything right.  But you are – just breathe and take on one task at a time.

Tip #2: Let Your Older Child Help

Try to let your toddler help with the needs of your newborn.  It’s almost inevitable that once you need to focus your attention on your newborn, your toddler  wants something.  

I try to include my toddler in what I’m doing – for instance, if I am changing a diaper, my toddler gets the diaper for me so she feels like she is helping and it helps to re-focus her attention.  Making your toddler part of caring for your newborn can also make them feel important.

Tip #3:  Try to anticipate what each may want. 

Easier said that done right?  

One thing I have done is to try to ask my toddler questions as I am getting something for my newborn. 

For instance, 9 times out of 10 if I am making the baby a bottle, my toddler will want some milk just as I start to feed the baby.  So I ask her as I’m making his bottle so then both are satisfied. At least for that moment! 🙂

I have found that if you can try to take care of both things at once, it can be easier to manage my toddler while caring for my newborn.

Tip #4:  Try to find some activities to keep your toddler occupied while caring for your newborn.  

The attention span of a toddler is not long – we all know that.  But if you can find something that will keep them busy for 15 minutes, it gives you enough time to feed or change your newborn without a toddler grabbing at your legs.  

A few ideas of activities would be coloring, stickers, looking through books or playing with blocks.

Also taking the kids for a walk is a great option! Make sure you have a great double stroller that works for both and then you keep them both in one place at the same time. And if you are really lucky – both will nap!

Learning how to survive with a toddler and a newborn is definitely not easy but it does get easier as they grow and can do more things on their own or help more often! 

Every step presents a new set of challenges. Keep at it mama – you are doing great!

Manage a Toddler While Caring for a Newborn

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Life with Two Kids

Here are some other posts about adjusting to a new baby that you may enjoy!  Check them out!

How to Survive a Toddler and a Newborn

3 thoughts on “How to Survive a Toddler and a Newborn”

  1. ahh this is so intimidating, I haven’t even gotten to baby #1 yet. My husband and I have been married for 2 years and we’re starting to feel the pressure from everyone around us. Not only that, but everyone seems to have an opinion about how we should raise this child that we haven’t even had yet haha

  2. These are such great tips! I went from one to three with our last two being twins and I DEFINITELY used some of these. At the end of the day, you just do the best you can and thankfully, kiddos love you regardless!

  3. Great post. Thank you. Love the idea of making sure big sister has what she might want when you’re preparing something for her brother. And including her while you take care of him.
    🙂

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