As exciting as welcoming a new baby into the family can be for parents, and everyone, taking care of 2 kids under 3 can be very demanding and exhausting.
Below are 8 tips to help you effectively take care of 2 kids under the age of 3.
1. Don’t Stress About Schedules
Naturally, you’d be inclined to get your newborn on the same regimented routine you had on your first baby—meal, bath, and sleep on a very strict schedule.
If/when this doesn’t work out, which in my experience is often the case, you need to realise that children are very uniquely different individuals. So try to keep your sanity and not beat yourself up about it.
The sooner you give up on the idea of a perfect schedule, the easier things will get for you.
A schedule is meant to help you have a more organised life, but on the days you do not feel like sticking to it, convince yourself that it’s okay too, because really, it is.
2. Encourage Independent Play
The beauty of having kids close in age is that they grow up together and bond tighter.
This way, when they are a little older, they are happy to spend the day pretending to be movie (animation) characters, running around in the backyard, or stacking Lego.
Encouraging independent play (teaching them to play by themselves with you watching from the sidelines) is important so that you can have time to do other things, and possibly rest. Taking care of 2 kids under the ages of three can be overwhelming if you do not strategise well.
3. Tell Your Toddler Stories
If your arms are busy swaying a newborn, picking up a book to read with a toddler may not be as realistic. So, instead of reading a story, tell one.
You can start with whatever your toddler is into at the time—superheroes, Santa, trains, princesses, etc.), you also can tell her stories about when she was a baby, just like her new sibling.
Toddlers love about hearing about even the most mundane details of what they did when they were babies.
You can also try narrating what you are doing to care for the baby and then compare it to how you cared for the toddler.
4. Try To Harmonise Naps
It’s easier said than done, agreed. But harmonizing nap time so that both your infant and your toddler are asleep at the same time can go a long way toward helping save your sanity during the day.
Your toddler’s naps are likely more stable and predictable, so work to get one of your infant’s naps to happen at the same time. It will be trial and error, but making the effort will definitely pay off.
5. Consider Getting A Baby Carrier
There will be times when your toddler demands hands-on attention, and it’s important to be able to manage those moments.
If putting the new baby down isn’t a great option, try baby-wearing once your infant is old enough.
With a sling or a wrap, you’ll have your baby close to you, but your hands-free to attend to your toddler. Baby carriers come in a variety of shapes, colours, sizes, and prices. Take a look.
6. Set Up A Toddler Space
If you’re caring for a toddler and an infant, setting up areas where the toddler can engage in play by himself is very important.
You’ll want to include baby-friendly materials to ensure safety as well as a large of toys that your toddler can choose from to encourage independent play.
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Make sure you also have a toddler-sized table and chair.
If you have a newborn, being hands-on with your toddler at all times will be likely unattainable.
7. Accept And Ask For Help
Sometimes admitting you need help is tough, but it’s crucial when you are juggling an infant and a toddler. Nothing will go wrong if you say “yes” to a friend, parent, or family member offering to watch your toddler so you can spend one-on-one time with your newborn.
You can also have a babysitter/nanny watch the baby so you can take your toddler out for some special time together. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the resources around you. Ask for and accept help.
8. Stop Feeling Guilty
There are times when it will be impossible to meet both kids’ needs at the same time; when you will find yourself torn between conflicting needs.
Chances are: you are going to feel guilty choosing one child over the other.
But whoever you chose to attend to first, do so with the conscience that you’re making the right decision based on the need that you think is a priority at the time.
Depending on the priority of the need, you can choose to tend to her toddler first, because the older kid would be more aware of being ignored, then the two of you can now tend to the baby together.
You’re doing great, mama!
The video below will help
The fabmums community is here cheering you on.