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Thread: Coping with a newborn and toddler?

  1. #1

    Question Coping with a newborn and toddler?


    I have an 11 month old baby girl and am due in January with bub #2. We had wanted less than 2 years between them and gave ourselves a few months to conceive so there was no pressure but lo and behold we conceived first cycle. So I will have a newborn and a 17 month old.

    Now I know it will be a challenge juggling the two of them, but I've only just started really thinking the last couple of days about the gravity of having 2 little ones. DD is a full time job in herself without adding a newborn to the mix! DH also works in the mines and is away from home for extended periods of time. I have visions of me sitting down to breastfeed the new baby and DD running riot.

    I'm sure once the baby comes along I will just make it work and take each day at a time, but my question to those of you with kids close together is, is there anything I should concentrate on with DD in the interim that will make it easier once the baby comes along???

    She's not yet walking, but "creeps" and can stand unaided for 20 seconds or so before falling. I'm still feeding her, as she has no interest in holding the spoon for herself yet but does love finger food. She can drink from a sippy cup. She is no longer breastfed.

    I don't want to push her into anything she's not ready for, she's still only a baby... but thought if there's something more I should be doing with her or teaching her now to make it a little easier once the baby is born then I should get cracking!

    Sorry for the long winded post, hope it makes sense and thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    My two are 18 months apart and I won't lie to you it was a challenge at first. Little things helped me cope.

    I used a sling so I could go grocery shopping. My baby in the sling and my toddler in the trolley seat.

    When I had a shower I would put my toddler in the high chair with a snack, my baby on a play matt on the bedroom floor and have them both in the bedroom next to me in the bathroom.

    I timed naps to co-incide with each other. My baby asleep in the sling, my toddler asleep in the pram and went out for a walk to ensure I got out of the house every day.

    I had lots of pre-made baby food in the freezer so it could grabbed and be ready quickly.

    I made sure my toddler had something to occupy himself with at breast feed times. Even if it was sitting beside me on the couch holding the burbing cloth ready for any little chucks. It made him feel included and important.

    It gets easier once you get into the swing of things. My two love each so much and are such good companions for each other. I wouldn't have it any other way.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Washing... again!

    Thumbs up

    You make perfect sense OP

    My #1 & #2 are 14mths apart.

    I don't think I really done any preparing for when #2 came along. DS & I were always together, so every aspect of the new babe coming he was with me. So shopping for things I needed, going through newborn things etc. I always talked to him about what I was doing, and how we used them [like bottles, baby blankets].

    And we always treated the 'babies' [dolls] in the house gentle. I think actually that is something I actually reinforced with everything was "gentle". But that wasn't because a new babe was coming, that was because we owned a dog!!

    Baby gates are another thing that were a blessing! I think a must have for any new Mum who has a toddler when they have another babe. I had one on both kitchen doors, the front door and bathroom door. The only places he could go were the bedrooms. If he was having a particularly feral day I would put the gates up on both the loungeroom doors to keep him in there with me while feeding the babe.

    And yes he was like your LO and still being fed by me. He was until he was about 18mths because his motor skills weren't great and his frustration was in overdrive. I felt having the new babe and not mastering that himself would be too much at the time. I remember having him sitting on his little chair and DD in her rocker feeding them both at the same time lol

    DS didn't walk until DD was a month old, so that was a pretty trying time. But with alot of patience and not fretting about housework etc it made life a little easier. A double pram is a MUST. I didn't have one for a long time, and it really held me back from getting out and about again [I used to walke every day]. The pouch was great, but there were days when it would have been nice just to go to the park and be able to relax a little better and be able to play with DS while DD slept cosy in the pram.

    My rule of thumb when I have a new babe [because I learnt after having #1!] "the first 6 months suck. Don't expect anythng of yourself except to keep the kids and yourself feed and clothed". And it's true. Rose coloured glasses don't work when you're having a bad day.

    I loved having my kids so close together, yep I had my days [and I still do!!], but the relationship they have grown up with is amazing. They are in the same year at high school now, and the best of friends

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    It's not easy (albiet my girl was a bit older) but I'm pretty sure parenting is a certain percentage of winging it, so to speak.

    With my little girl, we talk about 'bubby' a lot. She also had her own 'bubby' (cabbage patch baby, so small enough for her to mother). Even now she changes her bubby's nappy, breastfeeds her bubby, changes her bubby.
    When Nao was born, we had a gift from her for Munchkin. Just some crayons, it sort of eased the path.
    But she used to kiss my belly and talk to bubby. We encouraged it a bit, but never forced her ifykwim? Everything was at her pace.

    After she was born, as soon as Munchkin laid eyes on her, it was bubby bubby! (Not alot has changed). We just gently encouraged her to be a part of everything whilst also having her own special time with me and DH.

    As for timing everything... A sling helped. Nao was in it almost every day at some point. But that's just bits of luck and perseverance.

    I wish you the best of luck and I hope my experience can be a little bit of a help. (But everyones different )

  5. #5
    feeb's Avatar
    feeb is offline Thankful for the kindness of my 2012 RAK making me Life member

    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    My 2 are 18 months and 4 days apart!!

    We had a present for DS1 from DS2 when he came to hospital to visit. I also made sure that I was not holding baby when DS1 arrived.

    Its hard work for 6 weeks but after that I found things much easier!! (May also be I could drive then after my cs)

    Invest in a good carrier (close carrier I used from start until recently when changed to ergo as DS2 older)

    DS1 did not start walking until 21 months.
    When I sat to feed DS2 I always made sure DS1 was changed, had water and a snack. I also had some toys in a special bag that he got to play with while I fed DS2.

    Books and jigswas are good as u can help 1 handed.

    DS1 is pretty good at playing on his own, and will sit and play with blocks or what ever. ABC2 and wiggles DVD's are also great!!

    My biggest hurdle to over come was fact DS1 was and still is BF and would want a feed when I was feeding DS2, so sometimes I had 1 on each side other times DS1 waited till DS2 was asleep again.

    Good luck and enjoy watching them grow together! DS1 is always giving DS2 cuddles and kisses!!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Washing... again!


    When I sat to feed DS2 I always made sure DS1 was changed, had water and a snack. I also had some toys in a special bag that he got to play with while I fed DS2.
    I second that! I always made a lunchbox up when I had time at night for the next day. That way snacks were always quick to grab when needed....

    Actually I still do it today for my 'baby' who's 5!

  7. #7


    Mine are a little further apart - 2.5 years and 3 weeks old - and the toddler is such a good little helper. She gets me the puke cloth (and wipes the baby whether he needs it or not), rocks the bouncer when he's grumpy, tells me when he's awake in his bed, hands me nappies and wipes when I'm changing him, and generally gets right in his face when he's eating saying "baby's eating boobies!" and pats him and is generally just super cute and helpful

    I had a much larger age gap between the other two, and an older child with a very different personality and this time it is so much better.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Out North, Vic


    CONGRATULATIONS... i wont lie it is hard, my girls are 15mths apart and to be honest i found the first couple of weeks quite easy, DD1 was happy to let me tend to her sister and when i was feeding it was actually the only time she left me alone.
    I made sure there were books and food for her though JIC.

    The things i have found hardest are when they are both teething at the same time or if 1 is sick and the other is wanting attention, now DD2 is 6.5mths i am finding it quite nice, they interact very well with each other.
    DD1 is a very caring big sister and tries to help change her nappy and gets her toys etc.

    I think not matter how many you have or how close together there are always good and bad times, just remember it wont always last and 1 day at a time... good luck with it all!

  9. #9


    Thanks for your replies! Some great advice there

    I already have a sling and doubles kit for the pram so hopefully those will make outings easier, I like the idea of having a few special toys to bring out at BFing time to keep DD happy too. Hopefully she'll be old enough to be my "helper" so she can be included, I hadn't even considered the jealousy factor that may come into it when the new baby comes!

  10. #10


    I have a DS who is 15 months and my DD is 4 weeks old.
    My husband has been on parental leave for the past month - today was his first day back at work... and my first day on my own with the little monkeys!
    DS has been acting up a little, looking for extra attention. He cries if he hears even the slightest peep out of his little sister, he ignores whoever is holding the new baby.
    Poor little boy! I hope he likes his sister one day, but at the moment he's ignoring her in the hope that she'll go away!

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