Wondering what it will be like when you’re home with your newborn and toddler? Spoiler alert: there’s no sleeping when the baby sleeps or sneaky cups of tea.
Remember life with your first-born in that dreamy newborn bubble? You can kind of forget that second time around, especially if you have a toddler in tow.
We’re not saying it’s completely crazy, but life with a newborn and a toddler is definitely not as serene as when you had your first born. But y’know, baby steps…
Here are a few of the realities you might want to plan for…
Sleep when the baby sleeps. Or in the case of round two, don’t
There’s absolutely no sleeping when the baby sleeps the second time around unless you have 1.) a minder for the toddler or 2.) managed to coordinate your toddler’s nap with one of your newborn’s naps. In which case, what are you doing reading this, go get some sleep while you can!
Your toddler wants to be heard ALL the time
Your two-year-old will hear you say “Shhhhhhh the baby is sleeping, let’s talk quietly” and quickly do the opposite, bellowing into the bassinet “BUT WHY MUMMY?!” and waking the baby. Just a warning, you may bite your tongue to prevent cursing.
You learn to parent from the chair. A lot
You’re stuck in a chair feeding your newborn A LOT. And there’s only so much you can do to entertain your tot. Plus, when your babe is cluster feeding, you’re pretty much LIVING in that chair now. So here are a few things to keep down the side of the chair cushion for easy entertaining: snacks, picture books, finger puppets, the TV and DVD remote and phone charger.
Your toddler wants in on the action
You make a big effort to give your toddler one-on-one time, but he’s still not content. He wants to hold the baby. Often. And all by himself. This can be a little stressy. Experience tells me if you give in to the request, they’re not always willing to let go which leads to a particularly hostile hostage situation.
Toddlers are ready-made helpers
Tots ALWAYS want to help. Until they don’t. A quick nappy and outfit change takes 20 minutes with a toddler helping. And don’t you dare roll up that nappy without your toddler inspecting it, screwing up his face and saying ewwwwww first. Don’t count on their ‘help’ though. They’re quick to abandon you when there’s a mustard coloured nappy blowout and the wipes are out of reach. No thanks Mummy…..
Discarded toddler food is a sustainable diet
Your hands are full and creating wholesome family meals seems like a distant memory. Good news is though, your toddler’s discarded breakfast and lunch titbits are good enough to survive snacking on until someone visits to hold the baby or someone sleeps. Whichever comes first. Please bring food.
Toddlers catch on really quickly – crying babies stop making noise if picked up. I still vividly recall hearing my five-week-old baby crying while filling the washing machine only to turn around and be greeted by my nearly three-year-old carrying her to me. MUST NOT FREAK OUT. Note: Don’t leave newborns and toddlers unattended.
There is poking. Soooo much poking
Toddlers will poke the baby, your boobs, your belly. Poke. Poke. Poke.
You will be SO loved
When it comes to newborns and toddlers, it’s true. No one loves you harder than a nuzzling newborn and a captivated, slightly jealous toddler. You will be showered in love and all the warmest fuzzy feelings. Note: this can be equally suffocating and pure joy.
Your heart will cartwheel and flip at the sight of them both sleeping and you’ll go to bed happy and content knowing they’ll be back up in your grill in only a matter of hours, pointer finger at the ready to poke!
Worried about introducing your toddler to their new sibling? We have all the tips on how to help your child adjust to a new baby! Plus, you might want to read the 15 super important things to tell yourself on those super sh*t days. In the meantime, keep smiling. You’re doing great.